Chelsea v Norwich Betting Tips (FA Cup) – 17th January 2018

Chelsea host Norwich on Wednesday night as they look to book a spot in the next round of the FA Cup. They struggled to break down the Championship side in the first meeting at Carrow Road, but can the Blues fare any better in this clash? We’re probably set to see another weakened side from the Premier League champions, with Antonio Conte using the FA Cup as a chance to blood youngsters and hand out a few minutes to the fringe players. While that does hamper the chances of Chelsea winning the cup, the second string should have more than enough to see off Norwich.

The much-changed side which met the Canaries at Carrow Road included the likes of Willian and Michy Batshuayi, who are still expensive attacking options. The main stars were saved for the meeting with Arsenal in the EFL Cup, which was another 0-0 draw for the Blues. It does feel like the once unplayable 3-4-3 set-up is becoming a little stale, with the Blues’ attacks becoming too predictable regardless of who Conte picks to play up front. That has to be a worry, and we see the visitors coming here and aiming to make the most of that, as they’re likely to push for another stalemate.

Team News: Conte Likely to Rotate, While Barkley Could Feature

Conte’s strategy of resting players in the domestic cups isn’t likely to change here, as he looks to bring the Blues in to the fourth round. The English champions have enough depth in their squad to cope with a few changes, especially after adding Ross Barkley in midfield. The former Everton man looked like a great value buy at £15 million, and this seems like the perfect game in which to give him a start. The boyhood Everton fan has struggled with injury problems this term, but Antonio Conte seemed confident that he would be available for the Blues soon, meaning this could well be the stage on which to give Barkley minutes.

Norwich are likely to look to build on their 0-0 draw with the Blues, so expect a more defensive minded set-up from the visitors. They are probably going to come into this one setting up to deny space to the hosts, while aiming to play on the counter when they get the chance. They set up in a 3-4-3 similar to Chelsea’s in the first meeting, but they could follow Conte’s lead and switch that in to a 3-5-2 system, or even a 3-6-1 in order to restrict the champions.

Norwich Form

The Canaries are still in mid-table in the Championship, but they’re still not quite out of the race for the play-offs. While making the top six is going to be a much bigger ambition for them than simply making it through the Third Round of the cup. Despite that, they should be out for a result when they head to the Bridge this week.

The visitors have a pretty average record in the league on their travels, losing six of their 13 games on the road. They’ve claimed five away wins, but given that they’ve lost at every top six side they’ve faced on the road this term there’s clearly some issues on the road for the visitors to fix if they’re to pull off a huge shock in this week’s replay.

Chelsea v Norwich Head to Head

The Blues have now taken a bit of a setback in their head to head record with Norwich, following that 0-0 draw at Carrow Road. The Blues also recorded a 0-0 at home to the Canaries back in 2014, which is a result they simply can’t afford to repeat in this replay. Even a repeat of the 1-0 win in 2015 wouldn’t be great, but it would at least send them through to the next round.

  • Norwich 0-0 Chelsea, Jan 2018
  • Norwich 1-2 Chelsea, Mar 2016
  • Chelsea 1-0 Norwich, Nov 2015
  • Chelsea 0-0 Norwich, May 2014
  • Norwich 1-3 Chelsea, Oct 2013

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea and Under 3.5 Goals – Evens with Coral
  • Under 2.5 Goals – 11/8 with Betfair

Chelsea are obviously heavy favourites to see off the lower league opposition this week, as they’re priced up at just 1/5 with Ladbrokes to secure progression in to the next round. Meanwhile, the Championship outfit can be backed at 16/1 with Betfred to cause a shock at Stamford Bridge. The draw comes in at 43/10 with Betfair, while the champions are incredibly short to qualify for the Fourth Round by any means on Wednesday night. We see the Blues securing a win within 90 minutes, but this might not be the easiest clash for Conte and his side.

Changing around the side entirely for this clash is likely to hamper the Blues, but it is certainly needed. With this clash sandwiched between league matches and just a week before a crucial EFL Cup semi-final second leg match, it’s obviously going to take a back seat in terms of priorities for the Blues. With a much-changed Chelsea side going up against a Norwich unit who are out to frustrate, we could see another big challenge for the hosts as they look to break down the Championship side. Could we see another low scoring meeting?

We’ve seen low scoring ties between these two at the Bridge in their recent league meetings, so we’re backing a match which is low on goals. We think the Blues have enough quality to make it through to the next round, while we like the look of a home win and under 3.5 total goals at evens with Ladbrokes. On top of that, there also seems to be value in backing under 2.5 goals in this match, which can be backed at 11/8 with Betfair. Given how the Blues are looking in attack at the moment, we think that’s a great price.

Chelsea v Leicester Betting Tips (Premier League) – 13th January 2018

Chelsea return to league action on Saturday, with the previous two Premier League champions clashing at the Bridge. The visitors come in to this one in much better shape than they were in last term, as the Foxes are now on the verge of the European spots. They come into this clash aiming to apply some pressure on to seventh placed Burnley, with the Foxes likely desperate for European football after their brilliant stint in last season’s Champions League. Can they pick up a result at Stamford Bridge to go towards their push for a place in the Europa League?

The Blues are also focusing on European football, as they look to book back to back seasons in the Champions League. They’ve slipped 16 points behind runaway leaders Man City, but the champions will be pleased about their five point lead over fifth placed Tottenham, with a real battle forming for the top four places. Liverpool – who are directly behind the Blues – have taken a blow in that battle after selling Philippe Coutinho to Chelsea’s upcoming Champions League opponents Barcelona. That, along with Liverpool’s meeting with City this weekend, gives the Blues a chance to really establish themselves in the top four.

Team News: Old Foxes Likely to Face Puel’s Men

Since Leicester’s title success, Chelsea have dipped into the market to pick up two of their championship winning midfielders. N’Golo Kante formed a brilliant partnership with Danny Drinkwater at the King Power, we expect that to be turned on the Foxes in this clash, with both likely to start. We see Conte going with a 3-5-2 set up here. Despite that, we see this game coming a little early for Ross Barkley. David Luiz may have returned last weekend, but we don’t expect him to feature in this one, after a pretty poor display when he came back in against second tier opposition.

Leicester will have to find a way to counter the midfield which helped them to the title, but they now at least have Drinkwater’s replacement available. The Foxes made the smart signing of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Adrien Silva, but given the late and very far from smart confirmation of the deal, he couldn’t be registered until January. The visitors make this trip without a pair of full-backs, with Ben Chilwell and Danny Simpson both out. The visitors are likely to start with a 4-4-1-1 set-up, with Silva likely to be the second defensive midfielder alongside Vincente Iborra.

