Chelsea v Arsenal Betting Tips (FA Cup final) – Saturday 27th May 2017

Can Chelsea add the FA Cup to the Premier League title they lifted last weekend? After the party atmosphere against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge, this is going to be a very different occasion. This is the first time since 2007 that two of the top five have met in the final of this famous competition. The Blues won the cup that day, with Didier Drogba sealing the cup in the first final at the new Wembley. They’ve been regular visitors since, winning the competition four times in the last 10 years.

However, it’s been five years since they last won this competition, with Arsenal winning it in 2014 and 2015. Arsenal are also the joint leaders in the all-time FA Cup winners table with 12 and this will be their 20th final, more than any other side.

The Blues won the league and cup double for the first time in 2010 under Carlo Ancelotti, something they’re aiming to emulate here. Roberto Di Matteo won this competition alongside the Champions League in 2012 during his first campaign as manager. Will Conte be the latest Italian boss to lift two trophies in his debut season in charge? To do so he has to see off one of the most successful sides in FA Cup history. Can the Gunners move clear of Man United with their 13th FA Cup trophy on Saturday?

Team News: No early changes as Conte demands focus

Chelsea have no injury concerns this weekend, with Conte able to give his first choice players a run out against Sunderland. The Blues were heavily changed for their win against Watford, but they were basically at full strength during the game with the Black Cats. While they gave John Terry a guard of honour mid game on Sunday, Conte won’t stand for anything like that in such a huge game.

The Blues will need 100% focus on this massive occasion, so we expect the strongest possible line up here. Having claimed league success thanks to their consistency in selection, we expect that to continue when they head to Wembley.

Arsene Wenger has been forced in to switching to a 3-4-3 set up of late, after struggling for results. He decided to ape Conte’s formation, and so far it’s brought Arsenal positive results. We expect them to continue with that set up, despite their current defensive problems. The Gunners lost Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny in their win over Everton, which means they’re short of options in central defence. With three slots to fill, we could see both Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding starting at the back for Wenger, which would leave them potentially very open at the back.

Arsenal Form

The Gunners recently pushed themselves back in to the fight for the top four after a string of victories, thanks to their decision to move to a 3-4-3 set up. Arsenal won their FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City during that run, but they needed extra time in order to see off the Citizens. It’s been a tough year for the club, brought on by the uncertainly over Wenger’s future.

The Gunners have won their last five games coming into this match, but they were recently beaten 2-0 at Tottenham. Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final opponents comfortably saw off the Gunners, sealing one of the most one sided north Lon derbies ever. That result pushed Arsenal even further from the top four, and now they’re facing the prospect of Europa League football next term, regardless of the result at Wembley.

Chelsea v Arsenal Head to Head

Chelsea’s two matches against Arsenal this term have been key. The 3-0 defeat might be the most important result of Conte’s tenure, as he switched to a 3-4-3 following that heavy loss, kicking off a great run of form. They won 3-1 in the return leg, easing to a victory thanks to their new approach. The Gunners managed to win the last meeting between these two at Wembley, in August 2015, but can the Blues claim revenge for that defeat with a victory this weekend?

  • Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal, Feb 2017
  • Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea, Sept 2016
  • Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea, Jan 2016
  • Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal, Sept 2015
  • Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea, Aug 2015

Betting Tips

  • Over 1.5 Chelsea goals – 4/5 with Ladbrokes
  • Chelsea -1 Asian Handicap – 52/35 with BetVictor

Chelsea are priced at 5/6 with Betfred to win the match, while they’re as short as 4/9 with Bet365 to lift the trophy. The draw, and extra time, is priced at 11/4 with Coral. Arsenal can be backed at 7/2 with Betfair, with the Gunners drifting out of contention according to the bookies. While the Blues are tempting at just below evens to claim the win, we think there is other bets here which represent much better value.

Chelsea come into this match facing an Arsenal defence which is down by two men. If Arsene Wenger persists with his new 3-4-3 set up, then he’s going to have a field a couple of below par players at the back. If he switches, they could be going back to the poor form they exhibited earlier in the season, during which Chelsea beat them 3-1. We think this Blues’ attack will get plenty of chances, and over 1.5 goals for the Blues looks like cracking value at 4/5 with Ladbrokes, especially when you consider how their last FA Cup clash at Wembley went.

With Chelsea likely to get chances, we’ve turned our focus to the defence. The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil don’t tend to do much in big games like this, they were absent against a weak Manchester United side recently. The Blues have a solid backline which looks back to its best right now, and we can see that holding out. However, we aren’t going for the win to nil, as the -1 Asian Handicap looks better value. It’s priced at 52/35 with BetVictor for the Blues to win by two or more goals, with a refund should they only win by one.

Chelsea v Sunderland Betting Tips (Premier League) – Sunday 21st May 2017

For the second time in three seasons, Chelsea are going to lift the Premier League title against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have the title wrapped up, and they’ll finally get their hands on the silverware after this meeting with the already relegated Black Cats. Neither side has much to play for on the final day of the season, but don’t expect the champions to slack off. They can move on to 93 points for the season with a victory over the worst side in the league, which would leave them two shy of the Premier League record.

Chelsea can also become the first side in a 38 game season to claim 30 Premier League victories. They’re massive favourites to take the points in this game, so it seems likely they’ll claim that record. After all, it would ruin the occasion slightly if the title was lifted after slipping up to a side who are on their way down to the Championship. Given the nature of boss Antonio Conte, whatever side he names for this game should be focused on taking the three points. However, just how big a part will the prospect of the cup final play?

Team News: Final Terry run out as he teases retirement

While we expected rotation from Chelsea on Monday night, the whole-sale changes made by Conte were quite surprising. It remains to be seen if that was purely down to the team playing twice in four days, or if the title celebrations took their toll on the first choice players. However, with the FA Cup final just six days away, it’s hard to see the first XI taking the field for this game with little on the line. There are plenty of fringe players who are ready to step up and try to earn their place.

