Mikel Arteta takes charge of his first Premier League game as Arsenal boss in a derby battle with Chelsea. The beleaguered Gunners opted for the Spaniard 19 months after the former midfielder was overlooked in favour of compatriot Unai Emery. Meanwhile, the visiting Blues sit in the coveted Champions League places.
Where and when: Emirates Stadium, London – 29 December, kick-off 14:00
Where you can see Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Sky Sports
Last time: Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny netted in the 2-0 home win for the Gunners in January.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Arsenal to win and both teams to score||7/2||Offer|
|Mason Mount to score anytime||5/2||Offer|
Arsenal v Chelsea Predictions and Preview
Arsenal find themselves in the bottom-half of the table, just five points above Southampton in 18th place. The Gunners dismissed Emery at the end of November and were linked to a number of managers, both domestically and on the continent, before making a move for former player Arteta.
The ex-midfielder was working as Pep Guardiola’s number two and the champions were less than impressed with the London club’s conduct in their pursuit of a new manager.
Interim boss Freddie Ljungberg opted for a relatively inexperienced lineup in his last match in the dugout but Lacazette, is almost certain to return to the side.
The Frenchman gets the best out of skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and will take one of the four attacking roles. Wantaway striker Aubameyang is 7/2 to open proceedings while the Frenchman is 4/1 in the same betting. Arsenal are 15/4 to get off to the dream start under Arteta.
Elsewhere, confidence is sky high in Frank Lampard’s squad after their convincing triumph against Tottenham Hotspur. The Blues outplayed and outthought their bitter London rivals and Lampard is likely to go with the same eleven that toppled Jose Mourinho’s Spurs.
Willian was the hero on the day and the Brazilian reminded his employers of his ability and value. The winger has yet to agree a new deal with Chelsea and, as it stands, is free to talk to European suitors in the New Year.
One to watch for Arsenal: Gabriel Martinelli has been a rare positive in a dire campaign for the Gunners. The talented youngster has eight efforts to his name and is 8/1 to score last.
One to watch for Chelsea: Marcos Alonso is far more effective in a wing-back role and is 9/1 to bag anytime. The Spaniard has popped up with a number of vital goals during his time at the club and will need no encouragement to get forward.
Long shot: Arsenal and Chelsea have played out a number of classics in recent years and the latest installment is likely to be another entertaining affair. Respective managers Arteta and Lampard are both expected to instruct their sides to play on the front foot and a 2-2 draw can be found at 13/1.