Leicester Form

Leicester come into this game with a similar result to Chelsea last weekend – a disappointing 0-0 at lower league opposition. They drew at Fleetwood – Jamie Vardy’s former side. They now face a replay against the League One outfit in mid-January, with the Blues going up against Norwich. That result was a blow to the Foxes, who will be targeting a cup run. They will want to push for silverware, while boss Claude Puel took Southampton to Wembley in the EFL Cup last term.

In the league, the Foxes ended a four game winless run by beating Huddersfield 3-0 on New Year’s Day, which has pushed them up the table. They’re continuing to look for a top seven finish, which could bring European football. However, their back to back league defeats on the road haven’t helped that push, and neither has their poor record against the league’s top six sides.

Chelsea v Leicester Head to Head

While the Blues picked up a single point against Leicester in the Foxes’ title winning season, they have a great record against them of late. Back to back wins in the Blues’ latest title success were accompanied by a 4-2 win after extra time in the EFL Cup last term. The 2-1 victory at the King Power this season continued that run, and we expect another impressive result from the home side this weekend.

  • Leicester 1-2 Chelsea, Sep 2017
  • Leicester 0-3 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 3-0 Leicester, Oct 2016
  • Leicester 2-4 Chelsea, Sep 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Leicester, May 2016

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – Evens with Betfair
  • Over 2.5 Chelsea Goals – 11/10 with Betfred

Chelsea come into this clash as heavy favourites for the points, priced at 1/4 with BetVictor to win on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Foxes are 11/1 with Coral to take a shock victory, with the draw out at 9/2 with Ladbrokes. You have to think those prices are deserved, given how the visitors have managed to win just three away games all season so far. They’re unlikely to add to that when they head to the champions, given how poor they’ve been when they’ve met the league’s big six clubs so far this season.

Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have all claimed victories over Leicester at home this term. The Pensioners should add to that run, thanks to some decent form at Stamford Bridge of late. They’ve won 73% of their games here this season, including all of their last seven in the Premier League. That should make this another win for Antonio Conte and his men, with Leicester losing their last two on the road to Watford and Liverpool. This could be another defeat, but that doesn’t mean the high-scoring visitors are about to easily roll over in this trip.

While Leicester haven’t got the greatest away record this season, they have seen both teams score in 82% of their away trips to date. That run has seen them average 1.64 goals per game in their away trips, and we’re backing them to add to that with a strike at the Bridge. On top of that, we’re also backing a few goals for the champions. The Foxes have struggled at the back on their travels, while the hosts are coming off the back of a 5-0 win over Stoke. As a result, we’re going for over 2.5 goals for the hosts at 11/10 with Betfred.

Chelsea v Arsenal Betting Tips (EFL Cup) – 10th January 2018

Wednesday night sees Chelsea meet Arsenal for the second time in a week, which is just one of three encounters between the sides this month. They kick off their EFL Cup semi-final with the Gunners at Stamford Bridge, as they look to progress to Wembley. However, will the Blues be able to see off Arsenal following their dramatic draw at the Emirates last time out? Having the second leg in north London does make things difficult, especially if Antonio Conte isn’t taking this competition all that seriously – just as he did last season. Will he put that to one side going into Wednesday’s clash?

This is a competition that the Gunners could push for, especially as it’s one competition which Arsene Wenger has yet to win. Having already beaten Conte to lift the FA Cup last year, will this be another disappointment at the hands of the Frenchman? With the Premier League title already gone, this semi-final is pretty important for the Blues. Having enjoyed plenty of success in the League Cup during the Abramovich era, his could be some more silverware for the champions, providing they can navigate a path past Arsenal.

Team News: Will Conte Keep Weekend Changes for Gunners Clash?

The big question ahead of this clash is over Antonio Conte’s team selection. The Blues haven’t taken this competition seriously under the Italian’s stewardship, he’s tended to rotate in the cups since arriving at Stamford Bridge. The question is will he maintain that policy when the Gunners visit on Wednesday night. While he’s made changes to every side he’s named in this competition, we expect the Blues to bring back some of their top stars after the weekend’s FA Cup action. They need to get off to a flyer in the first leg ahead of their trip to the Emirates, so we’re backing them to go with a strong side in midweek.

The Gunners are in a similar boat, having rotated their side frequently throughout the season. They’ve rested their top stars in the Europa League, EFL Cup and FA Cup this season, preferring to push for the top four in the Premier League. Will they go for it now they’re in the semi-finals, or is this competition still a distraction for Wenger? The Frenchman has never really taken much interest in this competition, which is partly why they’ve never won it. They’re likely to stick with a weakened side in this one, as they look to secure a return to the Champions League.

Arsenal Form

The Gunners have hit a rough patch of form in the league, which has seen them drift five points off the Champions League spots. They’ve drawn three of their last four in the league, and they’ve been struggling to win matches. That’s certainly a concern coming into a cup semi-final. While they have a strong record against the Blues of late, they have work to do to turn their form around ahead of this game.

The Gunners have won just twice on the road since the start of November, claiming a controversial win at Burnley and a narrow victory against Crystal Palace. Can they add to that dismal run here? Given that they’ve won twice within 90 minutes in their last seven away trips in this competition, that doesn’t seem promising. The Gunners have been handed home ties through their run to the semis, which could hurt them in this tie.

Chelsea v Arsenal Head to Head

Meetings between Chelsea and Arsenal have been pretty frequent in recent times, they’ve met six times in the last 12 months. That includes an FA Cup final and a pre-season friendly. The draw between them last week was just the latest blow which Wenger has delivered to Conte in recent times, having beaten the Blues in the cup final and dishing out a 3-0 defeat in their meeting at the Emirates in late 2016.

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

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win – 4/5 with Ladbrokes
  • Chelsea to win and BTTS – 12/5 with Betfred

Chelsea head into the match as favourites for the points, priced up at 4/5 with Ladbrokes. The draw can be backed at 13/5 with Coral here, while the Gunners are slightly bigger at 14/5 with BetVictor. While the Blues are odds-on favourites, they have their work cut out to end their recent struggles against Arsenal. With games between the pair being so close in recent weeks, which of these two will be able to carve out an advantage and win this semi-final? Will Arsenal’s record of three wins and four defeats from 11 away league games play a part?

The Blues are more likely to name a full-strength side, and that could be the difference. They were already the better team in both league meetings this season, and Conte’s side have put together some strong form at Stamford Bridge. They were a solid display from Alvaro Morata away from a thumping win last week, and we expect better from the forward this week as the Blues look to pull off a first leg victory. While the recent meetings between these two have been close, we expect Chelsea’s home form mixed with Arsenal’s troubles away this term to swing this one in favour of the hosts. We’re backing a home win here at 4/5 with Ladbrokes.

In addition to that, the Blues have seen both teams score in four of their last five meetings with Arsenal, conceding in five of the last six encounters. We can see the visitors getting a goal in this one, which has us backing a Chelsea win and both teams to score. You can back a home victory and BTTS at 12/5 with Betfred ahead of this clash.

