- This Saturday, on Boxing Day, we are gifted with a London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea, a vital tie for both sides
- The home side, Arsenal, currently sit in 15th place, just four points from the relegation zone, while the Blues of Stamford Bridge remain one point outside of the top four in fifth
- See below for a preview, odds and prediction
A London derby is always a special occasion. However, when the match takes place on Boxing Day with one side fighting for Champions League positioning and the other fighting to stay away from the Championship, it is another story. Arsenal have been another level of dreadful this season, especially in the Premier League. Despite winning their Europa League group, they have not won a Premier League match since the first of November against Manchester United.
While Chelsea are the far better side, things have not been perfect for them either. It is undeniable they have enough talent on paper, but they are showing early signs of inconsistency and maybe that is just because they have not gelled yet. However, two consecutive losses to Everton and Wolves in the Premier League proves they are capable of being upset on any given matchday.
Chelsea are the clear favorites for this match with moneyline odds of -109.
Arsenal vs Chelsea Odds
|Arsenal vs Chelsea||ARS +0.5 (-109) | CHE -0.5 (-110)||ARS +300 | CHE -109 | DRAW +260||Ov 2.5 (-107) | Un 2.5 (-117)|
All odds taken Dec. 24 at DraftKings
Has Arteta Lost the Arsenal Dressing Room?
The question most pundits have been asking this week is pointed towards the Arsenal gaffer, Mikel Arteta. Has he already lost his dressing room? The Gunners have been playing games lackadaisically and it frankly does not look like they care at all. Arsenal does have talent in the likes of Aubameyang, Saka, and Tierney, but they have too many gaping holes in their midfield and defense. Combine that with no leadership, discipline or accountability and you have a team with more red cards than goals scored in their last six matches.
🗞 Our team news update ahead of #ARSCHE 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 24, 2020
This game could swing the Arsenal dressing room. Will they stand up and fight on behalf of their manager, or lie down and force change? Personally, I think this Arsenal team has far too much deadweight and that this game will be the nail in the coffin for Arteta in North London. Unless Aubameyang relieves his calf problem and can produce some magic this will be a tough ask for Arsenal, also playing without Thomas Partey.
Arsenal vs Chelsea Statistics
|0.86||Goals per game||2.07|
|10.4||Shots per game||13.5|
Chelsea Will be Without Three Starters
Despite being the easy favorites, Chelsea must get the job done against Arsenal without Reece James, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell. This well definitely hurt them defensively, but how much? Frank Lampard can choose between Azpilicueta, Emerson and Alonso for the outside back roles which is not all that bad. Up top, he can easily shift the front line and add American Christian Pulisic to the starting eleven.
‘Drogbaaaaa! Ohhh, what a goal!’#ARSCHE… Three days to go! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/RiznkN9OoD
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 23, 2020
After scoring a brace in the last match against West Ham, Tammy Abraham gave his gaffer a tough decision to make between him or Olivier Giroud. Overall, Chelsea have the goals in their side to win this match, no question. But, they are like a beautiful puzzle that still has not been fully put together yet. Whenever you do that much business in a transfer window it always takes time, and that is why we are seeing lulls in this Chelsea team. With that being said, it would be hard for me to predict that the Chelsea players will not turn up on Boxing Day.
To conclude, the best bet for this match has to be the straight moneyline on a Chelsea victory. At -109, these are still great Premier League odds, given the difference in talent and form between these two sides, not to mention their placement on the table.
Truly, Arsenal have looked spineless as of late and they have problems at every single position. Even their players that are talented, are sadly being brought down by players like Xhaka, Bellerin and Willian. Chelsea are class around the pitch, and I personally believe this will be the game that gets Mikel Arteta sacked from his job at Arsenal.
My Pick: Chelsea Moneyline (-109)