Arsenal - Chelsea

This London derby will be the clash of best attack (Arsenal scored 36) and best defense (Chelsea conceded 8). The Gunners have been performing surprisingly (for me) good so far and it seems they’ll once again finish in top 4 (third I think). They play probably the prettiest football in the world, but cruel true is they won’t win any competition with that style of play. They can run the riot against Portsmouth, Wigan, Blackburn, Birmingham, even against Spurs (their five home wins), but against the top teams like Man.Utd., or Man.City (their defeats) that are capable to stop their attack, Arsenal look clueless. And despite their enormous attacking potential, missing of Van Persie is bigger hit than it was expected. Also second best attacker, Arshavin, is still in depression for not qualifying for South Africa, while Rosicky doesn’t seem fully recovered. Arsenal will be without left-back Kieran Gibbs, who broke a metatarsal in win over Standard in midweek and his place will take Armand Traore. But, big blow could be missing of William Gallas who is doubtful with a swollen eye suffered in the same match, so Mikael Silvestre could start.

Chelsea look stronger than ever and they look like the most serious contender for the titles, in England and Europe as well. Ancelotti has huge number of top quality players in the squad and playing competitive games too often doesn’t look as a problem. The Blues hold the top of the table, already defeated Man.Utd. and with today’s win would make five points margin. Big boost for them is returning of Franck Lampard as the midfielder recovered from a torn thigh muscle. Michael Essien has overcome a knee problem, while Deco and Michael Ballack returned from injury in midweek. Ancelotti has all players fit and available.

Despite they’re collecting the points, it obvious Arsenal have been noticing a decrease in performance. Missing of Van Persie and melancholic Arshavin are the main problems when they face a tough defenses. Even Sunderland, without two of three best players (Cattermole and Jones) managed to stop them and win (0-1). So, beside the bigger quality (my opinion, again), Chelsea gain the style of play that least suits to Arsenal. Anyway, for Chelsea this is derby game on the road, they should be satisfied even with a draw and my bet is dnb 2 instead away win. Odds are around 1.85-1.95. Also,  Chelsea like (three times in last four games) to win by a goal in the second half. So gamble is x-2 (ht/ft). 

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