Norwich v Chelsea Betting Tips (FA Cup) – 6th January 2018

Chelsea return to FA Cup action this weekend as they look to make up for last season’s defeat to Arsenal in the final at Wembley. The Blues are coming off the back of another late blow from the Gunners, after an injury time equaliser saw them draw 2-2 at the Emirates on Wednesday night. Having been on the verge of a much-needed victory, that was certainly not what Antonio Conte wanted against Arsene Wenger’s men. Will the Italian be able to inspire his side into bouncing back against Championship opposition this weekend or will we be in for a giant killing?

The Premier League champions head for Norwich on Saturday evening for their Third Round game, which comes just before another meeting with Arsenal. This month is a big one in terms of domestic cups for the Blues, as they meet the Gunners in the two-legged EFL Cup semi-final. With the FA Cup kicking off and then returning at the end of January, we should have a much clearer idea of where this season is going for the Blues once the month draws to a close, especially with Man City already runaway leaders in the Premier League, ruling out any chance of Conte’s men retaining their title.

Team News: Conte Set For Cup Rotation

After consistent cup rotation across the last 18 months, it’s expected that Conte will shuffle his pack ahead of this clash. He’s not been one to go all out in the early rounds of the cup competitions, but that hasn’t done him too much harm with a final and semi-final under his belt already. That should strengthen his belief in the second string to get a result here, so expect to see plenty fringe and youth players taking to the field at Carrow Road.

The hosts were without Harrison Reed on New Year’s Day, and he’s expected to miss out this cup tie too. Norwich won’t have either of their long term absentees – Matt Jarvis and Louis Thompson – back in time to take on the champions. However, they’re more hopeful over forward Cameron Jerome, who is in contention to start for the Canaries, providing he passes a late fitness test ahead of this clash.

Norwich Form

Norwich City were hoping to capture some of the quality which shot Huddersfield back into the Premier League this season, but their attempts have failed. Despite poaching staff from the Terriers and backing a young German coach, the Canaries are stuck in the bottom half of the Championship table. Of course, given how tight that division is they’re still only nine points shy of a play-off place.

Norwich have won just 35% of their Championship games this term, having won just four of their 13 home matches in the league. They’ve been beaten at Carrow Road by the Championship’s top two, while they drew 0-0 with promotion hopefuls Bristol City. All of that points to a Chelsea win on Saturday, as there’s little about the Canaries which suggests that they can trouble the champions’ rotated side. Having exited the Carabao Cup to Arsenal, it seems likely Daniel Farke’s men could be about to crash out to another London side in the FA Cup, based on their current form.

Norwich v Chelsea Head to Head

The Blues haven’t clashed with the Canaries since the Norfolk side were relegated from the Premier League in 2016. Chelsea did manage to do the double over the side from Carrow Road that term, which was a fine feat in a campaign littered with slip-ups. They last met in the cup back in 2007, when the Blues were 4-0 victors at Stamford Bridge. Could we see a similarly thumping win for the champions when they head for Carrow Road this week?

  • Norwich 1-2 Chelsea, Mar 2016
  • Chelsea 1-0 Norwich, Nov 2015
  • Chelsea 0-0 Norwich, May 2014
  • Norwich 1-3 Chelsea, Oct 2013
  • Norwich 0-1 Chelsea, Dec 2012

Betting Tips

  • Michy Batshuayi to score anytime – 5/4 with Betfred
  • Chelsea to win and Under 2.5 Goals – 16/5 with Coral

Chelsea come into this trip as odds-on favourites for progression. Given that Norwich have crashed out at this stage four years in a row, it’s little surprise that they’re out at 6/1 with Betfair to claim the home win. The draw can be backed at 18/5 with BetVictor, while the Blues are as short as 4/9 with Ladbrokes to progress to the next round. It’s hard to justify backing Conte’s side at that price, despite their good form coming into this one. This is likely to be another early exit for the Canaries, but will they be able to trouble the champions in Saturday’s clash?

The Blues have a fantastic record against Championship sides in the cup, winning 16 of their last 17 ties against sides from the second tier. That good form should continue in this clash, especially as Norwich have lost at home to the current top two in their own division. That should make this little problem for the champions’ second string side, which has taken them into the semis of the EFL Cup. We think one man to benefit from a start will be Michy Batshuayi, which will be welcome after Alvaro Morata’s poor display against Arsenal. The Belgian is priced at 5/4 with Betfred to score here, and we think that’s a great bet.

We can’t see the Blues racking up a big win in this one, they’ll probably look to do just enough to secure progression and get away. We can’t see this being a goal-packed affair, with Norwich looking poor going forward and the Blues now playing well at the back with plenty of options at centre-half. Expect a strong defence to take the field at Carrow Road, which means we the Blues should avoid conceding. We’re backing an away win and under 2.5 goals to be scored in the game at 16/5 with Coral.

Arsenal v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 3rd January 2018

Chelsea face a huge test of their top four credentials when they travel to Arsenal on Wednesday night. The Blues take on the Gunners in a big clash in the race for the Champions League, with the champions aiming to push for a top two finish this term, with the title already a highly unrealistic target given Man City’s dominance. However, Chelsea could still be sucked into a fight for fourth given how many top sides are playing well and in contention for the top four.

There’s going to be huge pressure on matches like this from now until the end of the campaign. However, that’s going to be cranked up by the number of meetings these two are set to have. They were regular opponents in 2017, and now they start 2018 with three encounters in January. Let’s just hope they don’t end up paired together in the FA Cup Fourth Round. The Gunners haven’t always been the easiest opponents for Antonio Conte since he took over, this trip should remind the Italian of Chelsea’s big turning point on their way to the title last term.

Team News: Conte Likely to Stick With Packed Midfield

While this is the ground where Antonio Conte first switched Chelsea to the 3-4-3 system which won the title, they aren’t expected to use that formation here. They’re likely to stick with a 3-5-2 system that the Italian has gone to in big games of late. He’s switched to that set up in recent matches to fit three central midfielders into the side. Given how Arsenal pack the midfield and look to pass it around, that could be a crucial factor for the champions. They’re expected to have most of the squad available for this trip, although David Luiz will probably sit out once again.

The Gunners have lost Olivier Giroud, which is a big blow as he’s a great option from the bench. Santi Cazorla remains a long term absentee for Arsenal, while Aaron Ramsey could also sit out of this big game. The hosts have also drifted towards a 4-2-3-1 system in recent weeks, having started the year with a 3-4-3 set-up after Chelsea blazed a trail with it. The switch back seems to be working quite well for the Blues, and they’re likely to go with a back four, as that’s what they started with at home to Liverpool in their last big game.

Arsenal Form

Arsenal are have a solid season so far, but they’ve not definitively shown that they’re capable of returning to the Champions League through the top four this term. They’ve possibly got a better chance of pushing for the Europa League as Manchester United did, with the Gunners struggling for consistency in the top flight.

