Betrescue’s Chief Sports Writer Chris Hutcheon takes his weekly look at all the major Premier League action in England.
It looks pretty much like win or bust this weekend at Stamford Bridge for Arsenal, in terms of their title aspirations, after last Sunday’s defeat to Manchester United cast them adrift of the top two.
A defeat for Arsene Wenger’s would make Chelsea’s lead over them virtually insurmountable while even a point for the Gunners would give them a mountain to climb if they are to land their first Premiership crown since 2004.
A crucial victory for the North London outfit however, is rated at 9/2 by Victor Chandler and given the way they were dismantled by United, a repeat of last season’s win against the Blues does indeed seem unlikely.
The fact that only a 3-3 draw against Everton prevents Carlo Ancelotti’s men having a perfect home record, also strengthens the case for a home win, which is a 4/5 chance at bet365, although as is the always the case in such encounters, a significant proportion of punters will back the draw; available at 13/5 with Betdaq on this occasion.
Arsenal failed to score in their last away match, at Aston Villa and misfired at the weekend until Thomas Vermaelen’s shot deflected past Edwin Van der Sar, so a Chelsea success combined with a clean sheet looks a distinct possibility at 7/4 with Partybets.
In turn, a decent case can be made for Paddy Power’s 7/1, marked against a 2-0 Blues triumph and raring to go after an unsuccessful African Nations Cup campaign, Didier Drogba can be the difference between the two sides.
In the Merseyside derby, it’s Rafa Benitez’s men, who have won their last four at home in the league, that 888Sport believe are odds-on favourites at 5/6 to again claim the local bragging rights while Everton are 7/2 courtesy of Stan James to register their first triumph at Anfield for over a decade.
The two, who drew twice there last term, can be backed at a generous 13/5 (Betdaq) to do so again and at 6/1 with Betfred to register another 1-1 scoreline in a game that looks set to produce fewer than 2.5 goals (3/4, Jaxx.com).
However, Benitez’s troops ran out 2-0 winners in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park and have prevailed by the same scoreline in their last three Premiership outings on their own patch, so they’ll be well backed at 13/2 with bet365 to register an identical result against their near neighbours.
Manchester United are a banker to keep their title hopes alive as they host troubled Portsmouth but punters will struggle to cash in at 1/7 (Betdaq) and so Stan James’ 4/9 for Sir Alex Ferguson’s charges to prevail by at least two goals, looks a better bet.
To compare all the weekend’s match odds, click here