As Christmas approaches Arsenal will look at the first half of this Premier League season as a success. Sitting in the top three, qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League and belief that a genuine title challenge can be mounted this season. Arsene Wenger was under alot of pressure at the start of this season and alot of fans were calling for his head. But the signing of Mezut Ozil and a solid start to the season has appeased the fans and there is a hint of optimism around the Emirates even given the horrible draw of Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Arsenal come into this game off the back of two away losses to Napoli and Manchester City but will be looking to bounce back in a tough game against Chelsea.
Chelsea are in a somewhat tough position at the moment. The team is still competing at the top of the table without playing all that well and with what is frankly an abysmal away record of 3-2-3. Jose Mourhino knows though that a win on Monday night will lift his team to the top of the Premier League behind Liverpool on goal difference. This is a huge game for the blues and Chelsea really need to get more from their strikeforce. Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto have combined for 5 league goals in 29 league appearances a stat that is troubling to say the least. Torres though ,as many readers here will know, has been finding some form and I think that Chelsea's league and Champions League hopes rest on his shoulders.
Overall we have a 6-1-1 home team in Arsenal going up against a 3-2-3 away team in Chelsea. Simple so Arsenal wins right? If only the Premier League was that simple. I like both of these teams and both of their managers. I think if we look back over the big games Arsenal have played at home they beat Liverpool 2-0, Spurs 1-0 and drew with Everton 1-1. In the big games Arsenal go defensive minded and I think that will suit Chelsea today.I'm going to take Chelsea +1 on the Handicap and the I think the blues might just nick this one in a thriller but either way getting a goal headstart is the smart play I think. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo