It's a crucial London derby at the Emirates on Saturday night and Paul Higham thinks Chelsea's more solid foundation can put Arsenal in even more trouble in their top four bid.
For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Arsenal v Chelsea (1730 GMT BT Sport 1)
The flying form of Manchester United has put both of these sides under pressure ahead of this latest London derby where both sides have big questions to answer after recent results have undermined positive starts to the campaign.
Arsenal's lengthy unbeaten run has fallen apart with just two wins in their last six as their defensive ineptitude has finally caught up with them - but the question is can Chelsea exploit that with basically just Eden Hazard as their main goal threat?
The Gunners would be wise to try and stay tight and compact at the back and let the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang do all the damage going forward, but Unai Emery's options at the back haven't really shown they are capable of such a game plan.
If they play as they have been, Hazard will have plenty of space to do damage and he's been lethal this season when afford acres of turf to run into.
Arsenal's own attacking options look much fuller than Chelsea's and the Blues have looked vulnerable themselves at times, never more so than in the first meeting between the two which they won 3-2 but could have conceded five on another day.
Chelsea are favourites as they seem more likely to be able to conjure up enough defensive competence to take the points - on what we've seen so far they look a bit too strong for the hosts to handle.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (Sky Bet odds: 17/2)
There could be plenty of goals in this one given Arsenal's usual way of playing, but this is a big game and Emery is well aware of it so they'll be tasked with producing a much more solid performance, which they should do, but it looks like they'll be just short.
Best bet: Chelsea to win at 13/10
Chelsea have not been great but they've been good enough to sit six points above the Gunners in the table, they've also mainly struggled to break defensive teams down and this Arsenal side have produced fewer clean sheets than anyone bar Fulham in the Premier League. It's a decent enough price to be interested in.
Stats: Granit Xhaka to be booked at 7/4
The Swiss midfielder is a walking yellow card in these big games - he's been booked ten times in 29 appearances for club and country this season but more importantly he's been shown the yellow card in five games out of six against the top six. That's some level of consistency.
Arsenal v Chelsea Opta stats
- Arsenal have won just one of their last 14 league games against Chelsea (D5 L8), with that win coming at the Emirates in September 2016 (3-0).
- Chelsea are looking to do the Premier League double over Arsenal for the fifth time, after doing so in 2005-06, 2009-10, 2012-13 and 2015-16. Only Liverpool and Man Utd (5 each) have done so against the Gunners this many times in the competition.
- Only Liverpool (13) have kept more Premier League clean sheets this season than Chelsea (10), while only Fulham (2) have kept fewer than Arsenal (3).
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League London derbies at home (W9 D3), winning the last five in a row. Their last such defeat was in January 2016 vs Chelsea.
- Arsenal have scored 20 goals in their seven Premier League London derby matches this season, twice as many as any other side.
- Arsenal have lost two of their last three Premier League games, more than they had in their previous 17 in the competition (W11 D5 L1).
- Chelsea are looking to win four consecutive Premier League away games within the same season for the first time since December 2016 (a run of six).
- Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has kept just one clean sheet in his first 15 Premier League starts – only three goalkeepers (Gavin Ward, Julian Speroni and John Ruddy) have kept fewer in their first 15 starts in the competition (all none).
- Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud could become the second player to score for both clubs in Premier League meetings between Arsenal and Chelsea, after Cesc Fabregas.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in 20 goals in 18 Premier League home games for Arsenal (15 goals, 5 assists).
- Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 199 goals in his league career (115 goals, 84 assists), with 2018-19 just the second campaign in which he’s reached double figures for both goals and assists (also in Ligue 1 in 2011-12).
- Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (12) and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (10) are the two players whose goals have been worth the most points for their sides in the Premier League this season.