Soccer Picks & Tips for Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 7:04 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 7:04 PM GMT

The marquee match of EPL’s slate at the weekend is the clash between league leading Arsenal and Chelsea. Join us as we breakdown this much-anticipated tilt and deliver our free soccer picks for your consideration.

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Arsenal reeling from Man City defeat

Arsenal’s defeat to Man City at the weekend is a major talking point this week, particularly as it pertains to their title credentials which according to sportsbooks across all platforms is assessed at +400 soccer odds and puts them third in line behind Man City at +120 and Chelsea at +350.

Arsenal’s 6-3 defeat to Man City was not only illuminating but also harks back to a symptomatic problem that has reared its ugly head with Arsene Wenger’s beloved Gunners over the past few seasons; that is, a glaring inability to measure up to the big clubs in today’s game.

To date Arsenal have collected a big, fat ZERO against last season’s Big Four rivals on the road. Granted they’ve only come up against two of the three so far (they were the fourth) and the matches couldn’t have been more different in colour and tempo: a respectable 1-0 defeat to Man U and a 6-3 trouncing by Man City. But because they were unable to take the measure of these rivals, their position at the top of the table becomes tenuous at best, not least it puts a whole new emphasis on their upcoming clash with Chelsea, the last of last season’s big quartet [insert dramatic shiver].

That Arsenal are coming off a bad week altogether, leaking points in all competitions, doesn’t help matters at all. They lost away to Napoli in Champions League and prior to that they were held a draw by Everton at the Emirates. Opportunely, though, the Gunners will be hosting the Blues at the Emirates where they are 6-1-1 this season, a run of form that is highlighted by a seven-game undefeated streak since a shock upset by Aston Villa at the start of the season and includes a tally of 16 goals scored and just 6 conceded. (Only Everton were able to take points off Arsenal when they drew 1-1 in week 15 EPL betting.

Inauspiciously, odds makers aren’t taking stock of Arsenal’s home form. Well, not entirely. They are after sending Arsenal as the favourites, albeit on the short side of even money at +138 soccer odds to win outright. Meanwhile the draw is listed at a large +240 while Chelsea is listed at the slightest disadvantage, at +188 to win outright at Bet365.

Confounding matters is the fact that the Blues aren’t exactly boasting stupendous form ahead of this clash, form that would suggest they are on the verge of masterminding an upset. What with a 3-2 defeat on the road to Stoke City in EPL week 16, followed by an even bigger shocker, a 2-1 upset to basement dwelling Sunderland in midweek League Cup action, Chelsea strike a rather unconvincing pose in the markets for the upset.

Overall, Chelsea are third in the table on a 10-3-3 mark and 33 points, level with Liverpool and just two points adrift of Arsenal. Slightly worrying for them is a so-so road record, which stands at 3-2-3 to date but includes wins only against the clubs in the bottom-half of the table such as Sunderland, Norwich and West Ham. Against credible opposition, the best they mustered was a draw, for instance, a scoreless draw to Man U and a 1-1 draw to Tottenham. 

Soccer Betting Verdict: On balance, neither team goes into this clash with a shred of convincing form. As such, the rather modest sports betting market does seem appropriate after all. If there were a balance to tip the scale either way it would be Arsenal’s home form, which is up to par save for the slight hiccup to Everton recently. That’s why we’re banking on the home win at tempting +138 odds at Bet365. We’re also adding to that soccer pick a play on the Over 2.5 at -125.

Soccer Free Picks: Arsenal to win outright at +138; Over 2.5 at -125

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