Premier League on Boxing Day: Chelsea vs. Arsenal

Not a single London team is in the top four in the Premier League standings. For the first time since 1994!

Another Boxing Day means a full lineup of English Premier League games. The main event this year on December 26th will be the North West London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea. The game will begin at 12:30 PM. 

United States sportsbooks have released their odds on the heated matchup, with two key takeaways:

  1. The home team will be the underdog
  2. The guests from West London are the favorites

Arsenal and Chelsea currently sit at opposite ends of the Premier League standings. Arsenal is slipping dangerously close to the relegation zone, while Chelsea are one point off of the top four. 

Therefore, a win for Chelsea could see them regain its top four spot. Sportsbooks are betting on this happening, as evidenced by the current odds. 

Not in the least bit surprising that the odds on the Gunners finishing the season in the top four are currently sky high. In fact, the odds of Arsenal being relegated are about half of the chances that the team finishes in the top four. 

Arsenal: Only a Christmas Miracle Will Help Arteta Stay

Having gone relatively unnoticed, it has been exactly one year since Mike Arteta had his debut match as manager of Arsenal. On that day last year, the team drew 1-1 against Bournemouth. Of course, no one was demanding immediate results from the new manager then.

However, a year has now gone by, and Arteta has racked up some embarrassing statistics. Only 13 wins in 30 games. It stands that only a Christmas miracle will help Arsenal to beat Chelsea on the 26th, and to help Arteta keep his position. Sportsbook odds are generally not prone to miracles. 

Arsenal have not won a Premier League game since November 1st, or seven games in a row. 

  • Five losses
  • Two draws

It is even more upsetting when looking at the team’s home record. Arsenal has only won two games at home all season with four losses. In these past seven games, the Gunners have only scored six total goals. 

With Chelsea conceding almost the least of all in the Premier League (14 goals in 14 games), Arsenal will have problems again.

There is one piece of good news, as Arsenal have only lost three of the last nine home games against Chelsea. Mikel Arteta has yet to get the best of Frank Lampard this season (one draw and one loss), but did beat the Chelsea manager in last season’s FA CUP final. 

Thus, between the two managers the points are split at four apiece. 

Chelsea: One of Boxing Day’s Best

Chelsea have seen a vast number of changes over the last five years. However, one thing that remains consistent are the team’s performances on Boxing Day (one defeat in five years). 

Christmas 2020 should go well for Chelsea as well, as the team had suffered only three losses in 14 rounds before.

Frank Lampard took the last trip to the Emirates - a 2-1 win.

The West London team are not only one of the best defensive teams in the Premier League, but are also right behind Liverpool in scoring, with 29 goals in 14 games, or a 2.08 goals per game average. 

Both Arteta and Lampard prefer an open style of soccer, with three or more goals scored being a popular betting option in the last three games. 

Chelsea have visited the Emirates Stadium 21 times in the 21st century, and only on two occasions have the West London team been able to score more than two goals against Arsenal. 

In the team’s last three away games, Chelsea have faced three well organized defenses:

  • Newcastle (win 2-0)
  • Everton (0-1 loss)
  • Wolverhampton (loss 1: 2)

As you can see, Londoners have not scored more than two in any of these games.

Game analysis for Chelsea vs. Arsenal from Legalbet expert Maxim Pogodin

Christmas is not the same fun for everyone in England. For example, in the "red" part of North London, which is a fan of Arsenal, the holiday will be boring and disturbing. The derby against Chelsea on December 26 at Boxing Day does not bode well for the team. 

The defeat against Manchester City in the League Cup quarterfinals in the middle of the week will not add positive emotions either. A lot of effort was given, but everything turned out to be meaningless.

West of the capital city, in the Chelsea area, a completely different atmosphere reigns. The troubles against Wolves and Everton are forgotten after an impressive victory (by score, not by game) in the derby over West Ham (3: 0), the soul demands the continuation of the banquet. 

Frank Lampard looks at the calendar and realizes that it is quite possible to take six points in the next two matches (after Arsenal, Aston Villa will be at home). And this means that the club will meet the New Year at least in the top 4, and in case of good hands, and in second place.

In this situation, there is no need to tune the players additionally.

As said above, only a Christmas miracle will help Mikel Arteta. However, Santa Claus comes at Christmas only to good boys, and the Spaniard has less than 35% of victories in the Premier League - Arteta does not deserve his gift.