Chelsea v Arsenal: Hosts will give Gunners the Blues
Tuchel has been transformative
It's hard to think of any English team that have had their campaign so transformed by a mid-season managerial appointment as Chelsea this season.
When Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard back in January they were ninth in the Premier League and could not defend. Less than four months later under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea are third in the Premier League, through to the finals of the FA Cup and Champions League, and have the meanest defence in the country.
At the weekend they came from behind to win 2-1 at Manchester City. It was the second time that Chelsea have beaten City under Tuchel and though Pep Guardiola selected an experimental side, it bodes well for the Londoners' chances of winning the Champions League, when the two teams meet again in the final.
With the FA Cup final to come against Leicester in Saturday, it will be interesting to see if Tuchel experiments with his lineup against Arsenal, at a time when Champions League qualification already seems extremely likely. Tuchel has nearly a full squad to choose from, with only Mateo Kovacic injured.
Arteta under pressure
Arsenal's chances of qualifying for Europe are hanging by a thread, leaving Mikel Arteta's future uncertain.
The Gunners were defeated 2-1 on aggregate in their Europa League semi-final against Villarreal, with victory in that competition bringing Champions League qualification. Despite beating West Brom 3-1 on Sunday night, Arsenal are only ninth in the Premier League, making it unlikely that they will even qualify for the new Europa Conference League next season.
With Tuchel having proved to make such a difference at Chelsea, the owners at Arsenal would be forgiven for wondering if more could be achieved, were they to replace their own rookie manager, with someone more experienced. Arteta could have no complaints, should he become the first Arsenal manager in 25 years who has failed to qualify for Europe.
There are a couple of injury doubts for Arteta going into this game. David Luiz and Granit Xhaka have both missed recent games.
Big price for hosts to win
Chelsea are the 1.71 favourites, with the draw at 4.1 and Arsenal out at 5.7.
Even allowing for the fact that Tuchel could rotate, that looks like a good price for a Chelsea win. They've beaten Real Madrid and Manchester City in their last two games.
Chelsea have not conceded in any of their last three home games, so if you want to boost their price, consider backing them to win to nil at 2.8.
Low scoring game statistically likely
The three goals that we saw in Chelsea's match against Manchester City, was something of a rarity. Under 2.5 goals has proven to be a reliable bet since Tuchel took charge, with 21 of their 25 games seeing less than three goals. You can back under 2.5 goals to land again at odds of 1.86.
A Chelsea win and under 2.5 goals can be backed at 3.8. Some 14 of their 17 wins under Tuchel have seen this bet land.
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