Skysports 2 & ESPN: Sat 12.45 & 17.30: Robin Van Persie is 4/1 (Blue Square) to notch the first against Chelsea; Arsenal are 21/20 to win
Arsenal can take another step towards Champions League qualification on Sunday when they welcome Chelsea as Coral’s 21/20 favourites.
Chelsea chase the same target and Boylesports make them 11/4 outsiders to snatch a victory for three vital points but the draw is looking like their best hope, a 12/5 chance via Stan James, despite their excellent midweek win.
Despite, and perhaps because of, their slip up to Wigan, Arsenal should be well prepared and they will attack from the off, looking to recapture some of the form that saw them win five at home before Monday’s defeat. As they did to Manchester City, Arsene Wenger’s team can wear their opponents down before taking the glory. Ladbrokes rate Arsenal as 3/1 chances to steal it by a single goal while a 1-0 win is 7/1 at William Hill. Chelsea had a decent slice of luck in not conceding to Barcelona and that luck is likely to run out at the Emirates.
Nevertheless, Arsene Wenger’s charges have plundered goals against Chelsea lately, smashing in five at Stamford Bridge in October and ambitious punters can tackle bet365’s 25/1 for them to help themselves to another handful. Alternatively, in the handicaps, Skybet quote Arsenal at 11/4 when starting a goal in arrears.
In attack, Robin van Persie cannot be ignored at 4/1 via Blue Square to break the deadlock or at 6/5 (Coral) to notch at any stage, especially after bagging a hat trick in the reverse fixture and Didier Drogba, so potent at Wembley on Sunday, is a 2/1 shot at Paddy Power to find the net.
Later on Saturday, Newcastle are 7/10 with Stan James to beat a deflated Stoke City, who seem to have gone on holiday already and Alan Pardew’s top four hopefuls, at 9/5 via Paddy Power, can record a victory without conceding, for the fourth consecutive home game. Blue Square meanwhile, rate Tottenham at 10/11 to enhance their own Champions League hopes by seeing off struggling QPR.
Downhearted following last week’s Wembley disappointment, Everton head to Old Trafford as Boylesports’ 11/1 outsiders to influence the title race by stunning Manchester United but the league leaders are unlikely to falter at home and will justify the 1/3 favouritism given to them by Paddy Power. Like Newcastle they can keep it tight at the back and Ladbrokes make them 6/5 to defeat David Moyes’ scrappers ‘to nil’.
A couple of hours later Manchester City are a banker at 2/7 (Coral) to stay in the title hunt by overcoming a Wolves side resigned to Championship football next season and Sergio Aguero is 13/5 (Skybet) to bag at least two goals at Molineux.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa and Sunderland are 12/5 courtesy of BetVictor to play out a drab draw but it should be anything but tedious at Ewood Park where in increasingly desperate Blackburn are 11/10 with bet365 to send Norwich home empty-handed and staying at the bottom, Ladbrokes’ 14/5 for Swansea to overcome relegation-threatened Bolton looks a touch high while a much-improved Wigan are 13/5 (Boylesports) to earn a point at Fulham.
Finally, buoyant Liverpool are 4/9 with Ladbrokes to get one over on former boss Roy Hodgson’s West Brom at Anfield.