iBet: Bookies Go 3/1 A Scottish White Christmas As They Get Festive On Arsenal V Chelsea
English Premier League, Arsenal V Chelsea, kick off 8pm, Sky Sports 1
Lay Chelsea at 3.4 with Betfair
Almost to a man the bookmakers are targeting this game with special offers. Ladbrokes offer a free bet up to £50 for new accounts using the code F50. If there is a red card in the match, BetVictor will refund all losing correct score, first, last and anytime scorer, scorecast and half time/full time bets with a free bet up to £25. Paddy Power has a similar offer if the match ends in a draw with a maximum refund of 100 Euros per customer. SkyBet is boosting the prices on Mesut Ozil or Eden Hazard to score first (9/1 and 12/1); Arsenal to win 2-0 (12/1) and Chelsea to win 2-0 (16/1). Perhaps the best offer comes from Bet365. Place a bet of up to £50 on the game before kick-off, and they will give a free ‘in play’ bet to the same value.
And if your first in-play bet loses, they will refund the stake to the value of your largest pre-match trade. As for the match itself, I fancy the home side. The Gunners have gone through a sticky patch and a tough run of fixtures close together. The papers suggested Manchester City battered Arsenal in winning a remarkable fixture 6-3 at the weekend.
I watched the whole game and actually thought they were a little bit unlucky, being on the wrong end of some terrible decisions from the officials which costs them a couple of goals, before running out of steam a bit in the last ten minutes when the game was wide open. City have won every game at home anyway. Indeed I wish I’d snapped up BetVictor’s 33/1 offer a couple of weeks ago that they will go through the whole season winning every league fixture at the Etihad of 33/1. The price is now 10/1.
The key is that Arsenal have had time to rest and re-group. They have had over a week off, unlike Chelsea who had a very tough 120 minutes in the Capital One Cup midweek. Jose Mourinho hasn’t cracked it at Chelsea yet anyway. They are conceding far too many goals – 10 already in December – and have kept only one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League matches. They are only the eighth best side in the division away from home (Arsenal have the best record on their travels); and Arsene Wenger’s men have looked strong at the back at home, conceding only twice in their last five games at the Emirates. I would not put fixed odds backers off getting with Arsenal at 7/5 (Paddy Power, BetVictor). But the draw is a big runner and I would sooner keep that on our side by laying Chelsea with Betfair at 3.4.
Some weather forecasters have flagged up the chance of a White Christmas in Scotland and Betfred go 3/1 that there will be snow in Edinburgh or Glasgow on Wednesday. It’s 8/1 that there will be snow in London, 9/2 Belfast, Birmingham and Liverpool, and 6/1 it will snow in Cardiff.
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