Sunderland have a lengthy injury list, one which has played a big part in their relegation this season. They’ve been without Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore for a lengthy period. Defensive midfielder Jan Kirchoff is unavailable, while forward Victor Anichebe also misses out. One time Chelsea target Steven Pienaar is another name who sits out for the Black Cats this weekend. They switched to a 3-5-2 set up at Arsenal in midweek, and that is likely to be the approach they take at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. After all, the same formation helped Watford to three goals on Monday night.

Sunderland Form

The Black Cats have one win in their last 12 games, as they head down to the second tier with a whimper. That victory was at Hull after they were relegated, and it looked like Sunderland were going to kick on with no pressure on them. However, back to back defeats at home to Swansea and at Arsenal have left them bottom, and they’re set to wrap up a dismal season in the top flight on Sunday.

Sunderland’s away form has been terrible, which is a huge part of their quick relegation to the Championship. They’ve lost 14 of their 18 away games, averaging just 0.56 points per game on their travels this term. Having conceded 64 goals across the season, the visitors are likely to struggle in this trip. Having lost five of their last six games on their travels, we’re expecting another loss for David Moyes’ men this weekend.

Chelsea v Sunderland Head to Head

The Blues claimed a narrow 1-0 at the Stadium of Light back in December when these two sides last met. Chelsea have won 3-1 in back to back meetings with the Black Cats at Stamford Bridge. They’ll be hoping to avoid a repeat of the 3-2 defeat they suffered in May last year, which looked like it would be John Terry’s final match in a Blue shirt. It seems like this meeting with the Mackems will be his last Chelsea game.

  • Sunderland 0-1 Chelsea, Dec 2016
  • Sunderland 3-2 Chelsea, May 2016
  • Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland, Dec 2015
  • Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland, May 2015
  • Sunderland 0-0 Chelsea, Nov 2014

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – 4/5 with Coral
  • Cesc Fabregas to score – 7/4 with Bet365

Chelsea come into this game priced at 1/6 with Sky Bet to take the three points, while Sunderland are massive 28/1 outsiders with Ladbrokes. The draw can be backed at 15/2 with Betfair, but we can’t see anything but a home win this weekend. That’s despite the collapse the Blues suffered at the back on Monday night. Following three straight wins to nil, the champions then edged out Watford 4-3 on Monday night to make it four straight home victories. However, their rotated side clearly struggled, with Cesc Fabregas scoring late on to secure a win.

While Sunderland aren’t prolific scorers at home, they’ll fancy their chances of troubling Chelsea’s second string defence. They’ve found the net in five of their last six visits to this ground, scoring eight goals across those six trips. With nothing to lose in their final game at this level, we expect the Black Cats to push forward. However, the champions should be able to rack up a few goals against one of the worst defences in the division. We think this game will be filled with goals, so we’re backing Chelsea and over 2.5 at 4/5 with Coral.

We expect most of the side which started against Watford to feature here, it’ll likely only have a few first team players involved. We can see a spot in the side for Cesc Fabregas, who will be looking to build on his goal against Watford. The Spaniard has been in wonderful form of late, while he struck the only goal when these two sides met earlier in the season. We’re backing him to get among the goals once again, as we’re tipping Fabregas to score any time at 7/4 with Bet365.

Chelsea v Watford Betting Tips (Premier League) – Monday 15th May 2017

Chelsea return to Stamford Bridge fresh from winning the Premier League title. A late goal from Michy Batshuayi gave the Blues a 1-0 win at West Brom on Friday, which saw them confirmed as champions. Having opened up a 10 point lead on Friday night, can they finish the season with that kind of advantage over Spurs? Antonio Conte is known for driving his sides on in meaningless games, having grilled his players ahead of the final Serie A game in 2014. Despite having the title won, Conte wanted to break the 100 points barrier. He tore into Gigi Buffon for taking his eye off the ball, and Juve won 3-0.

Expect Chelsea to head into this clash with Watford with a similar mentality. While they can’t hit 100 points this term, the Blues are on 87. Two victories would put them on 93, two shy of the Premier League record set by Jose Mourinho’s side in 2005. If they can finish with two victories, the champions will finish the season 43 points better off than last time around. That’s an incredible swing, and it would be a great way to finish a brilliant league campaign, before they lift the title against Sunderland on Sunday.

Team News: Expect changes after title party

Conte has guided Chelsea to the title thanks to a settled team selection, but that’s all about to change. By the look of the celebrations in the dressing room on Friday night, there could be a few players who aren’t ready to start this game. Diego Costa might need a little break, while a few of the stars should be rested with one eye on the FA Cup final later this month. It’s likely a few will sit out here and then the others get the weekend off, as Conte will still want a strong finish before the meeting with Arsenal. Hopefully John Terry can get on the field for his final two games in a Chelsea shirt.

Watford have a lengthy injury list for this game, with five players set to miss out. The Hornets are missing defenders Younes Kaboul and Craig Cathcart, while January signing Mauro Zarate is also injured. Roberto Pereyra is another forward player missing here, with those two Argentines both capable of easing Watford’s scoring worries. With those two out, the visitors could continue to struggle in the run in. The hosts are likely to set up in a 3-5-2 formation, which will be an interesting test for Conte’s 3-4-3 set up.

Watford form

Due to this clash, Watford’s latest game was also brought forward to Friday. The Hornets lost 1-0 at Everton, as they continued a dismal run of form. It’s now four defeats in five for the side from Vicarage Road, having secured safety a while ago. They’re sat in 15th place with 40 points to their name, which means they’ve achieved their immediate aim of staying in the top flight.

