Chelsea will be looking to cement their place in the top four when they welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
The Blues have been in superb form lately with Thomas Tuchel guiding them to the FA Cup and Champions League finals while they are also now established in the top four of the Premier League table.
Chelsea currently sit third – six points ahead of fifth placed West Ham – after an impressive comeback victory over champions-elect Manchester City at the weekend so they look on course to qualifying for Europe’s elite competition again next year.
On the other hand, Arsenal are struggling to secure any form of European football for next season following a disastrous campaign. The Gunners are ninth and four points behind seventh-placed Tottenham.
With just three matches left, Arsenal desperately need a positive result against Chelsea on Wednesday night to keep alive any hopes of qualifying for the Europa League next season.
Form Guide: Chelsea
Chelsea surprised many by beating Man City in their own backyard last time out, a result that should give Tuchel’s men the psychological edge over their opponents when they lock horns again in the Champions League final. Chelsea are enjoying an unbeaten run at just the right time in the season and will feel confident that they can maintain that good form against an Arsenal side that have beaten them in the pair’s last two encounters. The hosts have an unbelievably strong defensive record under Tuchel and should prove very tough for the Gunners to break down. Kovacic could return for the hosts in time to feature against the Gunners but Christensen will miss the game due to a thigh strain.
Form Guide: Arsenal
Arsenal put the disappointment of their Europa League semi-final defeat behind them by recording a 3-1 win over West Brom at the weekend. However, they face a much sterner test on Wednesday night. This season has been a write-off for Arteta and co and could lead to the Spanish manager getting sacked in the summer, as the higher-ups at Arsenal had hoped for some development in the 2020/21 campaign. Xhaka looks set to miss Wednesday’s game through injury, but Luiz and Villar could return to the squad in time for the trip to Stamford Bridge.
How the match could go
Based on current form, it’s easy to see why Chelsea are favorites going into this game. Chelsea would love to rest lots of players a few days before an FA Cup final. There might be some squad rotation but that might not weaken their starting line-up too much. Saturday saw them win at Manchester City with Havertz, Abraham, Giroud, Jorghino and Hudson-Odoi on the bench! Their home form is good and unless you are West Brom playing ten men, they are difficult to score against. Arsenal probably need to win their final three games to get into Europe next season and we can expect them to put up a strong fight too. Tuchel has only lost two games in charge as Chelsea boss while Arsenal are also unbeaten in their last five away games. The Blues are the favorites here but the Gunners can easily claim a surprise win as well.
Tip: Chelsea win or draw
Chelsea have won three of their last seven competitive matches against Arsenal, drawing once and losing three times during that period as well. However, Chelsea sit 12points clear of the Gunners and have completely outplayed their guests in all departments this season. The hosts have won four of their last six matches in all competitions and claim the title of form favourites against Arsenal on Wednesday night. Bet9ja have 1.20 odds, Bet365 have 1.21 and 1xbet have 1.25.
Under 2.5 goals
Games between these two clubs haven’t tended to be low-scoring in recent seasons but five of Chelsea’s and four of Arsenal’s last six outings in league and cup have produced under 2.5 goals and we’re expecting a tight and tense 90-minutes on Wednesday. Chelsea have kept clean sheets in four of their last six matches and are so tough to break down at home. Bet9ja have 1.77 odds, Bet365 have 2.00 and 1xbet have 2.07.
Both teams to score: NO
For the same reason above, we expect a rather closed game in terms of goals. The Blues have kept 10 clean sheets in 12 home matches in all competitions since Tuchel’s appointment. That has included fixtures against Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Manchester United. Tuchel has shown that his game-line works against ‘big sides’ and Arsenal would know they must do more than their usual to get something from this game. Arsenal do boast enough quality to penetrate the Blues but one can’t ignore that the Blues have been overly solid in defence under Tuchel. Bet9ja have 1.70 odds, Bet365 have 1.75 and 1xbet have 1.77.
Anytime Goal-scorer (Chelsea)
Timo Werner hasn’t exactly set the Premier League on fire as expected when he made the move from RB Leipzig but slowly and surely he has started to settle into life in England’s top-flight. The German international has scored 6-goals in the Premier League this season and has scored two very important goals in his last five appearances for the Londoners, so we’re backing Werner to find the back of the net against the Gunners. Bet365 have 2.50 odds while Bet9ja have 2.75.
Kai Havertz has taken time to settle at Chelsea since his arrival from Bayer Leverkusen last summer, but the signs are that the Germany midfielder is starting to feel at home in his new surroundings. The 21-year-old may have only scored four Premier League goals all season, but two of those came in Chelsea’s most recent top-flight home fixture against Fulham. Havertz’s all-round game certainly seems to be improving and he looks to have become accustomed to Tuchel’s rotation policy. He is likely to start against the Gunners and he could come as a top option to get on the score-sheet. Bet365 have 2.75 odds while Bet9ja have theirs at 3.00.
Anytime goal-scorer (Arsenal)
The Gabonese forward failed to score a crucial goal that could have sent Arsenal to the Europa League final. He was benched against Fulham at the weekend, indicating that he’ll be starting against Chelsea. Arsenal still boast a slim chance of qualifying for Europe and they’ll need their star captain to step up to the task once again. Bet365 have 3.10 odds while Bet9ja have 3.75.
The Ivorian has looked a different player in recent weeks. He capped off his last appearance against Fulham with a thunderous strike to seal the win for Arsenal. Given his form at the moment, Mikel Arteta might be tempted to keep him in the starting lineup and he could come as a good choice to score once again. Bet365 have 3.60 odds for him to score while Bet9ja have 5.50.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.