Their main issues are on the road, having won just three of their away trips this season. That isn’t good enough for a side who want to make the top four, but that form won’t have much of a bearing on this clash. The Gunners are much better at home, having won eight and drawn one of their 10 matches here, but the manner of their loss to Man United has to raise questions.

Arsenal v Chelsea Head to Head

These two sides are probably sick of each other at this point, before they play three times in the next month. They are fresh from four competitive clashes in 2017, plus a summer friendly meeting which the Blues won 3-0. The pair drew 1-1 at Wembley in the Community Shield this term and they had a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge, which their frequent meetings could be partly responsible for.

Having clashed so often, it could just be that these two have little new to pull out of the hat to edge a game this big. Of course, the two league meetings were decisive last term, with Arsenal’s 3-0 win at home becoming the springboard for the Blues’ title success. Their turnaround was clear in their 3-1 win in the return fixture.

  • Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal, Sep 2017
  • Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea, Aug 2017
  • Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea, May 2017
  • Chelsea 3-1 Chelsea, Feb 2017
  • Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea, Sep 2016

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 13/10 with Betfair
  • 1-1 Draw – 13/2 with Betfred

The bookmakers are struggling to pick a favourite between these two, with Arsenal slightly ahead at 29/20 with BetVictor. Chelsea can be backed at 7/4 with Coral, while the draw here is at 5/2 with Ladbrokes. This is clearly going to be a close affair, but just how will this one play out? It’s hard to see Chelsea getting involved in the kind of end to end affair that the Gunners have enjoyed of late. Will they end up opening up here, or will this clash be more like their meeting at Stamford Bridge earlier this season?

With six goals across their last five in the league, the Blues aren’t exactly clinical at the moment. They’ve seemingly slowed down going forward, and that form could be a worrying sign if it lasts much longer. One big factor is the importance of Eden Hazard. Half of those six came in a win at Huddersfield, the only match in which he was allowed to play well. Elsewhere teams have been marking the Belgian out of the game for the most part, and as a result we’re backing under 2.5 goals here based on the job Arsenal did in their trip to the Bridge this term.

Given the number of meetings between them, and the back to back draws in their meetings this season, we can see this one finishing level. The Gunners should be a little more conservative in this match than they were against Liverpool, so we’re expecting a close run game. While the draw is well priced at 5/2 with Ladbrokes, we’re going for a 1-1 correct score here at 13/2 with Betfred.

Chelsea v Stoke Betting Tips (Premier League) – 30th December 2017

Chelsea are back in action on Saturday, with a busy few days ahead. This clash comes just before a midweek trip to Arsenal, and then their FA Cup Third Round tie the following weekend. That wraps up a busy Christmas schedule, one which could make or break their season. Antonio Conte will want his side strengthening their place inside the top three, while they’ll have an eye on second with United faltering. While Man City are set to run away with the title, the Blues could force their way into second place in their title defence.

This season is playing out very differently for the Blues this time around, as they were the runaway leaders at Christmas last year. However, Conte’s side are now competing across multiple fronts, while at this stage last season they only had the league and FA Cup to focus on. With four competitions to compete in, squad rotation is going to be a big part of the next couple of months, so we should see a changed Chelsea side heading out at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Team News: Conte Expected to Rotate to Cope with Christmas Congestion

The Blues come in to this one on the back of a solid victory over Brighton, which saw a number of changes. They’ve handled their squad well across the Christmas schedule so far, and we expect that to be the case when Stoke roll in to town this weekend. Gary Cahill got a break last time out, and we expect him to return to the side for this one. The 3-5-2 formation used against Brighton should remain, with Danny Drinkwater likely to feature in a three-man midfield. The key for Conte will be keeping things fresh, especially with a big test to come at the Emirates during the week.

On-loan Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma is a big miss for the Potters, his presence in their defence is a pretty big one, as most Blues’ fans will know. He’s among the defensive absentees for the Potters, with Erik Pieters a doubt, and Bruno Martins Indi is another who is likely to sit out here. Up against Chelsea that could be crucial, with the Blues possessing some impressive attacking talents. A defensive reshuffle is likely to be on the cards for Mark Hughes, which isn’t ideal as they try to stave off the threat of relegation.

Stoke Form

Stoke are having far from a vintage year, and they’ve spent most of the campaign worrying about relegation. The Potters were rumoured to be considering Hughes’ position not too long ago, with a 2-1 win over West Brom seemingly keeping him in place over Christmas. The club still aren’t out of danger, and they remain one of the worst organised sides in the top flight.

Stoke have had particular problems on the road this season, claiming just a single victory on their travels. They’ve lost 60% of their away trips this term, averaging just 0.6 points per game on the road. That’s got to be a concern ahead of this game away to Chelsea, a side who have one of the strongest home records in the top flight.

Chelsea v Stoke Head to Head

Chelsea are in a good run of form against Stoke, as they won home and away against the Potters last season. They followed that up by pulling off one of their most impressive results this season against Hughes and his team, winning 4-0 at the bet365 Stadium back in September this season. While that sparked the possibility of a title charge, the Blues simply haven’t hit those heights regularly. Will they be able to return to that impressive form with a win here?

  • Stoke 0-4 Chelsea, Sept 2017
  • Stoke 1-2 Chelsea, Mar 2017
  • Chelsea 4-2 Stoke, Dec 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Stoke, Mar 2016
  • Stoke 1-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 4/5 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea -3 handicap – 4/1 with Betfair

The Blues come in to this game as heavy favourites to claim all three points against the Potters. Following their comprehensive victory in the last meeting, the champions have been priced at just 1/6 with Coral for the victory, while the visitors have drifted out to 20/1 with Ladbrokes. You can back the draw at 6/1 with Betfred in this game, but little about the form of these two suggests that this game will be anything but a straightforward victory for the home side. With Alvaro Morata backed in to 7/12 with Coral to score in the 90 minutes, it’s fair to expect a few goals in this one too.

Stoke head to a Chelsea side who are in solid form at home, having won 70% of their home matches this term. They’ve won their last six here in the league, while four of their last five victories at the Bridge in the Premier League have come to nil. Stoke don’t exactly have a lot of attacking talent going forward, and the Blues have already kept a clean sheet in the away meeting this term. We expect this to be a comfortable victory for the champions, and we think a win to nil is worth backing in this one, and it is priced at 4/5 with BetVictor.

The Blues recorded a thumping win over Stoke earlier this term, and that’s nothing new for the Potters. Not only did they ship four goals in their trip here last season, but they’ve already suffered heavy losses against some of the league’s top teams. The Potters were hit for seven in their game at the Etihad against leaders City, while they lost 5-1 against Tottenham at Wembley recently. With that in mind, we think the Blues’ attack could click against this weakened Stoke defence, one which has lost by four goals on three occasions already this term. We’re backing the Blues with a -3 handicap here at a huge 4/1 with Betfair.

