MIKEL ARTETA is on the ropes heading into Arsenal’s Boxing Day clash with Chelsea and another humbling defeat could deliver the KO blow.
A 4-1 thrashing by Manchester City in the League Cup made it eight domestic games without a win for the Gunners.
That has heaped the pressure on former Rangers star Arteta and it’s hard to see his fortunes improving when the Blues come calling.
Chelsea ended their own two-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over West Ham on Monday and look good value at 10/11 with McBookie for another London derby win.
Tammy Abraham netted twice against the Hammers and that should earn him a start up front.
The Chelsea striker is 15/8 (888Sport) for anytime scorer here.
Steve Bruce is another manager under pressure after his Newcastle side bowed out of the League Cup to Brentford.
A trip to the Etihad is coming at the worst possible time and it could get ugly for a Magpies side low on confidence.
City smashed five past Newcastle at home last term and could fill their boots again here.
Manchester United have fired themselves back into title contention and kick off the Boxing Day action with a lunchtime trip to Leicester. The Foxes are also flying high after a win at Spurs last weekend fired them up to second.
Brendan Rodgers is being a bit more pragmatic in big games this season and it’s paying off. So I’d be surprised if this was too open a game, with the last three meetings producing just four goals.
Under 2.5 strikes looks the shout and it’s a best 13/10 at SBK.
There have been penalties in three of the last four matches between the sides and a repeat here pays 6/4 at Bet365.
Leaders Liverpool aren’t in action until tomorrow and face lowly West Brom at Anfield.
New Baggies boss Sam Allardyce will try to park the bus but the Reds smashed seven past Crystal Palace last weekend and look to be back in the groove.
There are some tasty games in the lower leagues and I fancy Derby to continue their revival at home to Preston. The Rams are six games unbeaten and are 7/5 with McBookie for a third victory in five games under Wayne Rooney.
In League One, I’m going for a BTTS double of Charlton v Plymouth and MK Dons v Bristol Rovers. Both teams have scored in Charlton’s last three games while Rovers have smashed nine goals in their last three.
- Charlton v Plymouth
- MK Dons v Bristol Rovers
- 216/100 (McBookie)