Sports Betting Weekly

Arsenal v Newcastle United

When: Saturday, 13 December 2014 @ 23:30 (FINISHED)
Where: Emirates Stadium
From Newcastle United’s hard-fought victory over table-topping Chelsea to Arsenal’s annual capitulation away to Stoke, it was a day of contrasting fortunes last weekend for the two sides that will contest Saturday’s evening kick-off at the Emirates Stadium – and the onus will most definitely be on the home team to secure the victory that will get their top four ambitions back on track.

While Arsenal’s inconsistencies in the Barclays Premier League so far this season have been well documented, it’s worth noting that the North London club have lost just two home games since the start of the 2013-2014 campaign and should also be strengthened by the return of defender Laurent Koscielny – a timely boost for the Gunners given Calum Chambers’ sending off last weekend.

Indeed, when Koscielny and centre-back partner Per Mertesacker have started together, the home side have won almost two-thirds of their games – a statistic that drops to closer to 30% when the Frenchman has been absent. Having shut out Southampton when the pair last played alongside one another, you can get 23/20 on them doing the same to Newcastle and 11/8 on Arsenal to win to nil.

In order to do that, however, the hosts will have to keep the likes of Ayoze Perez and Papiss Cisse – whose fine goalscoring record from the bench we highlighted prior to his match-winning double against Chelsea last week – quiet, and if you don’t fancy the Gunners to hold the visitors at bay you can get 13/5 of the Ivorian finding the back of the net at any time for a third successive game.

For the hosts, Alexis Sanchez is again the man most likely, but with short odds across the board on Arsenal’s Chilean top scorer again being on target, it is perhaps the returning Olivier Giroud that most warrants our attention. The French striker got himself into good goal-scoring positions against Stoke and was guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance in the first half, but with the signs already there that his match sharpness is returning, 7/2 looks a fair price on him being the game’s first scorer.

In terms of the win market, you can get 1/2 on the home side while the visitors are priced at 7/1 to take all three points, but having drawn as many games as they’ve won at the Emirates this season, the 7/2 on offer for another stalemate is perhaps the stand-out bet for Saturday’s evening kick-off.