Chelsea v Brighton Betting Tips (Premier League) – 26th December 2017

Chelsea’s Boxing Day fixture this year sees them clash with Brighton at Stamford Bridge. As the Blues look to wrap up a fantastic 2017 with some strong results in the league, they will hope to strengthen their position in the top four. With a real battle for the Champions League spots shaping up this season, no top side can afford to be in poor form for long. With a favourable run of games to finish the year, the Blues will be expecting to come though the final weeks of 2017 in a strong position. However, they can’t underestimate a newly promoted side.

Antonio Conte and his team are looking to balance the needs of four competitions heading in to January, with the FA Cup Third Round and EFL Cup semi-finals coming up. Whilst the Champions League is on hold over winter, this is a much busier campaign than last time out, giving the season a very different feel. While expectations have been lowered this time around, the champions are still out for a strong campaign. With plenty of huge games coming up over the next few weeks, this is a pretty exciting time for all Chelsea fans.

However, it is quite difficult to simply focus in on the clash with Brighton when there are five big matches against Arsenal and Barcelona coming up on the horizon. Ahead of those tests, the champions need to prove themselves against the Seagulls.

Team News: Rotation Could be Needed to Keep Blues Fresh

Antonio Conte’s full scale rotation in the EFL Cup in midweek might give us an insight into his thoughts for the Christmas period. However, it’s hard to see him going for such wide ranging rotation in a Premier League game. The Blues tried their best to manage 11 players across their festive fixtures last year, but things have massively changed in terms of the demands on the schedule for Conte’s side. With so many games already played and big ones to come, changes are likely in this game.

We expect Conte to make the most of his squad in the winter weeks, with the Blues likely needing to switch things up between games. However, the reliance the team has on Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard means those two are likely to feature, as the champions just don’t look good enough without those two in attack. Elsewhere, Conte has enough options to make changes, with alterations very likely across the backline.

Brighton’s only big injury absence is former Chelsea man Steve Sidwell, who is expected to be sidelined for this one. The visitors are unlikely to make a switch away from their usual formation here, having started with a 4-2-3-1 across most of their outings. Chris Hughton doesn’t seem to be too keen on making big changes ahead of this game, so we’re expecting him to stick with their regular side.

Brighton Form

Brighton head here with a long wait for an away win, as they haven’t won on the road since a trip to Swansea. The Seagulls aren’t too bad on their travels this term as they have been taking advantage of poor sides away from home this term. However. the visitors haven’t quite done enough to suggest they can pose any real threat to the Blues in this Boxing Day clash. They’ve suffered a string of defeats since jumping up to the top flight, and it’s hard to see them adapting well to playing against the side who finished top of the league last term.

Their away results have been mixed really, with their wins on the road having come at sides below them in the table. Meanwhile, they’ve lost every clash away to a top eight side during this campaign, most of those without even managing to score a goal. With their forwards not really delivering, we expect the Seagulls to slip up here.

Chelsea v Brighton Head to Head

The sides have met just a handful of times over the years with Chelsea dominating overall. The Blues have six wins and just one loss from their eight meetings with Brighton.

  • Brighton 0-1 Chelsea, Mar 1989
  • Chelsea 2-0 Brighton, Oct 1988
  • Chelsea 1-0 Brighton, Dec 1983
  • Brighton 1-2 Chelsea, Sep 1983
  • Brighton 0-2 Chelsea, Jan 1973

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – 4/5 with Ladbrokes
  • Eden Hazard to score any time – 19/20 with Coral

Chelsea come into this clash as heavy favourites across the board. The Blues are clearly fancied to beat the Premier League newcomers, as they’re priced up at 1/5 with Betfred to take the points in this Boxing Day clash. Meanwhile, Hughton’s Brighton are massive outsiders, coming in at 16/1 with Betfair. You can get 6/1 with BetVictor here on an unlikely draw for the Blues, but we aren’t backing against them in this one. This should be a straightforward home win for Conte’s men, so we’re looking elsewhere for our value on this game. Luckily, there appears to be a couple of alternative picks worth going for.

We have to look at a home win as part of the bet here, as the Pensioners should have little trouble adding to Brighton’s awful away record against the league’s best. The visitors just haven’t done enough on their travels to back up getting a result, while on current form the Blues could end up running away with this game. There’s enough talent within the ranks of the champions to record a crushing victory, and that has us going for a Chelsea win with over 2.5 goals to be scored in the match. That can be backed at 4/5 with Ladbrokes, and that seems like a good bet.

Hazard should get some much needed rest across Christmas, but we can’t see it being in this game. The Belgian hasn’t been as reliable in front of goal of late, but we think he’ll be able to carve out chances in this clash. The winger has been in great form in the Premier League this term and Chelsea are becoming increasingly reliant on him to find the back of the net. We’re backing Hazard to score any time here at 19/20 with Coral, which seems like a great value bet in a game where we fancy a comfortable home win.

Everton v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 23rd December 2017

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Saturday, as they kick off the day’s matches. With a busy schedule coming up over the next couple of weeks, the Blues are in the middle of the festive fixture frenzy. This could be a defining stage of the season for Antonio Conte and his men, who are looking to get themselves back into the title race, while ensuring they have a place in the Champions League next season. While Man City are already too far ahead to catch this season, the Blues need to make more of an effort to close the gap in the back half of the campaign.

At one point, December looked like it could be a great month for the Blues. Things haven’t quite gone their way, starting with a 1-0 loss to West Ham at the Olympic Stadium. That’s set up another tough trip this week, with Everton suddenly improving at home under Sam Allardyce. The Toffees will be hoping to pick up another three points this weekend, although the recent record between these two sides does slightly count against them. Can Allardyce have a better record against Conte than Ronald Koeman mustered?

Team News: Will Conte Make Changes to Counter Toffees?

Chelsea have almost a full strength squad to pick from ahead of this clash, but we can’t see Conte making too many changes from the usual. The Blues boss has been switching between last season’s 3-4-3 and a 3-5-2 set-up this season, and we expect him to go for the latter with Everton looking impressive. The Italian does look to flood the midfield when facing top sides, and the form of Allardyce’s side is likely to factor in to his choice here. On top of that, we can’t forget that the new Everton boss was one of the few to beat Conte last term, as he led Palace to victory at Stamford Bridge. As a result, expect Conte to settle for a three-man central midfield.

Everton remain without Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman at full-back, while one time Chelsea target Ross Barkley is also injured. The Toffees have gone with a 4-2-3-1 system of late, with Wayne Rooney being deployed behind the main striker. He’s impressed with a few goals from that position, and he’ll be even more useful there this week as he can drop into the centre of midfield if the two behind him get overwhelmed. Allardyce isn’t likely to change much from the side which keeps winning, while they’re short of full-back replacements. That means Cuco Martina and Jonjoe Kenny are potential weak links for the Chelsea wing-backs to exploit.