However, the visitors don’t have a strong record on their travels to back them up here. They’ve now lost their last six away games, all without conceding a goal. They’ve got one of the worst away records in the division, averaging just 0.67 points per game. It’s easy to see why the Blues are such heavy favourites.

Chelsea v Watford Head to Head

The Blues left it late to beat Watford at Vicarage Road, with two goals inside the last 10 minutes seeing off the Hornets. The first of those goals came from Batshuayi – his only Premier League goal this season before that crucial strike on Friday. Last season these two shared a pair of draws during the Hornets’ first season back in the top flight, but that’s unlikely to be repeated here given the visitors’ awful record on the road this term.

  • Watford 1-2 Chelsea, Aug 2016
  • Watford 0-0 Chelsea, Feb 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Chelsea, Dec 2015
  • Chelsea 3-0 Watford, Jan 2015
  • Chelsea 5-0 Watford, Jan 2010

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 13/10 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win 3-0 – 8/1 with Bet365

Chelsea are priced at 2/7 with Coral to take the points this weekend, while the draw is 5/1 with Sky Bet. Watford are 9/1 with Betfred to rain on the Blues’ parade this weekend, although their recent away form makes that pretty unlikely. While there are bound to be changes for the champions, we still see them being too strong for the Hornets. However, there’s obviously little value in backing the hosts at such short odds. There is value elsewhere in this one, and we believe we’ve found a couple of bets well worth backing.

We’ve detailed Watford’s poor recent away record, but they’ve been awful all season on their travels. With 12 defeats from 18, we can’t see anything but another away loss for the Hornets. They’ve managed just 12 goals away from Vicarage Road so far, and Stamford Bridge isn’t the place to go in order to add to that awful total. With little creativity on their travels, we can’t see Watford getting any joy against the Blues. After three straight wins to nil, we’re backing another clean sheet and victory for the champions. Given that Watford have lost to nil in six straight away, and in four of their last five games, 13/10 with BetVictor looks like a brilliant price.

We’re also backing Chelsea to win with a little more swagger than they did on Friday. The Blues have been in great scoring form at home, hitting at least three in four of their last six. Given how poor Watford have been of late, the Blues should be able to rack up a few more goals in this one. There’s plenty of attacking talent to come into the team, so we’re backing a 3-0 win for the champions at 8/1 with Bet365.

West Brom v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 12th May 2017

Chelsea travel to West Brom on Friday night knowing that three points will seal the Premier League title. Their 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on Monday moved them seven points clear of Tottenham once again, meaning that victory over the Baggies will secure the trophy for the second time in two years. There’s little left for the Blues to do, and they have plenty of insurance with two more home matches to come after Friday’s clash. However, Antonio Conte won’t want to wait any longer to win his first trophy as Chelsea boss, he’ll want his men to get over the line with two games to spare.

Their meeting with West Brom comes at exactly the right time, with the hosts in awful form at the minute. Baggies boss Tony Pulis was in the crowd for the Boro game, but he’d struggle to find a way to stop this relentless Blues side. They looked brilliant in that win over the second bottom side, and now they’re on the verge of wrapping up their fifth Premier League title.

Team News: Status quo to remain in defining game

Once again Conte comes into this game with a fully fit squad to pick from. While N’Golo Kante missed out on Monday with a slight knock, he’s expected to return this weekend. However, it’s hard to see who drops out for him. Is it Nemanja Matic, who scored against Middlesbrough, or Cesc Fabregas, man of the match on Monday night? That’s a tough choice for the boss, it’s probably going to be Pedro who drops out, with Fabregas stepping forward into a more attacking role behind Diego Costa. Aside from that, the side should remain unchanged.

West Brom have a pretty big absence ahead of this game, as they’re without former QPR man Matt Phillips. He’s added a different element to West Brom’s attack, and they look a little short up top without the winger in the team. Welsh forward Hal Robson-Kanu is another absentee for the Baggies, as they look to improve their awful recent form. Their last home game saw them operate a slightly more attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, but it’s hard to see Tony Pulis going with the same set up for a game with the league leaders.

West Brom Form

West Brom are currently searching for their first win since March 18th, following their late drama on Saturday. The Baggies led 2-1 at Turf Moor on Saturday, before Sam Vokes hit a leveller for Burnley. That 2-2 draw kept them eighth in the league, but they’re 13 points behind seventh placed Everton. Their European dream has faded, just as their form fell apart.

West Brom have lost 1-0 in their last three home games, including a meeting with Liverpool. Their last victory here came against Arsenal almost two months ago, a game which saw an abysmal display from the Gunners. The Baggies have just one point from four home meetings with the current top five, but can they add to that tally this weekend?

West Brom v Chelsea Head to Head

West Brom put up a fight at Stamford Bridge in the latest meeting between the sides. The Baggies were in the game until Diego Costa’s strike gave the Blues all three points, continuing their winning run. The Blues lost 3-0 at the Hawthorns shortly after winning the title in 2015, but they returned four months later to win 3-2, which is their most recent visit to this ground.

  • Chelsea 1-0 West Brom, Dec 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 West Brom, Jan 2016
  • West Brom 2-3 Chelsea, Aug 2015
  • West Brom 3-0 Chelsea, May 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 West Brom, Nov 2014

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 21/20 with Coral
  • Eden hazard to score any time – 5/4 with Sky Bet

Chelsea are priced at 4/11 with BetVictor to take the three points they need at the Hawthorns. Given how poor the hosts have been here of late, it’s no wonder that the champions elect are priced at odds so short. The draw this weekend is priced at 17/4 with Bet365. The Baggies are priced at 8/1 with Betfred to take the points, which would be a huge shock in the title race. Can the Blues make the most of this opportunity and seal the title, or will Tony Pulis spoil the party? We all remember how his Crystal Palace side struck down Liverpool’s title hopes in 2014, could the same thing happen here? We think not.

