Women’s Super League Tips | Expect FA Cup final repeat when Chelsea host Arsenal
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Chelsea back to winning ways
After beating Arsenal 3-0 In the FA Cup final in Wembley in early December, Chelsea suffered an incredible decline in form. Five points ahead of Wolfsburg, and needing just two points against Juventus and Wolfsburg in their final two Champions League group games, they somehow failed to score in both games, drawing 0-0 at home to Juventus (when 1/6 favourites and then thumped 4-0 away to Wolfsburg when again odds-on at 8/11.
Sandwiched in between these two results was a 1-0 defeat away to Reading, where Chelsea went off at 1/20.
However, this dip in form seems to have passed, winning five of their last six games since that dismal display away at Wolfsburg. Interestingly, in those five wins, neither star player Sam Kerr or Fran Kirby have scored, passing the goalscoring responsibilities onto Scandinavian duo Guro Reiten and Pernille Harder. The latter pair could be ones to look out for in the goalscorer markets on Friday night, at bigger prices than Kerr and Kirby.
Arsenal fumbling their way back to form
Something was in the air after the FA Cup final in December, as Arsenal also went on a dreadful run of form over the next few weeks. They lost four of their next five, scraping through their Champions League group after 4-0 and 4-1 hammerings from Barcelona and Hoffenheim respectively.
But the real shocker came when 40/1 shots Birmingham then beat Arsenal (1/100) 2-0 in the WSL a few weeks later. The poor run didn’t stop there, losing to Man Utd and drawing against Man City the following week.
They have somewhat turned things around in their last four, avoiding defeat with a pair of wins and two draws.
The form table would point towards a Chelsea victory here, but there’s no doubt this Arsenal side still has the firepower to cause Chelsea an awful lot of problems, with Vivianne Miedema, Katie McCabe and Beth Mead sharing 17 league goals in the opening 13 WSL games.
With Miedema being so short in the goalscorer markets, I’d look towards Mead or McCabe to notch one here, both boasting very impressive numbers this season. If you’re looking for a bigger price, I would look to centre midfielder Frida Maanum in the goalscorer betting, who has chipped in with four goals this season, although wait for team news before backing this one, as she hasn’t started the last three (if not she could offer in-play value when she comes on).
Chelsea a value bet even at odds-on
Personally, I would say Chelsea are the value here even at a shade of odds-on. The form table since the FA Cup final says it all, with Chelsea turning things around after a difficult patch, while Arsenal are still stumbling over the line in games despite going off as heavy favourites.
Like in the FA Cup final, Chelsea will have too much for Arsenal across the 90 minutes, and I would look at backing them in the match odds, along with having a look at -1 and -2 handicaps if you’re feeling brave and want to play at bigger prices.
A Bet Builder option at big odds
Taking all of the above into account, I would be including Chelsea -1 in my Bet Builder. Combine that with in form striker Pernille Harder to bag at least one goal.
I’d also look at the corners angle here, which should significantly boost this Bet Builder. Arsenal are a much more possession-based side than Chelsea, which should generally lead to being awarded more corners, in particular if Arsenal do go behind and end up having to chase the game.
Bet Builder Selections
Back Chelsea -1, Harder to score anytime, Arsenal over 4.5 corners @ just under 15.014/1