The Gunners have qualified for the Champions League for thirteen successive seasons, although the Toffees could be among the teams breathing down their necks this time around, while Merseyside rivals Liverpool also face north London opponents in the form of Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
Chelsea v Fulham 19.45
Rafael Benitez will be hoping to endear himself to the Chelsea supporters on Tuesday night although it might not be easy in a west London derby which sees Fulham make the very short journey to Stamford Bridge.
The Cottagers have got a decent recent record against their west London rivals, having drawn twice the Bridge last season, losing in the Carling Cup on penalties before earning a Premier League point in the same fixture.
Chelsea are big favourites to win in the league for the first time since 20 October when they claimed a 4-2 win at White Hart Lane and there was little sign on that day that the team would then suffer a poor run of form which would lead to the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.
BetVictor typically offer a best price 9/20 about Benitez enjoying a first win as interim manager of Chelsea, with the team being held to a goalless draw against Manchester City on Sunday although there are likely to be few changes made to a team which feature Fernando Torres operating in front of Hazard, Mata and Oscar.
Torres might well end up enjoying a new lease of life under his former Liverpool manager and can be backed at 9/2 (bet365 bookmaker) to break the deadlock in this match although Branislav Ivanovic could reward a more left-field selection considering the Serbian loves to pile forward in search of goals.
Fulham will welcome Brede Hangeland back from suspension and they could have done with him at the Britannia Stadium when narrowly losing to a Stoke City team who are currently mustard at home.
The visitors can be backed at 13/2 to win their second away match of the season but they did manage a 3-3 draw at the Emirates Stadium recently and odds of 18/5 about this one ending all square look pretty big.
Everton v Arsenal 19.45
After six games played, the Toffees are unbeaten at Goodison Park although David Moyes will feel as though his team should have four more points in the bag after both Newcastle and Norwich claimed last equalisers on Merseyside.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the Canaries will have felt like a defeat although Everton have a chance to make immediate amends by beating an Arsenal team who look suspect on their travels this season and Saturday evening’s goalless draw at Villa Park doesn’t inspire confidence ahead of this match.
The bookies make Everton a 13/8 chance (Stan James bookmaker) to beat the Gunners and go four points ahead of their opponents in a possible tussle for fourth place, with Marouane Fellaini back from suspension and raring to go. The Belgian should enjoy a physical battle with Jack Wilshere and former Toffee Mikel Arteta in the middle of the park and can be backed at 8/1 (Ladbrokes free bet) to score the first goal.
Arsenal are as big as 15/8 (Sky Bet) to win this match and leapfrog their opponents in the process although away form has been distinctly patchy this season even if wins were achieved at Anfield and the Boleyn Ground.
Arsene Wenger complained about fatigue following that bore draw in the Midlands on Saturday and that doesn’t suggest his team will be 100% fit for this encounter, although Olivier Giroud has been in fine scoring form recently and can be backed at 7/1 to score first.
Southampton v Norwich City 19.45
All of a sudden, Southampton have a chance to stretch clear of the relegation zone after being rooted in the relegation zone for most of the season. The Saints have claimed recent wins against QPR and Newcastle United to scramble out of the bottom three although they face a tough task on Wednesday night.
The bookies make Nigel Adkins’ team the 6/5 favourites (Paddy Power free bets) to make it three wins in a row at St Mary’s although that might be an over-reaction to wins against two teams who are both struggling for different reasons. QPR can’t buy a point right now, while Newcastle are struggling thanks to key players either unavailable or out of form.
The same can’t be said of Norwich City who have been enjoying a revival of their own in recent weeks and wins over Arsenal and Manchester United have helped to propel them up the Premier League table.
The most recent bright result was a 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday and the Canaries look a big price at 5/2 (bet365 bookmaker) to win this match, with Chris Hughton’s side never knowingly beaten and that defence appears to be rock steady after several weeks of shipping soft goals.
Rickie Lambert and Grant Holt both go back a long way and actually briefly played together at Rochdale which would have made for some strike force! Both players have reached the top flight at relatively late stages of their careers and both are a 13/2 chance to score the first goal of this game.
We might see this game finish with honours even and the draw at 13/5 looks a more appetising price than backing Southampton who were not 6/5 chances a fortnight ago and shouldn’t have that short price here.
Stoke City v Newcastle United 19.45
The Magpies won this match 3-1 last season against the odds, with Demba Ba showing Stoke what they missed out when the Senegal star failed a medical at the Britannia Stadium and ended up signing for West Ham United.
However, it’s hard to see Newcastle getting another three points in Staffordshire after a poor run of results which leaves Alan Pardew’s team looking over their shoulders. Since that fortunate 2-1 win against West Brom at the end of October, it has been six games in all competitions without a victory and the bookies are happy to offer 14/5 (bet365) about the away win in this match.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what has gone wrong at St James’ Park although perhaps the bottom line is that the Tyneside club overachieved last term and mid-table is a more realistic aim considering many people were touting them for relegation at the beginning of last season.
Stoke will be confident of rising into the top half of the table by following up their 1-0 win over Fulham with another three points here, with the Potters defence extremely mean at the Brit to the extent where they have conceded just one goal in six home matches.
Tony Pulis’ team are even money favourites (William Hill) to win the game and their physical approach is hard to deal with. Martin Jol bemoaned the fact that Fulham weren’t able to stand up and be counted on Saturday and it seems like Charlie Adam is enjoying a new lease of life since switching from Liverpool.