Luckily, West Brom are in no kind of form to stop the leaders. They’ve been far from their best, tailing off just as they looked on course to book a place in Europe. They’ve now lost 1-0 in three straight home matches, and they look far too short up front. The Baggies have failed to score in five of their last six matches in the Premier League, while the Blues finally look solid at the back. After back to back 3-0 wins, they should be in strong enough shape to keep a clean sheet on Friday night against the goal shy hosts. We’re backing Conte’s side to see out their title push with a clean sheet, so we’re backing the Blues to win to nil at 21/20 with Coral.

Our second tip is Eden Hazard to score any time on Friday night, despite him failing to hit the target on Monday. Not only has the Belgian scored key goals against Southampton and Tottenham recently, but he’s got form in massive matches like this. His goal settled the 2014/15 season, winning the title for Chelsea. Last term Hazard scored the goal which handed Leicester the title. Can the Belgian score the title deciding goal for the third season running? That would be some accomplishment, and we’re expecting him to find the net at the Hawthorns. We’re backing Hazard to score any time, which is priced at 5/4 with Sky Bet.

Chelsea v Middlesbrough Betting Tips (Premier League) – Monday 8th May 2017

Can Chelsea continue their push for the Premier League title against Middlesbrough on Monday night? A 3-0 win at Everton saw the leaders come through what was supposed to be their final big test on their path to the championship. Antonio Conte and his team are just three wins away from glory, with a very forgiving fixture list to round off the season. After facing second bottom Middlesbrough, they play West Brom, Watford and bottom side Sunderland. It just seems like a matter of time before the trophy returns to Stamford Bridge, but will the Blues move closer to becoming champions by seeing off a poor Boro outfit?

You’d expect the hosts to triumph here, especially as this match kicks off a crucial week in the season. Chelsea have three games in seven days, with West Brom away on Friday and Watford at home the following Monday. Tottenham face Manchester United in between those two clashes, so there’s a good chance that the title will be finished off next weekend, as long as Conte can keep his team focused for the visit of Middlesbrough.

Team News: Steady selection to keep Blues on course

Once again Conte can call upon a full strength side for this clash on Monday night. He named his strongest team at Everton, and there’s little need for him to rock the boat this week. They’ve had eight days between their last win and this clash, which gives them plenty of time to rest and prepare. That win at Goodison was an impressive display, and there’s little need to change anything. While Willian and Cesc Fabregas were impressive coming off the bench, they’re likely to find themselves with a watching brief from the start here. After putting out a strong message at Everton, Conte will have faith that his men can deal with Boro.

Middlesbrough come into this game without Victor Valdes in goal, but that’s not too much of a blow. The former Barcelona stopper hasn’t really impressed since coming to England, and Brad Guzan seems to be a better option for the visitors anyway. Boro are also missing Grant Leadbitter, but aside from those two they travel to the Bridge at full strength. They’re likely to line up in a 4-5-1 formation for this trip, with wingers in support of Alvaro Negredo. They had a slightly more attacking line up at home to City, but expect them to be a little more reserved in this trip.

Middlesbrough Form

Middlesbrough come into this game having won just one of their last 17 Premier League games. That victory came two weeks ago, but it was against bottom side Sunderland. The men from the Riverside haven’t beaten a side above them in the table since mid-December, and that was against the other side in the relegation zone, Swansea.

Despite their 2-2 draw at home to City being a positive, they’ve shipped four goals in trips to Bournemouth and Hull recently. They’ve lost five of their last six on their travels, scoring just twice across their last seven away days in the league. Those are all worrying stats for Boro, especially as they’re coming up against the league leaders, who have won 88% of their home games.

Chelsea v Middlesbrough Head to Head

Chelsea won the first meeting between these sides back in November, with Diego Costa scoring the only goal in that one. The last league meeting between them at the Bridge was in January 2009, with Salomon Kalou scoring both goals in a 2-0 win. Just who will be the hero who pushes the leaders ever closer to taking the title? Judging by the recent head to head record, there’s only one winner here.

  • Middlesbrough 0-1 Chelsea, Nov 2016
  • Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea, Feb 2013
  • Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbrough, Jan 2009
  • Middlesbrough 0-5 Chelsea, Nov 2008
  • Chelsea 1-0 Middlesbrough, Mar 2008

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 8/11 with BetVictor
  • Over 2.5 Chelsea goals – 5/6 with Coral

Chelsea come into this game as massive favourites for the points, with Sky Bet making them 1/6 to wrap up a win. The hosts are clearly expected to move toward the title with another three points. The draw is 6/1 with Ladbrokes ahead of this clash, while Middlesbrough are out at 14/1 with Bet365 to take the points. Obviously there’s little value in the match betting, as we can’t see anything but a win for the leaders. However, recent meetings between these two point to a quiet afternoon for the Blues’ back line. Given their recent troubles, conceding in 10 of their last 11 in the league, that’s got to be welcome news for the current back three and Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea come have now won to nil in their last seven meetings with Middlesbrough. That includes the 1-0 win at the Riverside earlier this term. The Blues know they’re facing one of the two lowest scoring sides in the top flight. While Boro hit two at home to City last time out, they score just 0.59 goals per game on their travels. The Blues may have fallen apart at the back of late, but their clean sheet at Everton raises expectations here. We expect another win to nil for the leaders, which is priced at 8/11 with BetVictor.

While we see Chelsea keeping things tight this weekend, we do expect the leaders to win in style on Monday night. Their 2-0 defeat to Manchester United now looks like a blip, as the Blues have scored at least three in four of their last five. Given that Boro conceded four times in a trip to Bournemouth recently, we’re confident that the Blues will put on a show going forward at the Bridge. We’re backing the hosts to score at least three goals against the league’s second bottom side, which is priced at 5/6 with Coral.

