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Chelsea v Arsenal Match Preview: Diego Costa enjoying a stunning start to life at Chelsea

Thursday 2nd October 2014
Its another week, and yet another humdinger of a Premier League clash, as Stamford Bridge hosts Chelsea vs Arsenal in a spicy London showdown, Jack Kitson previews the match:

As expected both teams occupy positions in the top-4, with the Blues leading the way at the summit of the table, while the Gunners are six points further back in the final Champions League spot.

The match pits together two famous foes, in Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, who reignite their infamous rivalry for the twelfth time. Over the years Mourinho has consistently managed to get under his counterparts skin, and even went as far to say that the Frenchman is “a specialist in failure”. The Portuguese coach may often overstep the line but his record against Wenger says it all: 11 matches played, six wins, five draws and zero defeats, which is something that no doubt bites away at the very soul of the proud Frenchman, who would love nothing more than to carve out a win against Blues boss.

Their respective teams have clashed in every Premier League season since its inauguration in 1992, with this weekend's encounter the 45th meeting. So far Arsenal lead the way with 19 wins to their name, whereas Chelsea are six behind with 13, plus there have been a dozen draws played out. However, while the Gunners dominated the early encounters, the Blues have tasted victory in six of the last 10 meetings.

Wenger and his troops will still have nightmares from March's 6-0 drubbing at the Bridge, which was made worse by the fact that it was the Frenchman's 1000th game in charge of his beloved North London side. The crushing loss extended Chelsea's unbeaten run over their capital rivals to six league and cup games, while it was their fourth home win in the last five clashes in West London.

Fast-forward to the current campaign and Mourinho's juggernauts are unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions this season (W7 D2), while they have only dropped two points in the Premier League. Chelsea have led the way at the top of the table from the word go, and another victory this weekend will widen the gap between themselves and Arsenal to nine points, with most bookmakers installing the hosts as the odds-on 4/6 favourites.

However, since that devastating defeat Arsenal have lost just one of their last 14 league games, and are currently unbeaten in the league this season (W2 D4). Wenger's men, who thrashed Galatasaray 4-1 on Wednesday, can be backed at a 19/4 long shot to carve out their first win over the Blues in three years, whereas a draw could be the way to go at 14/5.

Diego Costa has enjoyed a stunning start to life at Chelsea, having bagged himself eight goals in just six top-flight matches. The Spanish superstar is well worth backing at 7/2 to open the scoring for the third time this season, while he can be found at 10/11 to net anytime, and 13/8 to score in a Chelsea win for the sixth time.

A lot of attention will inevitably be on Cesc Fabregas who makes his first appearance against his former side. The Spaniard has excelled under Mourinho this season, and can be found at 6/1 to conjure up a man of the match performance against the side he used to skipper. Meanwhile Blues legend Didier Drogba has been an absolute menace against the Gunners over the years, netting 15 goals in 15 appearances in all competitions, making the veteran striker a decent looking punt at 7/4 to bag another goal on Sunday, while he is a tempting bet at 11/2 in the last goalscorer market.

Arsenal may have failed to find the back in their last three encounters with Chelsea, but they have scored in each of their last 11 league games. In Danny Welbeck they remarkably have one of the bargains of the summer, with the former Man Utd striker bagging his first professional hat-trick during the week. The England forward can now be backed at 13/5 to add another to his growing tally this weekend, while fellow Gunnar Alexis Sanchez is available at the same price.

Sunday's titanic tussle promises to be another engrossing encounter, but Mourinho's impressive record over Wenger combined with Chelsea's electric form, means that Arsenal are definitely up against it. While I fancy the Gunners to find the back of the net, the Blues look a decent bet at 12/5 to win with both teams scoring, and with this in mind a 2-1 scoreline in favour of the hosts could be the way to go at 8/1 with Bet Victor.

Chelsea v Arsenal Tips

  • Tip #1: Diego Costa to score in a Chelsea win @ 13/8 with Betfred

  • Tip #2: Danny Welbeck to score anytime @ 13/5 with Bet365

  • Tip #3: Cesc Fabregas to be the man of the match @ 6/1 with Bet Victor

Jack Kitson
Massive Southampton fan, loving being back in the Premier League but cannot get enough football to feed my addiction.

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