Arsenal can close the gap at the top of the Premier League table by beating Chelsea in Tuesday’s London derby.
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Arsenal vs Chelsea predictions
There is no doubt that Manchester City are now the overwhelming favourites to win the Premier League title.
A 2-1 victory over Fulham on Sunday saw Pep Guardiola’s side climb into top spot for the first time since mid-February.
They are a point clear of Arsenal and still have a game in hand on the Gunners. City also have more title-winning experience and greater squad depth, while they are in better form right now too.
But Arsenal cannot give up hope yet. A City collapse from here looks unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
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Were the champions to drop points in a few of their remaining matches, Mikel Arteta’s men would be filled with regret if their own slip-ups denied them the chance to overtake City at the last.
As Premier League leaders for so long, the pressure was on Arsenal. Now they have been knocked off the summit of the standings, the north Londoners may be able to play with a greater degree of freedom.
Whatever happens from here, this has been an excellent season for Arsenal. Few expected them to even get in the top four before a ball had been kicked.
A strong end to the campaign would lift the mood at the Emirates Stadium again. That would give the club a sense of momentum heading into the summer and next term.
Arsenal must remind everyone why they have been title challengers, starting with Tuesday’s clash with Chelsea.
Arsenal vs Chelsea betting tips
Arsenal must refocus for the run-in, and a victory over Chelsea would keep their Premier League title hopes alive.
Arsenal to win to nil – 7/4 (bet365)
In contrast to Arsenal, this has been an abysmal season for Chelsea.
The Blues finished third in the Premier League last term. They then spent close to £600m on new signings across the summer and winter transfer windows.
Yet despite all that, Chelsea head into this fixture in 12th place. They are below the likes of Brentford, Fulham and Crystal Palace, and ahead of Bournemouth on goal difference alone.
It looks increasingly likely that the west Londoners will finish in the bottom half of the table for the first time since 1995/96, long before they became a major force in England and abroad.
Frank Lampard has been unable to arrest the decline after replacing Graham Potter on an interim basis last month.
Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer has taken charge of five matches in all competitions. All five have ended in defeat.
Mauricio Pochettino looks set to be the club’s next full-time boss, and he will want to see some sort of reaction from the players he will inherit at the end of the campaign.
Chelsea have nothing tangible left to play for, but at some point professional pride must kick in.
The problem is, this expensively assembled squad is struggling to score goals. Chelsea have found the back of the net just 30 times in their 32 games. Only Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton and Everton have worse attacking records.
Arsenal will have a good chance to register their first clean sheet in seven games on Tuesday.
Under 2.5 goals – Evens (bet365)
Arsenal’s matches of late have tended to be chaotic. Arteta’s team have struggled to control games like they used to.
They surrendered two-goal leads against both Liverpool and West Ham United, leading to four dropped points.
Arsenal then had to come from 2-0 and 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with last-placed Southampton at the Emirates. Last time out they were thrashed 4-1 by Manchester City, ceding control of the title race.
Arteta will be keen to see his side deliver a more measured, assured performance in this London derby.
Arsenal will work hard to deny Chelsea space in the final third, partly through their defensive organisation but also via their possession play.
Based on the evidence of this season, it should not be too difficult to shut the Blues out and keep the score down.
Chelsea have failed to find the net in nine of their 17 Premier League games in 2023. Meanwhile 13 of those encounters have featured two or fewer goals.
Arsenal would be happy with a low-key victory, so we should not necessarily expect a goal-fest at the Emirates.
Bukayo Saka to score any time – 11/5 (bet365)
It will be interesting to see if Arteta makes any changes to his team for this match. Arsenal have gone four games without a win and the manager may decide it is time to freshen up the side.
One player who will almost certainly retain his spot in the XI is Bukayo Saka. The England international has as strong a claim as anyone to be Arsenal’s Player of the Year, a prize he won in 2021 and 2022.
Saka has notched 14 goals in all competitions this season. He ranks second in his club’s list of top scorers, just one behind Gabriel Martinelli.
The forward recently missed a penalty against West Ham but he has the character and temperament to convert the next one he takes.
The fact Saka is on spot-kick duty is one reason why he is an attractive option in the anytime goalscorer market.
Another is the threat he provides from open play. Chelsea will have their hands full in trying to keep the precocious 21-year-old quiet.
How to watch Arsenal vs Chelsea
- Location: Emirates Stadium, London, England.
- Date and time: Tuesday 2 May 2023, 8pm.
- How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League.
About the author
Greg Lea is a freelance football writer from London. He predominantly covers the Premier League and has had work published by the Guardian, FourFourTwo, ESPN and others.
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