Arsenal v Chelsea betting
Arsenal will attempt to return to the top of the Premier League with a home win over Chelsea on Monday, but defeat would see them drop to fourth in the table.
A victory for Chelsea would also send them close to the summit - level on points with Liverpool but second on goal-difference.
The last four teams to sit at the top of the table at Christmas have gone on to win the Premier League and Arsenal can currently be backed at best odds of 5/1 with BetVictor to win the title, while Chelsea are slightly smaller at 9/2 with Bet365.
Chelsea have struggled on the road this season with just three wins from eight away games in the league (D2, L3). They have also lost 3 of their last 4 games away from home in all competitions. However, the Blues have beaten Arsenal in their last three meetings in all competitions and won this fixture at the Emirates Stadium 2-1 last season.
Despite this, and the fact that Jose Mourinho has never lost against Arsene Wenger in 9 previous meetings (W5, D4), bookmakers make Arsenal favourites to win this game at best odds of 7/5 with William Hill, while Chelsea can be backed at 9/4 and the draw at 12/5 - both with Bet365.
It's certainly worth placing a pre-match bet on this game with Bet365, as they will give you a free 'In-Play' bet to the same stake. Simply place a bet before kick-off, then once the game starts place another bet on any In-Play market and if your first in-play bet loses they will refund this stake, up to the same value as your largest pre-match bet (maximum £50).
One way to play this Bet365 offer is to back Chelsea pre-match at 9/4, then place a bet on the draw as soon as the game kicks-offs at 12/5. This way, if Chelsea or Arsenal win you get the in-play bet refunded and if the game ends in a draw you also profit. For example: £50 Chelsea win @ 9/4 = £112.50 profit; £50 Draw @ 12/5 = £120, minus £50 Chelsea win bet = £70 profit. Quite simply, however you play this offer, the odds are in your favour.
One thing we should certainly expect in this fixture is goals. Chelsea have scored at least two goals in each of their last 6 Premier League games, while Arsenal have only failed to score at home in a league game twice in 2013.
Therefore, odds of 8/13 with Bet365 on both teams scoring look fair. Juan Mata has scored in each of his last 4 starts for Chelsea against Arsenal and, if he starts, odds of 14/1 offered by Sky Bet on him scoring first look worth backing each-way - Sky Bet offer 1/3 odds for the 'place' in this market, if your player scores any of the first 5 goals.
Theo Walcott scored twice in Arsenal's 6-3 defeat to Manchester City last weekend and the England striker has scored in three previous Premier League games against Chelsea. He can be backed at 8/1 to score first with Paddy Power, who are offering to refund losing First / Last Goalscorer, Correct Score and Scorecast bets if this game finishes in a draw.
||Both Teams To Score
|Juan Mata (ew)
|Theo Walcott||First Goalscorer
*Money-back, up to £50, if Chelsea or Arsenal win
**Money-back, up to £100, if the game is drawn