Everton v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 30th April 2017

After seeing off Southampton on Tuesday night, the Blues head to Merseyside on Sunday as they continue their Premier League title push. The Blues made it back to back 4-2 wins after beating the Saints, which was another step towards sealing the title. However, they’re facing possibly the toughest of their remaining games, as they make their penultimate away trip of the league season. Could former Blue Romelu Lukaku cause problems here, and get in the way of the leaders’ title push? With a £100 million price tag and rumours linking him with a return to Stamford Bridge, he’ll surly be out to impress.

Ronald Koeman had his Everton side on the verge of the Champions League fight, but they seem good for a top seven place at least. They could yet move into the top six in the final stages of the campaign, repeating the finish that the Dutchman achieved with Southampton last term. Of course, the Toffees will still remember the thumping defeat they suffered in their trip to west London earlier this season. Just how will that loss play on their minds ahead of a crucial game for both sides?

Team News: Eight goals in a week gives Conte a headache

It’s been a brilliant week for the Blues ahead of this game, booking a FA Cup final spot and claiming another Premier League win. Eight goals have propelled the league leaders towards the double, but it’s left Antonio Conte with some questions to answer. Having started four players in the two attacking midfield spots, he now has to decide who has earned a place. After how Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas played together, they could keep their place in the side.

With Diego Costa scoring again we can’t see too many changes from the side which beat Southampton, although that’s quite harsh on Pedro and Willian, who were both very effective at Wembley last weekend. With no injury worries, Conte has plenty of room to make changes, something the opposition manager wishes he had.

Everton have a considerable injury list ahead of this clash, with Irish duo Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy still out. Ramiro Funes Mori and Yannick Bolasie both miss out this weekend, while Aaron Lennon is another who is set for the sidelines. That leaves Koeman with limited options, but they’re expected to continue with their usual 4-3-3 set up, which looks to involve Lukaku as much as possible.

That’s a distinct change from Chelsea’s former policy for the Belgian, who will be looking to show his former side exactly what they’ve missed out on this weekend. Both he and Ross Barkley are set to start in attack, with both players making noises about potential moves to Champions League sides in the summer.

Everton Form

Everton have been strong in the Premier League overall, they’re certainly much improved from their dismal campaign under Roberto Martinez. The Toffees are on course for European football, which was probably the minimum aim as their new owner is promising to take the club to new heights. They were in the mix for the Champions League spots, which would certainly have been a new height for the club, but recent form has seen them fall away from the top four.

The Toffees have managed just two wins in their last five, which has left them six points shy of fourth, despite having played two more games than the team around them. However, they are impressive at Goodison Park, having won their last six outings at their own ground. Can that run continue when Chelsea come to town?

Everton v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea were in the midst of a poor run against Everton, but their brilliant form in late 2016 brought that to an end in impressive style. A 5-0 win for the Blues followed up three meetings without a win. Can Conte guide his side to another success over the Toffees on Sunday? After two defeats at Goodison last season, each under a different manager, the Italian has his work cut out.

  • Chelsea 5-0 Everton, Nov 2016
  • Everton 2-0 Chelsea, Mar 2016
  • Chelsea 3-3 Everton, Jan 2016
  • Everton 3-1 Chelsea, Sept 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Everton, Feb 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 7/10 with Bet365
  • Eden Hazard to score – 29/20 with BetVictor

Chelsea come into this game priced as favourites, but they’re still 21/20 with Betfred to secure the points. Meanwhile, the draw is priced at 5/2 with Sky Bet while Everton are 12/5 with Ladbrokes to claim a victory. There’s certainly value in backing the leaders to take the win, but as this is the toughest match in the run-in, we’ve looked elsewhere for our betting tips on this clash. The Toffees are strong opposition at home, as shown in recent meetings with the Blues, and we don’t expect things to be anywhere near as easy as that 5-0 win at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.

After conceding another two goals on Tuesday night, the Blues’ defensive woes continue to bug them. With a trip to Everton this weekend, we can’t see their run getting any better. As we mentioned, Everton have six straight home victories ahead of this meeting. The leaders have now conceded in 11 straight league games, which is an awful run for a side of their stature. We can’t see things getting better any time soon, so we’re backing both teams to score at 7/10 with Bet365.

Our final tip for this game is another goal from Eden Hazard. We’re expecting Chelsea to grab a goal on Merseyside, and the Belgian’s form should see him cause problems. Having opened the scoring against Southampton, after hitting a vital third goal against Tottenham, we Hazard will play a key role this weekend. After all, he has scored the title winning goal in the last two seasons, so he’s coming into form at the right time. The winger is 29/20 with BetVictor to score any time on Sunday.

Chelsea v Southampton Betting Tips (Premier League) – 25th April 2017

Chelsea are back in action pretty quickly following their enthralling FA Cup win over Spurs. They face Southampton on Tuesday night as they return to their Premier League title charge. While Antonio Conte has suggested that hands Spurs an advantage in the title race, any prospective Champions League side should be able to handle a Saturday then Tuesday schedule, especially given how light the Blues’ fixture list has been this term compared to others. While the Italian boss is hoping his mind games switch the pressure on to a reeling Tottenham side, he won’t accept any excuses for a slip up this week.

The Blues will want to claim the first of the five wins they need when they host Southampton. They can potentially go seven points clear of Spurs with a win, with their nearest rivals facing a tough trip to Crystal Palace. This could prove to be a great week for Conte’s side, but they need to avoid another slip up at home to Southampton. The Saints have been impressive at this ground since returning to the top flight, which makes this a tough fixture to play 72 hours after a crunch match at Wembley.

Team News: Changes likely after shock Conte selection

Following Sunday’s incredible rotation from Conte, it’s hard to know what to expect here. We still aren’t fully sure if Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were rested or dropped, but they should have done enough to return to the side after both coming off the bench on Saturday. The only issue is that both Willian and Michy Batshuayi, their replacements in the starting XI on Saturday, were both very impressive. We know that the 3-4-3 formation will stay, with Gary Cahill set to return. N’Golo Kante is set to play his first game since being named PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night, capping off an excellent weekend for the Blues.

