Chelsea entertain fellow London club Arsenal in one of the weekend’s standout Premier League clashes on Saturday, Oct 21st; kick-off 17.30.
Chelsea‘s injury woes are biblical in scale. Carney Chukwuemeka could miss out, Reece James has had a setback I understand, while Cole Palmer has a chance of recovering from a strain picked up with England U-21s.
Malo Gusto has served his suspension and is available, but the likes of Nkunku, Fofana, Lavia, Chilwell, Chalobah, Bettinelli and Badiashile are either longer-term affected or still remain on the sidelines.
Disasi has a hamstring tear but Jackson could overcome a wrist injury. Biblical indeed!
As for the Gunners, talisman Bukayo Saka didn’t link up with England during the international break and it remains to be seen when he’ll next appear. Saliba didn’t make the France squad but could feature at the Bridge. Trossard’s hamstring may prevent him turning out, too.
Odds-against value for all three of the possible outcomes here – as I write we go 2/1 Chelsea, 23/10 the Draw, and 5/4 Arsenal. It’s a great test for both – of Arsenal’s title credentials, and Chelsea’s recent resurgence.
Arsenal to win and both teams to score @ 16/5
Arsenal will still be on Cloud plenty after beating Manchester City before the break, and don’t have to travel far for this one. And they score, do they not. Every time. Metronomic regularity.
They sit atop the Premier League with north London rivals Spurs, on 20 points, two ahead of City and three in front of Liverpool. Tottenham might have bragging rights courtesy of goal difference, but the massive significance here is that Arsenal finally got the better of Guardiola’s men AND leapfrogged them in the table.
They will want to maintain that status quo as long as possible, especially given last season’s late capitulation. The incentive then right now is off the scale, so I have no hesitation in thinking a Gunners’ win is the most likely outcome. Chelsea’s 11-goal PL haul thus far isn’t hugely impressive but with the array of attacking talent at their disposal it’s not hard at all seeing them contributing.
Arsenal total goals over 1.5 @ 11/10
The blueprint I’m laying out above is bringing me into 2-1, 3-1, 3-2 territory as to the final outcome, in favour of Arsenal. If I’m giving Chelsea at least a goal and I expect Arsenal to prevail, then Arsenal’s total goals over 1.5 needs to be achieved – and I believe it will be.
Ødegaard, Jesus, Martinelli – all carry a massive Arsenal goal threat even in the likely absence of the brilliant Saka. As for Chelsea, Raheem Sterling will be bristling I imagine at his exclusion from the England squad, even though his form this term, on admittedly limited evidence, is arguably the best its been for 2 or 3 years.
They’ve found goals hard to come by, but roared on by the faithful in a white-hot London derby atmosphere, if they can’t score under those circumstances, heaven help them, going forward.