Arsenal Christmas betting tips – Markets to watch

Mikel Arteta has gotten the gift of sitting pretty atop the Premier League on Christmas Day after the Gunners’ hard-fought 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday evening. But he may have to wait until the 28th to keep Liverpool off it, as Jurgen Klopp’s side play Burnley on Boxing Day afternoon. Arsenal welcome West Ham United, who, coincidentally, they played at Emirates Stadium last Boxing Day.

Arsenal Christmas betting tips – The Gunners’ festive record

Arsenal sit top of the Premier League going into Boxing Day – Photo by Icon sport

Boxing Day football has had some momentous moments for Arsenal in the last decade. Mikel Arteta made his managerial debut in 2019 against Bournemouth, and arguably saved his job with a momentous 3-1 win over Chelsea in 2020. 2017 saw Olivier Giroud score one of the finest ever Premier League goals when he guided an Alexis Sanchez cross into the net with his famous scorpion kick. 2015 also saw the Gunners hit four at St Mary’s.

This will also be the third time in the last decade Arsenal have played West Ham at Christmas. Coincidentally, Arsenal were set to visit the old Boleyn Ground in 2012 too, but the fixture was called off due to industrial action.

The numbers:

26th December 2013: West Ham United 1-3 Arsenal

26th December 2014: Arsenal 2-1 Queen’s Park Rangers 

26th December 2015: Southampton 4-0 Arsenal

26th December 2016: Arsenal 1-0 West Bromwich Albion

28th December 2017: Arsenal 3-2 Crystal Palace

26th December 2018: Brighton 1-1 Arsenal

26th December 2019: Bournemouth 1-1 Arsenal

26th December 2020: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

26th December 2021: Norwich 0-4 Arsenal

26th December 2022: Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United

Arsenal Christmas betting tips – Markets to watch

Emile Smith Rowe will hope to get a chance against West Ham
– Photo by Icon sport

Emile Smith Rowe to score – 14/5

Kai Havertz looked to the Liverpool skies in anguish on Saturday as he received his fifth booking of the season, which will see him suspended for this London derby. The German has been in fine form of late, but his absence may grant a rare opportunity to Arsenal’s forgotten man Emile Smith Rowe to start in his left sided midfield role. 

Smith Rowe famously came into the side on Boxing Day 2020 against Chelsea and his introduction started the upward trajectory the Gunners have been on since. But the England international has struggled for fitness in the last 18 months and has barely seen the pitch. He still has the backing of his manager though. Arteta recently said: ‘He’s back now, and he can use that in a very powerful way, he will be a much better player’. Smith Rowe has also impressed in brief cameos of late. This season, no Arsenal player has a higher expected goal value per shot than Smith Rowe's 0.22, indicating that he is getting into excellent shooting areas.

The now 23-year-old scored against West Ham in December 2021. If he starts, perhaps he can draw on that and reignite his Arsenal career.

Here's a deeper dive into who is most likely to net against West Ham for Arsenal.

Over 12.5 corners in Arsenal vs West Ham – 19/5

Mikel Arteta is always spoken about in relation to Pep Guardiola, and occasionally Arsene Wenger. But an underestimated reference on the Spaniard is David Moyes. Arteta spent five years working under the Scotsman at Everton and has inherited his obsession over set pieces.

Arsenal have the most goal creating actions from set pieces this season with eight, and West Ham are second with five. Arsenal are also very good at winning corners, and have taken the most in the league.

West Ham will also look to earn set-pieces. They are a physically imposing side with the likes of Tomas Soucek, Nayef Aguerd and Kurt Zouma in their ranks and James Ward-Prowse has arguably the best delivery in the league from dead ball situations.

Martin Ødegaard has been back to his best in recent weeks – Photo by Icon sport

Martin Ødegaard to have over 1.5 shots on target from outside the box vs West Ham – 9/2

Norway and Arsenal skipper Ødegaard has overcome a tough spell to look back to his majestic best. He ran the Gunners’ games against Wolves and Brighton and delivered a perfect dead ball for Gabriel at Anfield. The 25-year-old does more than just orchestrate though, he also has a penchant for scoring from range. 

West Ham will likely sit deep and seek to frustrate the Gunners, which will allow Ødegaard ample space to take a dig or two at Alphonse Areola’s goal.

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William Evans

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.