Southampton are missing Virgil van Dijk at the back, who is a rumoured target for Antonio Conte in the summer. They’re also missing Charlie Adam ahead of this game. The Saints have stuck with a 4-2-3-1 formation of late, and we expect them to use that set up once again on Tuesday. Claude Puel should be able to name his strongest available side, as the Saints had the weekend off to prepare for this fixture. Will that prove to be an advantage for them? With an EFL Cup campaign and Europa League games earlier in the season, the visitors have played more matches than the leaders this term. That week off might not be the biggest of boosts after all.

Southampton Form

Southampton have been solid enough under Puel this season, but there’s a clear step down in quality between this side and the one which finished sixth last term, The Saints aren’t in any position to push for Europe this season, although they did have a League Cup final appearance earlier in the campaign. Since losing to Manchester United at Wembley, there’s been little for Southampton to fight for. They’re on course to make the top half in the league, but that seems to be the height of their ambitions right now.

The Saints’ last Premier League game saw them taken apart at home to Manchester City. A 3-0 defeat to the Citizens came after back to back wins, and that highlights just how inconsistent they’ve been this term. They’ve lost 50% of their away Premier League games, so it’s hard to see the visitors proving to be much of a threat on Tuesday night.

Chelsea v Southampton Head to Head

While the Blues have won the last two meetings with the Saints, both of those have been at St Mary’s. Southampton have avoided defeat at Stamford Bridge in their last two visits. That includes a 3-1 win in their last trip, one of the darkest days in Jose Mourinho’s final few months at the club. There’s a stark contrast between that performance, and the ease at which Conte’s side won on the south coast this season.

  • Southampton 0-2 Chelsea, Oct 2016
  • Southampton 1-2 Chelsea, Feb 2016
  • Chelsea 1-3 Southampton, Oct 2015
  • Chelsea 1-1 Southampton, Mar 2015
  • Southampton 1-1 Chelsea, Dec 2014

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 11/10 with Betfred
  • Willian to score any time – 23/10 with Ladbrokes

Chelsea come into this game priced at 4/9 with Bet365 to take the points on Saturday night. The draw is 7/2 with Coral, while Saints are 15/2 with BetVictor to cause a shock. Clearly the bookies aren’t expecting Southampton to pull off a shock this week. Despite the Blues’ recent troubles in the league, losing two of their last four outings, they’re expected to easily take a victory at the Bridge. However, defensive concerns could make that a little harder to accomplish, especially judging by their displays in the last week or so against Manchester United and Spurs. Both fixtures have continued to highlight the Blues’ issues at the back.

Chelsea have conceded in their last 10 Premier League matches, a run which stretches back to January’s win over Hull. Following that run up by shipping two against Tottenham wasn’t great, and it gives the Saints a chance to cause trouble this week. The visitors come have having scored in their last five visits to the Bridge, while four of the last five encounters between these two have seen both teams score. That makes BTTS look like excellent value at 11/10 with Betfred.

Our second tip is backing Willian to continue his brilliant form. We think he’ll keep his place, possibly at the expense of Pedro, and we’re backing the Brazilian to follow up his two goal haul in the semi final with an impressive display. After scoring in such an important game, he’s bound to be full of confidence. We can see the free-kick maestro making another impression this week, and he’s great value to score any time at 23/10 with Ladbrokes.

Chelsea v Tottenham Betting Tips (FA Cup) – Saturday 22nd April 2017

Following a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United last weekend, Chelsea are now facing a challenge from Tottenham on two fronts. Spurs have cut the gap at the top of the Premier League to just four points, and they’re hoping to put pressure on the leaders in the closing stages of the campaign. However, before the league run-in gets under way, there’s a meeting between the top two sides in England at Wembley. The Blues face a rampant Spurs side in the FA Cup semis this weekend, can they quickly bounce back from their setback at Old Trafford? Antonio Conte will be desperate to mastermind a turnaround.

Tottenham come into this match in excellent form, with pundits raving about their recent displays. However, they do fear the national stadium, despite agreeing to move to Wembley next season. In four European games at this ground this term Spurs managed one win, as they recorded early exits from both the Champions League and Europa League. That’s something the Blues can exploit here, especially given the experience Conte has at his disposal, compared to this youthful side which Pochettino has established.

Team News: Conte sweating on Courtois and Alonso

Chelsea’s plain sailing on the injury front fell apart at Old Trafford, as late injuries to Thibaut Courtois and Marcos Alonso cost them in that game. Conte will be left worrying about the fitness of both players ahead of this tie. Alonso should have recovered from his virus, which would come as a huge boost. Eden Hazard looked lost without the Spaniard’s overlapping runs, something no one else could bring to that left-hand side.

Asmir Begovic is an able deputy for Courtois, but the Blues will still want their first choice stopper restored to the starting line-up for such a massive game. While Conte was rotating in the cup, he’ll be avoiding that as much as possible. This is no time for a farewell run out for John Terry, who announced his departure this week. The club captain will leave in the summer, but he’ll be hoping to celebrate two more trophies before he moves elsewhere.

The big team news as far as Tottenham are concerned is around their set up. They have Harry Kane back, and Pochettino’s men are firing on all cylinders right now. However, they could well change their approach in an attempt to nullify Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho did to such great effect at Old Trafford.

Tottenham Form

Tottenham come into this clash in fantastic form, having won eight straight games ahead of this showdown. Spurs have scored at least twice in their last 11 matches, which puts them in a great position ahead of this clash. While their winning run is going to face stern opposition in the run in, Pochettino’s men must be full of confidence coming into this meeting.

