Best Free Bet Scout runs through the best odds, predictions and betting tips for the London derby, Chelsea vs. Arsenal, which you can watch live on BT Sport on Saturday at 5.30pm.
Chelsea vs. Arsenal
Date: Saturday 18 August 2018
Kick-off time: 5:30pm (BST)
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Watch live on TV: BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 4K UHD
The battle of the new managers promises to be an enthralling encounter. As both teams learn a new style of play, we look forward to finding out who has got to grips with their new manager’s orders the most.
New manager, new Chelsea?
This weekend will be Chelsea’s real litmus test to how quickly the players have managed to adapt to Maurizio Sarri’s unique style of playing and management.
Rumours of a more relaxed training ground regime at Chelsea have surfaced this week. In an attempt to relax the players, Sarri has relaxed the unpopular restrictions set by former manager Conte. The two managers are poles apart in both playing and management styles, so this weekend will be a fascinating opportunity to witness the outcome of such an extreme turn around at Chelsea.
Has anything really changed at Arsenal?
Emery and Arsenal were subjected to a lot of criticism after last weekends performance against Man City. Many pundits believed they were still watching the same old Arsenal.
Looking closer at the game under the spotlight, you could see in fact, a lot had changed behind the scenes. Arsenal pressed Man City high up the pitch, in numbers, and with great intensity. Something you didn’t see under Wenger’s tenure.
It has been clear for all to see that Emery has worked the Arsenal players harder than ever this pre-season. Many staff and players have publicly commented on the intensity of Emery’s training sessions, and his attention to detail and relentless studying of their opponents.
It was always going to be a difficult test against the well-oiled Guardiola machine, which has had the benefit of a few seasons to ferment. Like Chelsea, Saturday’s match will be a more realistic test of the managers tactics and preparation.
There’s no doubt Arsenal will exploit Chelsea’s in-experience ball-playing centre backs, piling the pressure hoping to take advantage of mistakes and mis-placed passes. In the same vein, Chelsea will be more than aware of the inexperience and lack of preparation Arsenal’s defence midfield and centre-back pairings have, and will look pass their way through the lines at pace and pull players out of position.
What time does Chelsea vs. Arsenal kick off?
Evening kick-off, 5:30pm BST.
What TV channel is Chelsea vs. Arsenal United on?
BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 4K UHD
BT Sport are to host all Saturday evening kick-offs in the Premier League this season.
Who is favourite to win?
Chelsea are the bookies favourites at around 5/6. Their record against Arsenal is superior and after their good start to the season last weekend, followed by Arsenals tough run out against the champions, it’s clear to see why Chelsea are expected to have the edge over Arsenal.
Arsenal created very few chances last time out, and Best Free Bet Scout predicts it will take a while longer for Emery’s training and tactics to take effect, and for the players to become in sync with one another. Chelsea have more talent in their squad, and Sarri’s influence has been seen to already be taking effect.
Best Free Bet Scout prediction
Arsenal’s weakness remains to be at the back this season, and we predict the back four will struggle to keep up with the pace of Willian and Eden Hazard. Arsenal should be able to cause enough problems at the other end however, so we’re expecting both teams to score, but Chelsea to have the edge and win by one. As far as betting tips go, this is probably one of the easier predictions to call.
Chelsea main man: Willian
As Chelsea look to exploit the weaknesses in Arsenal’s back line, we should expect to see Willian causing trouble for youngest Guendouzi in the centre of midfield.
Willian has all the attributes required to perform well in the ‘Sarriball’ style of quick counter-attacking passing out from the back. Best Free Bet Scout’s predicted top performer on Saturday is Willian.
Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Barkley, Willian, Hazard, Morata.
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Torreria, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Ozil, Aubemeyang, Lacazette.
*All odds correct at 22:30 Friday 17 August 2018.