Arsenal versus Manchester City, Monday, December 21
Arsenal ended a good week with a 2-0 defeat of Aston Villa at Villa Park last Sunday and may just be playing Manchester City at the right time. French striker Olivier Giroud continues to confound his critics, with his first hat-trick for the Gunners in the 3-0 defeat of Olympiakos in midweek and an early penalty against Villa to make him the third fastest Arsenal player – behind Thierry Henry and Ian Wright – to score 50 goals in the Premier League.
By contrast, Manchester City needed an injury-time deflection to beat managerless Swansea City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium last Saturday and were similarly lacking in ideas on their last Premier League outing, when beat 2-0 by Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium the previous week. The Sky Blues have drawn failed to win their last four away fixtures in the Premier League and, unless they improve significantly, it’s hard to see that record improving against the in-form Gunners. Indeed, they’ve failed to score against Stoke City, Aston Villa and Manchester United, so there may be some value in backing Arsenal to win to nil.
In search of an early Christmas present, let’s try Arsenal to win 2-0 at 15/1 with BetVictor.
Selections: Arsenal to win 2-0 (15/1 with BetVictor)
Leicester City versus Chelsea, Monday, December 14
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri had some kind words to say about the quality of the opposition after the Foxes’ 3-0 win at the Liberty Stadium last week, but the fact remains that his side ran rings around Swansea for the first 45 minutes and could hardly be in a better frame of mind for the visit of reigning champions Chelsea on Monday. The 5-2 reverse against Arsenal at the King Power Stadium in September remains the Foxes’ only defeat of the current Premier League campaign and they top the table, two points ahead of the Gunners.
Chelsea, meanwhile, suffered a shock 1-0 at home to promoted side Bournemouth last Saturday, leaving them in 14th place in the Premier League, 14 points outside the Champions’ League places. Even Jose Mourinho was forced to concede that the Blues may struggle to qualify for next season’s Champions’ League and, with the added complication of a midweek Champions’ League tie against FC Porto, Leicester could be playing them at just the right time.
Leicester can’t stop scoring so, with Chelsea at low ebb, let’s try both teams to score and Leicester to win at 9/2 with Bet365.
Selection: Both teams to score and Leicester City to win (9/2 with Bet365)