In pitting Arsenal against Chelsea the Capital One Cup has offered neither club quite the holiday they may have hoped for, but if they were to be given sticks of rock as souvenirs of their arduous mini-break a 2-1 scoreline would be written down the middle.
Chelsea are favourites for tonight’s Emirates getaway and the 8/1 about them being beneficiaries of a victory by two goals to one is the bet to get on board.
If a spot-kick is awarded to either side bwin will refund all losing bets on correct score, first goalscorer, player to score two or more and player to score three or more markets.
There’s every chance the referee will point to the spot too given eight have been blown for in the hosts’ last 20 games.
Both matches between the sides ended 2-1 to Chelsea last season.
Casting a casual eye over the scorelines of Arsenal and Chelsea’s face-offs in 2012/13 would suggest the matches were closer than they seemed at the time.
Chelsea came on strong after the break at the Emirates before blowing the Gunners out of the water in the first-half in the Stamford Bridge return fixture.
Arsenal have improved plenty since then to lead the Premier League after nine games, but their rivals have an increased discipline and businesslike nature under Jose Mourinho leaving the clash balanced very similarly to last season.
The sides’ last four meetings in knockout and Community Shield action have ended 2-1 to Chelsea.
It’s not just recent league action that points to 2-1 being the margin of victory here with the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup also witnessing Chelsea victories by that tally.
Arsenal have conceded more than two goals just twice in their last 35 matches.
Meanwhile Chelsea have only allowed more than once on two occasions in their 14 matches since their manager returned for a second spell at Stamford Bridge.