Liverpool versus Arsenal, Saturday, March 4
With Chelsea not playing until Monday, their nearest rivals in the Premier League, Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal, have an opportunity to make some headway against the Blues, albeit temporarily. Fifth-placed Liverpool versus fourth-placed Arsenal at Anfield looks the tie of the weekend and, having won five and drawn two of their last eight home matches in the Premier League, the Reds are clear favourites at 2.05. The return of Senegalese striker Sadio Mane, who scored twice in two minutes against Tottenham at Anfield, is a godsend for Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp and, with the Gunners’ title aspirations effectively ended by the 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge two outings ago, Liverpool may just have the edge. Interestingly, Liverpool have scored in 92% of their home matches in the Premier League, while Arsenal have scored in 92% of their away matches, so let’s try both teams to score and Liverpool to win at 3.95 with 188Bet.
Selection: Both teams to score and Liverpool to win (3.95 with 188Bet)
Chelsea versus Swansea City, Saturday, February 25
Swansea City have won four of their six Premier League matches since Paul Clement replaced Bob Bradley on January 2 and currently lie 15th in the table, four points clear of the relegation zone. However, Clement, who spent two spells on the coaching staff at Stamford Bridge, acknowledges that his side faces a ‘big task’ on his return to his former club.
The Blues’ have been beaten just once at home in the Premier League this season, scoring 33 goals and conceding just seven. Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Pedro have contributed 31 goals and 13 assists between them, home and away, it’s not hard to envisage a torrid afternoon for the visiting defence.
Swans’ chairman Huw Jenkins recently revealed that the club rejected “substantial offers” for the influential trio Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente and Federico Fernandez in the January transfer window but, while the Jacks should continue to improve under Clement, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge may be a step too far at this stage. Let’s try a routine 2-0 home win at 6/1 with bet365, William Hill or BetVictor.
Selection: Chelsea to win 2-0 (6/1 with bet365, William Hill and BetVictor)
Chelsea versus Arsenal, Saturday, February 4
Arsenal may have dismantled Chelsea in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium in September, but the Gunners’ 3-0 victory proved a road to Damascus moment for Blues’ boss Antonio Conte. His subsequent switch to a 3-4-3 formation, with Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso operating as wing-backs, has seen his side beaten just once since and they are currently nine points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Second-placed Arsenal are no mugs, of course, but having won just one of their last four away matches in the Premier League, not to mention a shock home defeat by Watford in midweek, this is a make or break fixture for Arsene Wenger’s. Defeat on Saturday would leave the Gunners 12 points behind Chelsea with 14 games – including trips to Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane and Anfield – left to play and, with Wenger once again banished to the stands, the pressure is all on the away team.
Diego Costa wasn’t at his best against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday, including missing a late penalty, but expect the Blues’ top scorer to be back to his snarling best for this crucial tie. For a spot of value, let’s try Chelsea to win 3-2 at 28/1 with bet365.
Selection: Chelsea to win 3-2 (28/1 with bet365)