Everton Form

Everton have a disastrous start to the season, but they were able to bounce back from that when Sam Allardyce took charge. Having found themselves in the drop zone after the efforts of Koeman and caretaker manager David Unsworth, the turnaround since Allardyce arrived has been clear, and he’ll be aiming to continue that progress over Christmas.

With five wins and a draw from their last six matches, it’s hard to argue with the hosts’ momentum heading into this clash. However, they may have some concerns over their record against the Blues, which is an area that certainly needs work. That’s not a one off, with the Toffees being winless against any of the eight sides above them – a run which has seen three home defeats.

Everton v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have established some dominance over Everton of late, after struggling against them during the doomed 2015/16 campaign. Since Conte took charge, the Blues have managed four wins against the Toffees – two of which have already come this season. A League Cup win in October followed an early season league win, can Chelsea record a third victory over Everton within four months this season?

  • Chelsea 2-1 Everton, Oct 2017
  • Chelsea 2-0 Everton, Aug 2017
  • Everton 0-3 Chelsea, Apr 2017
  • Chelsea 5-0 Everton, Nov 2016
  • Everton 2-0 Chelsea, Mar 2016

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – evens with Betfred
  • Rooney to score any time – 13/5 with BetVictor

Chelsea may be facing an in-form Everton side, but it’s hard to tell that from the pre-match betting. The Blues are priced up at 8/13 with Coral to take the points, while the hosts are 9/2 with Betfair for another victory under Big Sam. Meanwhile, you can get 11/4 with Ladbrokes on the draw, so the bookies are leaving us in little doubt over who they are backing. While we fancy an away win, we aren’t exactly rushing out to back it at that price. Instead, we have a couple of other bets lined up for this clash as Conte’s men look for another victory on their travels.

Everton have improved going forwards under Sam Allardyce, and they’re managing to convert chances, unlike under Koeman. While they’re getting fewer touches in the box, Everton are doing well in attack, which makes us think that they’ll score here. After all, they have Wayne Rooney up front who can’t seem to stop scoring under Allardyce, and he’s got to be one to keep an eye on. Having struck nine career goals against Chelsea ahead of this clash, we’re backing him to score against the Blues on Saturday, adding to the six goals he’s scored in just five matches since Allardyce arrived on Merseyside.

Everton should be carrying enough threat up front to get a goal, and we can’t see the Blues heading back without finding the net. They’ve averaged two goals per away game this season, while Everton have conceded 1.67 goals per match in the Premier League. Not only have they scored 12 times against Everton under Conte, but they’ve found the net in 89% of their away games so far. That has us backing both teams to score in this clash at evens with Betfred.

Chelsea v Bournemouth Betting Tips (EFL Cup) – 20th December 2017

Can Chelsea secure a place in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night? The Blues may have crashed out of this competition early last season, but they’re currently favourites to make the last four of a competition they last won back in 2015.

Having seen their title hopes evaporate and with Barcelona looming in the Champions League, Antonio Conte may well focus on this competition for some potential silverware. Can the Blues edge their way past Eddie Howe’s men and secure a place in the next round? While they’ve had some pretty significant lows so far this season, losing out in a cup quarter-final to a struggling Bournemouth side would probably plumb new depths.

With fans readjusting their ambitions for the season, a push in the EFL Cup makes sense. This was a competition that was sacrificed last season, as they crashed out at West Ham just before their 13 game winning run in the league got started off. This time around they have reached the last eight, but we still have to wonder if Conte will be completely focused on winning this competition with a tough battle on his hands for a top four spot in the Premier League.

Team News: Conte Likely to Ring Changes for Quarter Final

While the Blues are just 90 minutes from a place in the semis, we have to wonder how much that means to Conte. Even the FA Cup took a spot on the back burner right until the final, when the league season had ended. The Italian went with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the bench for a semi-final with Spurs in that competition, so you have to wonder what kind of side he could produce for this quarter-final. There’s not a huge amount of depth in the Blues squad right now, so he’ll probably be forced into mixing up first teamers and the odd bench player to keep the team fresh over the Christmas period.

Bournemouth have little reason to make changes, even during the busiest of periods. They have quite a strong squad after their recent transfer business, and their squad should be able to take the addition of another big game in their schedule. The visitors will be expected to start with their first choice 11, despite making changes for their win over Middlesbrough in the previous round. If they don’t take it as seriously as a league game, then their hopes of progressing any further are basically done before the game.

Bournemouth Form

Bournemouth got this far thanks to victories over Championship sides Birmingham and Middlesbrough, while they also narrowly edged out newly promoted Brighton at home. That wasn’t the hardest set of games for the Cherries, and they have to expect a significant step up when they head to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

The visitors have an awful away record in the league this season, losing five of their nine away trips ahead of this match. While they’ve won at poor sides like Stoke and Newcastle – teams who Chelsea have beaten by an aggregate score of 7-1 – the Cherries are having a more difficult time against top opposition. They’ve lost out to every top seven side they’ve faced this season, while they’ve faced nine of the current top 10 already and claimed just one point.

Chelsea v Bournemouth Head to Head

Chelsea have won four straight meetings against the Cherries, following a 1-0 defeat to them under Jose Mourinho two years ago. That loss to the then newly promoted side was a humiliating one for the defending champions, and the Portuguese boss barely got another two weeks in the job. Since then things have looked up, with Antonio Conte winning three meetings with Bournemouth on the spin.

  • Bournemouth 0-1 Chelsea, Oct 2017
  • Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea, Apr 2017
  • Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth, Dec 2016
  • Bournemouth 1-4 Chelsea, Apr 2016
  • Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth, Dec 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – 5/6 with Betfred
  • Chelsea to win and BTTS – 19/10 with Ladbrokes

Chelsea come into this one as the 3/10 favourites with BetVictor and other firms, as they look to secure a semi-final spot. The draw here can be backed at 4/1 with Coral, while the visitors are priced at 17/2 with Ladbrokes to take all three points. It’s hard to argue with that, given the recent record between the pair. The Blues have dominated meetings between these two in recent years, and that has us expecting a home win in this quarter final. However, the Blues are far too short to back outright for a victory here, but we think there are a couple of great value bets ahead of Wednesday’s game.

Chelsea will be expecting to progress regardless of the side Antonio Conte picks for this game. However, his choices in the cup do tend to leave the side open, although his sides do tend to produce strong attacking displays in cup matches. They scored eight times across their opening two FA Cup matches last season, while they hit four past Spurs in the semis at Wembley. Will we see another goal-filled game when these two meet on Wednesday?

It seems quite likely, given that over 2.5 goals has landed in every game in this competition under Conte’s watch. That’s partly down to an awful defensive record – which has seen them concede in all of their previous five games in the EFL Cup, including shipping two at home to Bristol Rovers last season and failing to keep clean sheets against Nottingham Forest and Everton at home this term. We expect a high scoring game, and our tips here reflect that. We’re going for a home win and over 2.5 goals, as we see Chelsea winning and Bournemouth grabbing a goal in this clash.