The former Blackpool midfielder is 12/1 (BetVictor) to score the first goal of the game just as he did against QPR and the Cottagers – you could actually do worse than back Adam and the 1-0 scorecast which has now happened twice in succession.
Swansea City v West Brom 19.45
The Baggies are not only third in the Premier League table but they also have a five-point cushion over fifth-placed Everton and Steve Clarke’s team are currently heading for the Champions League next season.
While West Brom’s amazing form is unlikely to continue all season, at what stage does their league position no longer become a false one? The plain fact is that they are on a massive roll after four straight wins including a 2-1 victory against Chelsea and a 4-2 triumph at Sunderland which has really put the cat amongst the pigeons.
Now the Albion travel to south Wales and odds of 21/10 (bet365) are available that they make it five on the bounce against a Swansea team who were outplayed by Liverpool on Sunday before managing to scrape a point from that match.
The goals are flying in from all areas of the pitch with four different scorers for the Baggies at Sunderland although we might expect a cagier contest against a Swans side who have started to master the art of defending after some open encounters earlier in the season.
Michael Laudrup will be relatively happy with the way the season is progressing and his team have the attacking tools to make it a difficult night for their Midlands opponents whose run must surely come to an end soon.
City are 11/8 favourites to claim victory although perhaps a draw is the most likely outcome considering that we can’t rely on either team to land the three points based on the stats.
Tottenham v Liverpool 19.45
Liverpool looked like opposing from a betting point-of-view in the early stages of the season although Brendan Rodgers is starting to craft a team of his own making together and the Reds were unfortunate not to leave south Wales with three points on Sunday.
It was an excellent performance from the Merseyside team who would have won the game if Jose Enrique’s effort hadn’t been disallowed for offside, although they will be full of confidence for the midweek trip to White Hart Lane and look a decent price to win the match.
Liverpool can be backed at 21/10 (Paddy Power) to claim three points and for once there might be some value considering that Luis Suarez is sharp as a tack and Raheem Sterling seems to be improving with every match.
Enrique also seems to be playing like a man possessed now that Rodgers has him operating on the left side of midfield and the Spaniard could be a bet at 20/1 (Betfred) to score the first goal of the game, with odds of 6/1 on offer that he finds the net at any time.
Even so, Spurs will be tough opponents and they returned to winning ways on Sunday with a richly-deserved 3-1 win against an in-form West Ham side who couldn’t live with the pace and movement of Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe.
Some might feel Tottenham are a big price at 6/4 (bet365 bookmaker) and a victory could have them knocking on the door of the top four places again, with that man Defoe available at 6/1 to score first and the same odds are available on Suarez in the First Goalscorer market.
Manchester United v West Ham 20.00
The bookies were getting excited on Saturday after Jamie Mackie had put QPR into a surprise lead at Old Trafford, although Manchester United are used to coming from behind and ended up with a 3-1 victory to go top of the Premier League.
After Manchester City could only manage a draw at Stamford Bridge, it’s a position that the Red Devils still hold and they will be looking for a more straightforward victory on Wednesday night against a West Ham side that have started the season brightly.
United are a best price 1/4 (William Hill free bets) to claim their sixth home win of the season and Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that Anderson has earned a first-team place after an impressive substitute appearance which helped swing the game in his team’s favour on Saturday.
Unusually, it has now been three games since Robin van Persie last scored although perhaps we shouldn’t expect that to continue in this match considering the Dutchman is playing full games for a team that score lots of goals at Old Trafford. RVP is a 3/1 chance to score first and a tempting 4/5 to find the net at any stage.
West Ham are 12/1 to follow in the footsteps of Spurs and win this match, with Sam Allardyce likely to set up his team defensively and look to take advantage of a United defence which really hasn’t kept many clean sheets recently.
Andy Carroll will prove a handful for the visitors and the forward will feel a lot better after breaking his duck at the Lane even if his header was a consolation effort. His physicality along with Kevin Nolan could see the Hammers among the goals although conceding might be a problem and a 4-1 correct score could be the ticket at 18/1.
Wigan Athletic v Manchester City 20.00
Not too much geographical distance separates these two clubs although they are leagues apart when it comes to respective finances, with Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero probably earning more combined than the whole of the Wigan Athletic squad.
Even so, football is a team game and the Latics will feel as though they can get something from Wednesday night’s match, with Roberto Martinez’s side often producing their better performances for top opponents such as Manchester City.
Wigan are a best price 5/1 (Paddy Power) to win their fifth Premier League game of the season and they managed to get the better of Reading on Saturday when winning 3-2 after falling behind early in the game.
Jordi Gomez had an amazing performance and scored a first ever hat-trick for his team, with the midfielder 16/1 (Betfred) to score the first goal of this particular game, although City are starting to look a lot more defensively stubborn.
The champions restricted Chelsea to a few half-chances on Sunday as they played out a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge and Roberto Mancini will now be looking for his team to produce an efficient winning performance at the DW Stadium.
Just a couple of bookies offer 4/7 about a City victory although they have won just two of their six away games so far this season, with draws coming on four occasions and perhaps the 17/5 about the draw is a better value price than the away win.
A City 1-0 win can be backed at 15/2 and a 2-0 win is the same price, with Mancini keen on keeping some clean sheets if his team are to overhaul Manchester United and win the title for the second occasion.