While pundits have been falling over themselves to praise Spurs’ after their recent form, it’s worth considering that they’ve won their last two against average sides. Beating Bournemouth and Watford isn’t exactly a huge challenge, those are two poor teams who have little left to play for. Winning those matches at home isn’t something that sets them apart as title winners, although it’s kept them comfortably in the top four, and kept them in touch with the leaders. Stepping up to beat the Blues is a much tougher task.

Chelsea v Tottenham Head to Head

Chelsea will be worrying about their last meeting with Tottenham ahead of this clash, having lost 2-0 at White Hart Lane in January. That loss ended the Blues’ 13 match winning streak, and it showed how to beat the 3-4-3 for the first time since Conte switched to it. However, the leaders beat Spurs 2-1 in that run, and they have a strong record aside from that loss.

  • Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham, Nov 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham, May 2016
  • Tottenham 0-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham, Mar 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 4/5 with Betfred
  • Chelsea to qualify – 5/6 with Sky Bet

Chelsea come into this game priced at 8/5 with Bet365 to win in 90 minutes, while Tottenham are priced at 9/5 with Coral to come out on top. A draw between these two is 9/4 with BetVictor, and that’s not something we can rule out. Given Tottenham’s form and the small gap between them, this clash could well go to extra time. Following Chelsea’s loss to Manchester United, the weaknesses in their 3-4-3 set up seem to have been exposed. Can the Blues find a way to get around the man marking which troubled them last weekend?

A major worry for the Blues is that their defence has been far too open of late. They’ve now conceded in 10 straight Premier League matches, which doesn’t bode well for this weekend’s clash. The Blues are facing a Tottenham side who are in great scoring form, and we expect Mauricio Pochettino’s men to find a way through. However, we’re backing the Blues to find the scoresheet, so we’re backing both teams to score at 4/5 with Betfred.

Given the Blues’ struggles at the back, it’s hard to make a case for backing them on the match betting. This could be a long clash, especially if Tottenham set up to frustrate the leaders. While we think Antonio Conte’s side will eventually come through this tie, we could see extra time or even penalties when these two meet.

Spurs have an awful record at Wembley, winning just one of their four matches here this term. That’s why we’re avoiding backing Chelsea on the match betting, and backing them to qualify for the final instead at 5/6 with Sky Bet. Overall, that seems to be much better value, and it’s a bet which could keep going through 120 minutes and then some.

Manchester United v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – Sunday 16th April 2017

Chelsea head to Old Trafford on Sunday as they head in to the Premier League run in. The league leaders are hoping to maintain their seven point advantage over Spurs, and they’ve been warned to stay focused by boss Antonio Conte. The Blues need just five more victories to take back the title they last won in 2015. Will they be able to earn one of those wins over the man who led them to that last title? This is the first time that the Blues visit Old Trafford with Jose Mourinho in the home dug-out, which should make this a fiery occasion.

The former Chelsea boss has suffered two damaging defeats to his old club already this season, the first was a 4-0 loss in their last league encounter. A defeat at Stamford Bridge last month ended the Red Devils’ FA Cup hopes, can they get revenge by putting a dent in the Blues’ title push? It would certainly make for a nervy end if Spurs were to move within four points, so a loss here could be a massive blow to the leaders’ hopes of lifting the title next month. However, United’s Europa League exertions could just swing this towards the visitors.

Team News: Conte unlikely to change ahead of final big test

Once again Antonio Conte has no injury worries ahead of the weekend, let’s hope he isn’t getting too comfortable with having a full squad. While the stability and options are pushing the Blues clear at the top, the challenge comes next season when they’re playing two games per week. However, the run in allows them enough recovery time to keep a settled side, so we expect Conte to keep the same XI which saw off Bournemouth last weekend. Having reverted back to the strongest side, it’s hard to see any reason to change ahead of one of the last big challenges which the leaders face in their title push.

Mourinho’s Manchester United are a perfect example of the problems caused by a fixture pile up. Former Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata misses out on Sunday, while Ashley Young is also unavailable. Defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are out, which leaves the Red Devils looking a little short on numbers at the back. The big question is over Mourinho’s formation. Las weekend he seemed to revert to the 4-3-3 he used when he first arrived at Stamford Bridge, but we wouldn’t rule out a 3-5-2 set up, to try and match Chelsea’s midfield.

Manchester United Form

Manchester United are unbeaten in 14 Premier League matches, but they’re not winning enough games to push on into the top four. The Red Devils have drawn 56% of their outings at Old Trafford, which is mostly down to their scoring woes, with a huge overreliance on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as shown in their toothless FA Cup loss at the Bridge last month.

United’s real success this season has been in the cups, with the League Cup won by Mourinho once again. He’s hoping to add a Europa League winners medal to their haul this term, and the Portuguese admitted that European silverware is more important than their push for fourth. He’s basically going to have to ape one of his great rivals this term, or fail completely. Does he take Arsene Wenger’s fourth place trophy, or follow in Rafa Benitez’s footsteps by leading an English giant to a second rate European trophy? It sounds like Mourinho’s nightmare.

Manchester United v Chelsea Head to Head

Before the recent Conte v Mourinho clashes, things were pretty even between these two sides. They drew both meetings last term, both of which came after Mourinho was dismissed from the Stamford Bridge dugout. The last meeting between these sides at Old Trafford was almost 16 months ago, and it’s safe to say the Blues’ fortunes have changed since then.

  • Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United, Mar 2017
  • Chelsea 4-0 Manchester United, Oct 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United, Feb 2016
  • Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea, Dec 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United, Apr 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea draw no bet – 19/20 with Coral
  • Eden Hazard to score any time – 2/1 with SkyBet

This game is incredibly even according to the bookies, who can’t seem to settle on a clear favourite. Manchester United are just out in front in the betting, with Betfair making them 17/10 to take maximum points at home. However, Chelsea aren’t far behind at 9/5 with BetVictor. Meanwhile, you can back the draw at 11/5 with Bet365. Clearly there’s little between the two sides, and with United focusing elsewhere, they could well come up short at home to the leaders. We can’t see much value in the match betting, so we suggest looking elsewhere for a punt on this game.