Chelsea v Southampton Betting Tips (Premier League) – 16th December 2017

Can Chelsea build on their midweek victory over Huddersfield by seeing off Southampton at Stamford Bridge this weekend? The Blues are looking to get back on track after their shock loss to West Ham, but most of the sides below them have also dropped points of late, while Tottenham are gearing up for a tough trip to Manchester City on Saturday. That gives the champions an opportunity to boost their prospects of finishing in the top four this term, which has to be the minimum achievement from this campaign despite the patchy form which has hampered any potential title charge.

Antonio Conte will want his side to put together a run of form to carry the Blues into a commanding position in third, with the sides behind them struggling for form too. If the hosts can add another three points against the Saints, they should be able to finish 2017 on a high. With a League Cup quarter-final to come – along with a favourable run in the league – this should be the month when Conte’s men come into their own. Man City may be running away with things at the top, but the Blues could at least be the team chasing down Pep Guardiola’s side this season.

Team News: Conte Hoping for Morata Return After Midweek Absence

Chelsea’s big absentee in midweek was Alvaro Morata, who had been looking tired in recent weeks. The forward should start again here, but Conte does have a decision to make. The Blues started with Willian and Pedro behind false nine Eden Hazard in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield. That victory may have Conte considering using that system again, given that the Blues have picked up four big wins when using that approach. However, having splashed out over £50million on the Spanish striker in the summer, we can’t see him being left out of this one – especially as he’s working really well with Hazard in a front two. Conte’s other big choice is deciding if he starts with a 3-4-3 once again, or moves back to a 3-5-2 with Hazard and Morata paired together.

Southampton have no injury concerns coming into this game, but they’re still expected to make some changes here. They could move away from their 4-2-3-1 formation following a poor display against Leicester in midweek. They aren’t looking that solid at the back despite having an impressive array of defensive talent, while the Saints aren’t getting on the front foot to dominate games, so they could really do with switching things up in this game.

Southampton Form

The Saints made a pretty sluggish start, and that was without facing most of the top sides in the division. They’ve now won one of their last eight in the league having come up against some of the big six teams, and this trip to Chelsea is another tough afternoon for the Saints.

The visitors find themselves just four points above the drop after some awful form, and they could sink even closer to the bottom of the table with a slip up here. Having lost seven of their 17 games so far, the side who have been regulars in the top eight over the last few seasons are struggling. To make matters worse, they come in to this one having lost 4-1 to Claude Puel in midweek – the manager they dismissed in the summer.

Chelsea v Southampton Head to Head

Southampton have established themselves as a top 10 side in the Premier League, and as a result they’ve become a thorn in Chelsea’s side. That was not apparent last season, as the Blues won home and away against the Saints. However, a 4-2 aggregate defeat across two meetings in 2015 shows how dangerous the visitors can be on their day. Luckily their recent form hasn’t been quite up to scratch, which is a boost for the champions.

  • Chelsea 4-2 Southampton, Apr 2017
  • Southampton 0-2 Chelsea, Oct 2016
  • Southampton 1-2 Chelsea, Feb 2016
  • Chelsea 1-3 Southampton, Oct 2015
  • Chelsea 1-1 Southampton, Mar 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – Evens with Ladbrokes
  • Both teams to score – Evens with Betfred

Chelsea have been made 4/11 favourites with BetVictor to take the points in this one, with the Saints coming off the back of a poor result against Leicester. They’re priced at 17/2 with Betfair to bounce back from that loss by claiming all three points in this trip, while you can back the draw here at 15/4 with Coral. However, we can’t see anything but a home win in this game, with Conte’s troops dropping points in just two of their 19 home league matches against sides from outside of the top six. The Blues tend to see off the smaller sides at the Bridge, which bodes well for the champions as they really need another three points on the board here.

We can see quite a few goals being scored when these two sides meet, with 11 of their last 13 encounters seeing both teams score. That includes the last six meetings at Stamford Bridge, with the Saints boasting a decent record at this ground of late. To make matters worse for the Blues, they are up against a side who are in goalscoring form, with both teams scoring in all of the Saints’ last five games.

As a result, it could take a few goals for the Blues to get a result here. They’ve conceded in their last four outings, which has us thinking that they’ll need to score a few to see off the men from the south coast. We can certainly see both teams scoring again, which is priced at evens with Betfred, while we’re backing the home team to win this one with over 2.5 goals in the match at evens with Ladbrokes – having scored three goals in two of their last three league matches.

Huddersfield v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 12th December 2017

Chelsea are looking to bounce back from a surprise 1-0 loss at West Ham on Saturday when they travel to Huddersfield on Tuesday night. The champions suffered a poor defeat away to the Premier League’s bottom side for the second time this season, which capped off a pretty poor week. Having fluffed the chance to top their Champions League group with a 1-1 draw with Atletico, things just aren’t going right for the Blues right now. Can Antonio Conte inspire a turnaround, and take advantage of a straightforward December fixture list?

Their hopes of racking up points this month and pushing up the table have already been blown, with that defeat at London Stadium. However, Chelsea do have an impressive away record this term – but can they continue that here? Having won five of their eight matches on the road so far, Conte will be hoping that he can lead his side to victory over the newly promoted Terriers. However, the hosts are impressing in the top flight this season, and they have to be considered a threat. Having lost to West Ham and David Moyes, the Blues have to be fearful of most of the Premier League.

Team News: Conte Could Revert to Type After Struggles

Conte was quite bullish after the West Ham defeat, noting that the Blues have lost just four of their 16 matches so far. Obviously that isn’t good enough to sustain a title push, and the champions are facing a fight just to make it in to the top four this term. He’ll look to make a change after that, and switching to a 3-4-3 set-up once again could be the answer. It’s hard to see Tiemoue Bakayoko earning a place in the team this week – and it’s likely that N’Golo Kante and Cec Fabregas will be partnered up in the middle of the park. With a favourable fixture list to come, the Blues need to shake things up and get points on the board.

Huddersfield aren’t likely to have any major injury concerns heading into this game, which is a boost as they look to continue some solid home form. They set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation for their win over Brighton at the weekend, and we can’t see the Terriers looking to shake things up for a clash against the champions. That same approach was used in their clashes against the two Manchester clubs, and we expect them to treat Conte’s side as a similar threat. Having scored twice at the weekend, expect Steve Mounie to lead the line for the hosts.

Huddersfield Form

Huddersfield claimed a much needed win on Saturday, seeing off Brighton 2-0 at the John Smiths Stadium to keep their distance from the relegation zone. They’re now just outside the top half on goal difference, so the Terriers are enjoying an impressive first season in the Premier League, so they can’t be underestimated here. They did end a four game losing streak with that result, while it continued their impressive home form this term.

