The Premier League includes a rare mid-week fixture programme this coming week, and there are a host of fixtures that will appeal to punters. Arsenal travel to Chelsea looking to get back to winning ways, while Manchester City will be looking to get back to winning ways when Sheffield United come to town.
Chelsea vs Arsenal
It was a weekend to forget for both of these teams, as neither were able to get three points and seize the initiative in the race for a place in the top four. Frank Lampard’s excellent record against Newcastle United finally came to an end as he lost his eighth match of the season. Meanwhile, Arsenal were stunned at the Emirates by the irrepressible Sheffield United.
Chelsea were made to rue their missed chances at St James’ Park, as Isaac Hayden scored a 93rd-minute winner. The Blues had glorious chances throughout the match as Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi were guilty of missing big chances. Lampard was critical of their forward players as he lamented the number of opportunities they squandered.
Meanwhile, Arsenal also dropped points as they were unable to hold onto a 1-0 lead for the second consecutive game. Gabriel Martinelli put the Gunners ahead on the stroke of half time before John Fleck scored a deserved equaliser for the travelling Blades. The Gunners have now only won once in their last three in the Premier League. Mikel Arteta was critical of the Arsenal defence after the full-time whistle, and the Spaniard is targeting a new central defender before the close of the transfer window.
The Gunners hold the advantage in the overall record as they have won on 77 occasions, compared to the 64 wins that Chelsea have recorded. There have also been 57 draws between the two sides. However, Arsenal haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since the 2011-12 season. Punters will feel that the home side will get the three points.
Sheffield United vs Manchester City
Chris Wilder will have an excellent chance of being named as the manager of the season this campaign. What he has been able to do at Bramall Lane has been nothing short of astonishing, and they have an outside chance of finishing in a European place if they can sustain their form. They gained a credible draw at the Emirates last time out but could have been good value for all three points.
They have made their home a fortress, and Manchester City may use this fixture as an opportunity to rest many of their big players as their title hopes are over following the 16-point lead that Liverpool hold. The Citizens go into the fixture in Yorkshire off the back of a dramatic 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace. The Eagles have now taken four points out of a possible six from their visits to the Etihad over the past two seasons. A defensive mistake from Fernandinho highlighted the worries that Pep Guardiola has in his defenders as they desperately need Aymeric Laporte back in time for the Champions League resuming next month.
City holds the advantage in the overall record as they have won on 50 occasions in the past. The Blades have secured 38 wins, and there have been 34 draws. The match earlier in the season ended in a 2-0 win for City. However, they lost on their previous visit to Bramall Lane back in 2008, as the Blades ran out 2-1 winners in the FA Cup fixture. The Blades have been in excellent form throughout this season, and punters may fancy their chances of getting a point against the inconsistent champions on Tuesday night.