On Boxing Day, Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.
I believe the odds market vastly overestimate the prospect of a goal to be scored by the home team.
The Gunners have seen a rather terrible start to the season, hovering in 15th place with 14 points from 13 games (scoring 11 goals).
I did project a rough season for Arsenal in the 2020-21 Premier League Preview & Betting Guide but I really didn't see a bottom third struggle unfolding.
Mikel Arteta have in some ways solidified the defence but the creativity and attacking output have very much stalled under the multilingual Spaniard.
Only Burnley, Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United have created fewer shots and shots on target than Arsenal so far this season, Arsenal creating on average 10.23 shots and 3.38 shots on target per game.
The trimmed mean of the last six league games have Arsenal at creating on average 2.50 shot on target per game; only Burnley and Sheffield United have presented worse attacking numbers recently.
Only 4 teams have a worse shoot percentage than Arsenal so far this season, the North London outfit scoring a meagre 25% of the created shots on target.
One might argue that there's an unhealthy amount of talk about crosses by Arteta. If that's indeed one of the critical building blocks in Arsenal's general game plan (only West Ham United and Leeds United have made marginally more crosses than Arsenal this season), the Highbury outfit have quite a way to walk - Arsenal produce some of the poorest numbers in the league when it comes to crossing accuracy and aerial duels won for example.
On Boxing Day, Arsenal face one of the tallest goalkeepers in the business - Édouard Mendy at 197 cm - and also the towering centre back Kurt Zouma at 190 cm.
Frank Lampard’s squad is currently in 7th spot, just 2 points short of a Champions League spot. After a shaky start to the season the Blues are starting to find some sort of rhythm, especially in defence where the arrival of a new goalkeeper in late September was excactly what the doctor ordered.
Only Manchester City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool have conceded fewer shots than Chelsea so far this season, Chelsea conceding on average 9.54 shots per game.
Only Manchester City have conceded fewer shots on target than Chelsea so far this season, the Fulham club conceding on average 2.90 shots on target per game.
The trimmed mean of the last six league games have Chelsea at conceding on average 2.75 shot on target per game; only Manchester City display better defensive numbers of late.
Looking at the season as a whole so far, Chelsea have one of the worst save percentages in the league. However, that's down to keepers Kepa Arrizabalaga and Wilfredo Caballero producing some really poor numbers at the start of the season.
Since Édouard Mendy took over between the posts, he's enjoyed the third best save percentage in the league, saving 79% of the faced shots on target (only bettered by Hugo Lloris on 81% and Caoimhín Kelleher who've saved 3 out of 3 faced shots on target so far this season).
Mendy also have an excellent clean sheets percentage keeping a clean sheet in 56% of his games (in 5 of 9 league games), only surpassed by Liverpool’s Caoimhín Kelleher (keeping a clean sheet in his sole Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier in December).
Prediction & Betting Tips
Arsenal is one of the teams creating the fewest shots on target in the league, especially in the last few weeks. The North London club also display a pretty dreadful shoot percentage.
Chelsea is one of the teams conceding the fewest shots on target in the league, also during the last couple of weeks. The South London club also display a robust save percentage.
My Betting Tip is Total Goals by Arsenal: Under 0.5.
Stake at maximum 10/10 units.