WITH a week to go to the much-anticipated start of the Premier League season we have the traditional curtain-raiser between champions and FA Cup holders.
This season it’s Chelsea v Arsenal and what’s often just a glorified friendly has been cranked by a war of words between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger.
Mourinho’s had a serious pop at the Frenchman including the classic “I if was Wenger I’d want to know why my record against Jose is bad”.
Love him or hate him the Portuguese gaffer is entertaining and it’s an entertainment business after all.
He’s right to be cocky too with a personal unbeaten run of 13 matches against his Emirates rival but you get the feeling this is the best chance the Gunners have had to beat Chelsea in ages.
They’ve looked decent in pre-season and beat Lyon 6-0 on the way to winning the Emirates Cup while Chelsea have been in the States playing an array of top European sides.
The last five Community Shield matches have produced 19 goals but this doesn’t have the fell of a high scorer especially with Arsenal unveling ex-Blues star Petr Cech between the sticks. He’ll be keen to shut out the likes of Diego Costa if he starts – he had more injury troubles in the States – or even Radamel Falcao.
Chelsea are unbeaten in eight against Arsenal who have failed to score against their London rivals in 482 minutes of football and best bet could be the draw at 5-2 at bet365.
If you fancy Arsenal back them at 19-10 with Ladbrokes and William Hill while Chelsea are 8-5 favourites with the same firms.
It’s not a match to get clever with and while the Gunners seem to be in decent shape Mourinho has the psychyolgical edge over his rival boss.
A bet I do like though is Theo Walcott to score. The England star has just signed a new bumper deal and could celebrate with a goal. He looks decent value at 3-1 with Stan James to net at any time. To score first he is 17-2 with William Hill.
Walcott to score
(3-1, Stan James)