Arsenal and Chelsea meet in the FA Cup final on Saturday and the Blues are heavy favourites in the football betting community to win the game.
Chelsea won the Premier League this season and are on course to do the double. All the while Arsenal have struggled, finishing fifth in the league and crashing out of the Champions League in humiliation.
This could be Gunners manager Arsene Wenger’s last game in charge of the club, while Chelsea captain John Terry may get one final run-out for his side.
Chelsea are 1.40 to lift the FA Cup, with Arsenal out at 3.00. Football betting fans clearly see the Blues as favourites for the trophy — but could Arsenal spring a surprise?
Arsenal v Chelsea: Head to head form
Arsenal head into this clash still hurting from February’s 3-1 defeat at Chelsea that effectively knocked them out of the title race. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Arsenal recently, winning eight of their last 12 encounters. The dominance in which Antonio Conte’s men took apart Arsenal at Stamford Bridge this year was frightening. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa were on top form that day and if they repeat that performance it is hard to see how Arsenal will stop them.
Interestingly, that 3-1 result in February was the first time in nine games between Arsenal and Chelsea that both sides have scored. That record had stretched back to January 2013. Nine of the last 10 FA Cup finals have been won via a one-goal margin. So backing AGAINST both teams to score at 2.10 may be a good idea.
Bet on Arsenal
Arsenal have major problems heading into this FA Cup final. Laurent Koscielny is suspended and Gabriel injured. That’s the heart of their defence ripped apart and Chelsea could easily exploit it. Furthermore, Alexis Sanchez is an injury worry, meaning the Gunners’ firepower may be somewhat reduced.
Arsene Wenger can take solace from the fact his side have won five games on the bounce, conceding just two goals over that period. They also dominated Everton on Sunday despite having Koscielny sent off after just 14 minutes.
Arsenal are 4.70 to win the FA Cup final in regular time. That will require a goal. Considering that only once in the last 15 FA Cup finals have the first goalscorers gone on to lose in regular time, a good bet may be Arsenal to score first and win at 5.20.
Bet on Chelsea
League champions Chelsea are in blistering form. They’ve won their last seven games, scoring 24 goals. That’s three per game. However, defensively they have looked fragile, with eight goals shipped in that time. On that logic, a 3-1 win to Chelsea isn’t a bad shout at 14.00.
Look more closely at Chelsea’s squad and you see why they may have conceded int eh last few weeks. Manager Conte has made sweeping changes to his side in order to prepare the XI for Saturday’s final. David Luiz and Gary Cahill have both been rested and will continue their excellent seasons in the heart of defence.
Diego Costa was only given 62 minutes in their last match against Sunderland — a 5-1 demolition — while Eden Hazard was also subbed off early. Pedro, who has scored four goals in four FA Cup games, started on the bench and is tipped to get a game at Wembley.
Chelsea look refreshed and ready to go for this final. Costa is 4.50 to score first but Pedro at 9.00 is another good shout.
FA Cup final cards betting
Discipline in games between Arsenal and Chelsea is not good. There may have only been two yellow cards in each of the two league games this season, but historically a red card is common in this fixture. And it’s usually an Arsenal player that suffers. Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Santi Cazorla were all sent off last season. Two years before that it was Kieran Gibbs, wrongly identified to have handled in the area.
Chelsea have picked up their fair share of yellows but only once since 2012 have they exceeded four bookings against Arsenal. The Blues simply keep their temper better and and Arsenal red card is priced at 7.50.