Chelsea will be playing in their second straight English Premier League derby on Oct. 29th when they host fellow London club Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Last week’s contest didn’t turn out too well for them as they were beaten 1-0 by Queens Park Rangers, had two players sent off and are embroiled in a racism controversy as captain John Terry has been accused of abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand verbally.
Chelsea recovered somewhat during the week with a 2-1 win over Everton in the carling Cup. However, it took a late winner by Daniel Sturridge to do it in extra time and they had another player sent off as goalkeeper Ross Turnbull was given a red card. The loss against QPR was a huge one as Chelsea has dropped to third place with 19 points from six wins, a draw and two losses. They’re one behind second-place Manchester United and five back of league leading Manchester City.
Arsenal got off to a brutal start this season, but has recovered slightly. They now sit in seventh place in the table with 13 points from four wins, a draw and four losses. They’ve won four games in a row now overall and seven out of eight, including a 2-1 win over Bolton in the Carling Cup during the week. Arsenal is pretty bad away from home though. In fact they’ve gone eight straight road games without a win, including the end of last season. This is their worst run of away games since back in 1992.
Arsenal will finally have Thomas Vermaelen back in the lineup for a league game after being out for the past two months. The Belgian defender started for the team in the cup game against Bolton during the week. Chelsea hasn’t been that great themselves defensively and hasn’t posted a clean sheet at home in their last six games at home.
Ramires will probably miss the game for Chelsea due to his knee injury and Michael Essien is still out of action with a knee injury. Striker Fernando Torres returns after his suspension. Arsenal will have to do without the services of Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna, and Carl Jenkinson. Both teams have won four and lost one in their last five matches.
Both squads are filled with quality players and are capable of beating anybody in the world on a good day. This is a tough one to predict, but based on the fact Arsenal usually choke when it comes to big games we’ll go for a Chelsea win here by no more than two goals.
Sportsbook William Hill has listed the odds of a Chelsea victory at 8/13 with an Arsenal win at 4/1 and a draw at 3/1.