It’s been a disappointing few days for Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side, as they followed up last weekend’s 1-0 reverse away at Norwich City with a 2-0 defeat at home to German side Schalke in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
The result against the lowly Canaries saw the Gunners drop to ninth in the Premier League table, ten points behind league leaders Chelsea having picked up three wins, three draws and two defeats from their opening eight league matches.
Arsenal will be eager to get back to winning ways as they welcome bottom club QPR to the Emirates on Saturday afternoon, with the visitors still in search of their first win of the season having mustered just three draws so far.
Wenger’s men have been priced as odds-on favourites to collect maximum points at 7/20, as was the case last year when they saw off the R’s 1-0 on New Year’s Eve in a tight encounter, while the draw is at 15/4 and a QPR victory can be backed at 29/4.
Rangers head into the game on the back of a decent performance at home to Everton on Sunday which ended in a 1-1 draw, but they’ll be disappointed they didn’t take full advantage of Steven Pienaar’s dismissal with half an hour of the game remaining.
One of the main reasons for their poor start to the season has been their inability to keep the ball out of their own net, with their defence being breached 17 times in just eight outings – only Southampton have conceded more goals.
They do, however, possess quality in attack and can score goals with the likes of Bobby Zamora, Djibril Cisse, Junior Hoilett and Adel Taarabt in their ranks, so backing both teams to score in this match at 4/5 is certainly worth considering.
Zamora has a decent career record against the Gunners, notching four goals in 12 games, including one for Fulham last term, and he looks good value at 3/1 to strike at any time, as he has at the Etihad Stadium and White Hart Lane already this term.
The Hoops’ record away from home does not make for good reading – their last victory on the road came at Stoke almost a year ago – and they’ve been unable to keep a clean sheet on their travels since a 3-0 success at Wolves in September 2011.
While on their day the Gunners should see off Rangers comfortably at home, losing twice in five days has increased the pressure on them to collect all three points this weekend, which could work in QPR’s favour if they can keep the game tight early on.
Hughes has been unlucky with injuries to his backline so far this term, but with Stephane Mbia turning in an impressive performance in his last outing and Jose Bosingwa and Armand Traore returning, they have the quality to frustrate Arsenal.
Had they seen off Schalke in midweek, backing an Arsenal win would have been the obvious way to go, but 15/4 for the draw looks a great price, with the R’s more than capable of snatching a point if they play to their potential.
Punters registering with bwin can claim a free £20 bet and placing this on Arsenal and QPR to draw would return a cool £95 if the spoils are indeed shared at the Emirates on Saturday.