Huddersfield have won half of their home matches since gaining promotion to the top flight, suffering just two defeats. The Terriers may have slipped up against two of the top six – losing to Man City and Tottenham – but they also managed to pull off a victory over Man United here this term. Will they add to that when the champions visit on Tuesday?

Huddersfield v Chelsea Head to Head

These two sides have rarely met in recent years – the only two encounters were cup matches at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are preparing for their first trip to Huddersfield since the early 70s, which was a very different time for both sides. Having built a new ground since then and after years in the lower reaches of the Football League, the Terriers will be viewing this as a huge game for them.

  • Chelsea 3-1 Huddersfield, Feb 2008
  • Chelsea 2-1 Huddersfield, Jan 2006
  • Chelsea 2-2 Huddersfield, Jan 1972
  • Huddersfield 1-2 Chelsea, Aug 1971
  • Chelsea 0-0 Huddersfield, Mar 1971

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 5/4 with Betfred
  • Chelsea and over 2.5 goals – 11/10 with Coral

Chelsea come into this one as heavy favourites for the points, they’re 1/3 with Ladbrokes to become just the third side to win at the John Smiths Stadium this season. The hosts are out at 10/1 with BetVictor for the victory, while the draw can be found at 4/1 with Betfair. The Blues may have lost out on the road on Saturday, but they’re clearly heavily fancied to get back to winning ways on their travels. Will they be the latest top side to win at this ground, or will they fall to a similar fate as United did here?

The Terriers do carry a threat going forward, although they are only really scoring in their home matches. Huddersfield have scored 73% of their goals this season at home, while they’ve not scored on the road since the opening day of the campaign. They’ve managed to score in their last four home matches, averaging exactly a goal per game at home this term. Having found the net against both Manchester sides, we’re backing them to score against the Blues. Backing BTTS in this one holds a certain appeal at 5/4 with Betfred.

The Blues will be looking to bounce back with a win, and the way that Tottenham and Man City won here should give them hope of a victory. Both of those defeats saw at least three goals scored, while 62% of the Blues’ trips have seen over 2.5 goals. With the visitors averaging close to two goals per game on their travels this term, we expect them to edge a high scoring match against a side who have a good scoring record in front of their own fans. We’re backing Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals in the match, which can be backed at 11/10 with Coral.

West Ham v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – Saturday 9th December 2017

Chelsea are back in Premier League action on Saturday afternoon, as they make the trip across London to visit West Ham. David Moyes’ side have struggled for points all season, which has left them stuck in the bottom three as we edge towards Christmas. While there’s plenty of talent and experience in this West Ham side, you have to question their work ethic, which is something they need to have if they’re going to survive a relegation scrap. The Blues should be confident of claiming three points, given how David Moyes struggled with Sunderland last season, and he’s threatening to take his new side in a similar direction.

Having wrapped up their Champions League campaign, Chelsea are focusing on securing a top four finish in the Premier League this time around. Manchester City are running away with things, and the main aim for Antonio Conte’s side is making it into next season’s European Cup. There is a slight chance for the champions to get back into the title race, with the two Manchester clubs meeting this weekend and with a kind December fixture list. However, first up they need to claim all three points when they visit the struggling Hammers to have any chance of pushing the leaders later in the season.

Team News: Will Conte Turn to Wingers Against Struggling Hammers?

We can see this being the type of game that would suit Conte’s 3-4-3 approach, as the Italian has plenty of creativity to play in the supporting roles behind Alvaro Morata. Both Willian and Pedro should be pushing for a start in the side ahead of this weekend’s game, while Eden Hazard is in wonderful form of late. That strength is something which the manager needs to take advantage of, especially against an incredibly leaky West Ham defence. Other than that, we struggle to see any major changes for the champions, although the centre-halves could be switched around once again.

West Ham used a 3-5-1-1 system in their defeat at Manchester City, but they did that without a recognised frontman. They looked to pile bodies into the middle of the park for that game, which is a tactic that seemed to work against City. However, with Chelsea playing with two roaming players in advanced positions, the Hammers need a bit of a rethink here. A three-man defence is the standard way to play against the Blues these days, but further up the pitch Moyes needs to make changes if he’s to lift spirits at the London Stadium.

West Ham Form

West Ham come into this weekend’s game after a dreadful run in the Premier League, which led to the sacking of Slaven Bilic. However, the hammers haven’t been able to arrest their slump under new manager Moyes, which is a worrying sign at this point in the campaign. They’re second from bottom as things stand, without a win in eight league matches, but can that change here?

The Hammers have two home league wins this season, which both came against sides in the bottom six in the league, including basement club Swansea. Their other matches haven’t quite gone so well, and they’ve lost every meeting with the top six so far. Based on how the Blues have been faring in the league of late, it’s hard to see things changing for Moyes and his men here.

West Ham v Chelsea Head to Head

The Blues made two visits to the Olympic Stadium during its inaugural campaign, claiming three points in the league here in October. The Blues were knocked out of the EFL Cup at this ground last season, but that came against an experimental Chelsea team. With Conte set to go with the big guns here, given how poor the visitors are at the back, we can see yet another high scoring encounter between these two teams.

  • West Ham 1-2 Chelsea, Mar 2017
  • West Ham 2-1 Chelsea, Oct 2016
  • Chelsea 2-1 West Ham, Aug 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 West Ham, Mar 2016
  • West Ham 2-1 Chelsea, Oct 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea and over 2.5 goals – 11/8 with Betfred
  • Eden Hazard to score any time – 7/5 with Betfair

Chelsea come in to this one priced at 1/2 with Coral for all three points, with the Hammers still searching for a win under former Everton boss Moyes. They aren’t fancied to end that wait this weekend, as the hosts can be backed at 13/2 with BetVictor to claim a home win. The draw is priced at 3/1 with Coral here, but recent years haven’t seen too many stalemates between these two, and we can’t see them finishing level here. The Blues are priced around where they should be given how poor the Hammers have looked this season, but we’re looking at slightly bigger prices for our bets on Saturday’s early kick-off.

West Ham have tended to see high scoring games this season, especially in their defeats. The hosts have lost nine of their 15 league games this term, with almost all of those seeing over 2.5 goals scored. Their only defeat to see fewer than three goals was a dismal 2-0 loss at Watford in Moyes’ opening game after taking charge. Since then, normal service has been resumed with 4-0 and 2-1 defeats to Everton and Man City respectively. This isn’t a new problem for the Hammers – 14 of their 17 defeats last season saw over 2.5 goals, which is why we’re backing the same again here at 11/8 with Betfred.

We can see at least one of the goals coming from the in-form Hazard, who hit another two against Newcastle last week. He has three goals in five league meetings with West Ham, including two in his last three away meetings with the Hammers. We think it’s worth backing him to score any time at 7/5 with Betfair here.