After the first dropped points of the season Champions League Champions Chelsea, look to restate their claim to Premier League Title “Contenders” as they welcome draw happy (win shy) Stoke to the Capital.
Chelsea play host to Stoke in one of the
EPL’s Saturday 3pm games. Last weekend both these sides settled for a draw, but
Stoke’s point against the reigning champions, Manchester City was considerably
more welcome than Chelsea’s 0-0 against a QPR side who are shaping up to be
real relegation hopefuls this year.
The fact that Chelsea are third favourites
to win the league at 4/1 and Stoke are 25/1 to make the top six (and 11/4 to
make the top ten), should tell you the likely outcome of Saturday’s match at
Soccer odds makers are offering a draw this time around at
4/1, while a 0-0 repeat of Chelsea’s last game is at 16/1 and you can pick up 8/1
on a come-again of Stoke’s 1-1. I’m staying well away from both scores and in
fact any draw as I think that Stoke will have to get out of the drawing habit
soon. The Potters have drawn four of their last five league games (the single
abnormality being a 3-4 reverse at home to Swindon in the Carling Cup). Stoke
also drew more games than they won last season (12 to 11). Another way of
looking at Stoke’s form is that they have a 100% draw record for their 2012-13
EPL season. If you must back a draw I’d suggest you back a 2-2 at 25/1 or a 3-3
at 100/1, just to make it interesting.
What has Europe to do with Stoke?
More than what Stoke has to do with Europe.
This preview is being written ahead of Chelsea’s Wednesday night clash with
Juventus, in the Champions League. I feel that whatever happens in that match;
and the soccer bookies have a Chelsea win at 5/4 a Juventus win at 13/5 and a draw
at 9/4 (for the record), it will have little no impact on the Stoke game.
Should Juventus overturn the defending Champions League Champions, I think that the Blues will take out their European frustrations
on Stoke, and win at a canter. Should Chelsea overturn the Italians they will
cruise past Stoke, buoyed on a wave of good humour and confidence, and will win
at canter. Should it be a draw, Chelsea will
refuse to draw three games on the bounce, and will win at a canter. A Stoke win
is at 9/1 while a Chelsea win is at 3/1, but you may have guessed that Mrs
Richardson’s shoe money isn’t going anywhere other than on the home side. Don’t
forget that the Potters have now gone 10 Premier League games without a win.
I’m backing Chelsea.
In the last five meetings between these
sides (home and away) Chelsea have come out on top three times (each time at
Stamford Bridge) while the other two have been that level type of thing, y’know
what Stoke play for…oh yeah that’s it…a draw. Chelsea were held goalless last August
at the Britannia and the game ended 1-1 at the same ground in April 2011.
More telling is the fact that Chelsea kept
three clean sheets at home against Stoke in those three matches and managed to
put ten past the Potters. I have a feeling in my waters that Chelsea will again
lock out Stoke (even with Peter “Fingers” Crouch and Michael “Channel Four
Racing” Owen in contention). If you want to pick the correct score start with
1-0 to Chelsea, conveniently enough the score from the last time this fixture
was played at 11/2, then 2-0 at 5/1 (the
score from the time before), I’d also recommend backing 3-0 and 4-0 at 8/1 and 16/1
respectively, but save some money for 7-0 at 175/1 to the home side in case
there is a repeat of the demolishing that Chelsea inflicted on Stoke back in
April 2010. The shortest odds on a Stoke
win are for 1-0 at 22/1.
Owen watch (a watch that keeps losing
The former Manchester United player and
Newcastle United albatross made his Stoke debut late
on last weekend, to little effect. If you fancy that he will open his Stoke
account against Chelsea he’s at 12/1 to start the scoring and at 350/1 to get a
hatrick (LOL bet only). I think it makes more sense to back reliable Frank (Lampard)
or that man Torres to at 5/1 and 3/1 to initiate the scoring on Saturday.
Soccer Picks: 2-0 to Chelsea, get the most up
to date odds at the SBR forum.