The EPL serves up not one, but two live televised London derby matches this week, as Arsenal plays host to Chelsea at The Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, and Tottenham Hotspur entertains West Ham United at Wembley the following evening.
Here are our prop picks for the two midweek capital clashes…
Arsenal vs. Chelsea
This match pits an Arsenal side in decent goal-scoring form (but not so decent defensive form) against a Chelsea side which is not only defensively strong, but also capable enough offensively to secure solid wins.
Arsenal has scored in each of its last five EPL games, but they’ve have also conceded six in their last three, costing them valuable points against Liverpool and West Brom during the Christmas period.
By contrast, Chelsea has been ruthlessly effective, winning five and drawing one of their last six, keeping clean sheets in each of their last three EPL games.
Chelsea’s defense is the key to victory for the Blues, and you can expect them to deliver a well-drilled defensive performance, operating with a solid base and looking to exploit Arsenal’s defensive frailties as the game wears on.
In games like these it often takes something a little out of the ordinary to make the difference. For prop hunters, a look at the goal-scorer markets offers the chance to take a calculated gamble.
While Arsenal will have coached its defense to cope with the threats of Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard and co. going forward, Chelsea possess a wild-card threat from the left back position.
Marcos Alonso is the top-scoring defender in the Premier League this season, with five goals in his 21 EPL games this season, a comparable strike rate to his playmaking colleague Hazard.
He’s a +400 shot to score at any time, and given his propensity to get forward and become an unexpected goal threat, that’s worth a look.
Oh, yes. He also opened the scoring against Arsenal when the sides met at Stamford Bridge last year, too.
VALUE PROP PICKS:
- Chelsea to win and under 2.5 goals @ +450 (William Hill)
- Marcos Alonso to score at any time @ +400
Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Ham United
When the Spurs and West Ham meet in the Premier League, expect fireworks.
The sides have already met twice this season — once in the EPL and once in the EFL Cup — with both matches ending 3-2 in favor of the away side, as Tottenham won the league clash and West Ham won the cup game.
Five-goal thrillers are a staple of recent Spurs-Hammers matchups, with four of the last six matches between the sides producing five goals (three of those games finished 3-2).
The Spurs should have the edge, especially at home, but with the goal-laden history between the two sides — especially this season — another five-goal thriller offers excellent value in the correct score market. We like Spurs to win it 3-2 at +2500.
And with both sides likely to find the net during the 90 minutes, there’s also an opportunity to back West Ham’s man in form.
Striker Andy Carroll has scored eight goals in his last eight starts in the month of January in EPL matches, and he scored twice over the weekend when the Hammers came from behind to defeat West Brom 2-1, with the big striker netting a stoppage-time winner to secure the three points.
Carroll’s a +1100 shot to open the scoring which, in a game that has seen both teams score in five of the last seven meetings in all competitions, looks like superb value.
VALUE PROP PICKS:
- Tottenham 3-2 West Ham @ +2500 (William Hill)
- Andy Carroll to score first @ +1100 (William Hill)
[Main image credit: Jbmg40, Wikimedia Commons]