We do like the look of Chelsea on the draw no bet market, seeing as United could be left running on empty. The Red Devils don’t have the biggest squad at their disposal right now, thanks to their injury list. That doesn’t give Mourinho a lot of options to change things between Thursday and Sunday, so we could see the leaders pulling off a result. By backing it on the draw no bet market, there’s a definite safety net. United have drawn nine of their last 13 at home in the league, so we’re backing the visitors draw no bet at 19/20 with Coral.

If anyone can inspire Chelsea to the victory, it’s Eden Hazard. Just as he did in 2015, the Belgian is picking up the slack from Diego Costa in the back half of the campaign. Once again, the Spaniard has seen his goals dry up after the turn of the year, but Hazard has scored three in his last two, all of them crucial goals. In a massive meeting with Manchester United, we expect the Belgian to make the difference. We’re backing him to score any time at 2/1 with SkyBet.

Bournemouth v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 8th April 2017

Chelsea got their title challenge back on track following a 2-1 win over Manchester City in midweek. Can the Premier League leaders build on that when they travel to Bournemouth? Antonio Conte has demanded that his team hit the 90 point mark this season, which would mathematically seal the title for them. Tottenham are showing no signs of choking as yet, so the Blues need to take their challenge seriously for now. However, Spurs have a history of bottling things and a much tougher run in, so they’re likely to ultimately fall short of glory once again.

The Blues will be counting on all their experience in the final eight games of the campaign, starting at the Vitality Stadium. While it seems like a straightforward affair, it’s a potentially tricky one. Bournemouth are just coming back in to form after a poor run of results, and they’re likely to trouble the Blues defence here, given their strong scoring record at home. This is another potential banana skin for Conte and his team, and they’ll all be out to avoid another slip up this weekend.

Team News: Conte needs right-wing reshuffle

Chelsea haven’t had to deal with many injury problems all season, but something was always going to hit their stability eventually. Who’d have thought that the absence of Victor Moses would prove to be a huge issue? The right wing-back has no real replacement, with Pedro struggling there against Palace. Cesar Azpilicueta played there for 45 minutes against City, but he was moved centrally once Kurt Zouma came off. Conte is hoping that the Nigerian can recover in time for this trip, but if he doesn’t it’s likely that Azpilicueta will be moved once again. Pedro’s struggles from the start against Palace should keep him further up the pitch.

Bournemouth are without the suspended Tyrone Mings, while forward Callum Wilson is injured ahead of this game. Aside from that, the hosts are set to have their strongest side out, as they look to push into the top half of the table. The Cherries have been lining up in a 4-4-2 of late, which they occasionally switch to a 4-4-1-1. The Blues’ back three should have enough to deal with that attack, and it leaves the two sides evenly matched in midfield.

Bournemouth Form

Bournemouth come into this game on the back of a 2-2 draw at Liverpool on Wednesday night, claiming their fourth point against the Reds this season. They’ve drawn three of their last five matches, but that’s an improvement on their early 2017 run of form. Having recorded one draw and six defeats in seven, their recent unbeaten run has been a huge relief for manager Eddie Howe, moving the Cherries away from the drop zone.

Bournemouth have claimed wins over West Ham and Swansea in recent home games, which has helped them push up the table and move towards the top half. They troubled Arsenal in a home game late last year, going 3-0 up before slipping to a 3-3 draw. However, a 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester City shows that the Cherries can’t quite mix it with the best in current form. They’re mostly picking off sides below them as they push for survival.

Bournemouth v Chelsea Head to Head

There have been just three recent meetings between these two sides, and they didn’t get off to the best of starts for the Blues. A 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge was part of Jose Mourinho’s tough third season here. Guus Hiddink avenged that defeat by winning 4-1 in their only trip to the Vitality, before a 3-0 win earlier this season kept up the Blues’ brilliant winning run after their tactical switch. Can they record a third straight victory when they travel to the south coast this weekend?

  • Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth, Dec 2016
  • Bournemouth 1-4 Chelsea, Apr 2016
  • Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth, Dec 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 10/11 with Betfred
  • Chelsea to win & BTTS – 12/5 with Coral

Chelsea can be backed at 3/5 with Sky Bet ahead of the late game on Saturday. The hosts are 6/1 outsiders with Betfair, while BetVictor price the draw at 16/5. The league leaders are clearly expected to avoid a slip-up in consecutive weekends, but will they get over the line against the Cherries? Having conceded in both meetings last term, it’s easy to see Thibaut Courtois being troubling in the Blues net once again, given how exposed he has been in recent weeks. All of a sudden, the defenders in front of him are looking a little unreliable.

Obviously there’s a possible selection worry at the back for Antonio Conte, but the problems date back much further than Moses’ injury. It’s now eight straight league games without a clean sheet for the leaders, which is a worrying run of form. They take on a Bournemouth side who scored twice at Anfield on Wednesday, one who score 1.73 goals per game at home this season. They’ve found the net in 80% of their home league outings, and we expect another goal for the Cherries. We’re backing both teams to score for the ninth straight occasion for the Blues in the Premier League, and that’s priced at 10/11 with Betfred.

While the Blues are likely to concede again, we can’t see that stopping them from taking maximum points. They can’t afford to slip up with Tottenham in hot pursuit of top spot, and their manager has demanded six wins from the final eight games of the season. We’re backing the visitors to win and concede in this game, something they’ve made a habit of after their recent poor showings at the back. The Blues haven’t won a league game to nil since January, so we’re backing Chelsea to win and both teams to score, which is 12/5 with Coral.