Stoke v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 18th March 2017

Can Chelsea build on their FA Cup quarter final victory over Manchester United when they face Stoke at the weekend? They make the trip to the Potteries on Saturday, as they aim to continue their push for the Premier League title. After their win over the Red Devils on Monday night, there’s a very real possibility that Antonio Conte’s men can end the season with a league and cup double. However, they need to keep their focus in the remaining weeks, with a queue of top sides lining up behind them.

With Liverpool facing Manchester City, another one of the top four is guaranteed to drop points this weekend. That can boost the Blues’ position at the top of the table, as long as they can see off Stoke this weekend. This will be a brand new test for Conte, but he’s built a side which should be able to withstand any challenge they face at the Bet365 Stadium. This trip is their final match of the month, can they round off an impressive run in March by winning against the Potters?

Team News: Changes unlikely after cup success

It’s hard to see Antonio Conte making too many changes for this game. He kept his full strength side for the clash with Manchester United, bringing in Willian for Pedro and Nemanja Matic for Cesc Fabregas. Those two switches helped them to victory over a top six rival, and they should help them through a difficult away trip. The combination of Matic and N’Golo Kante in midfield is a bruising partnership, while Willian offers more tracking back. That leaves more room for Eden Hazard, who’ll play in support of Diego Costa. Conte isn’t going to feel the need to change from that, especially with no club game for another two weeks.

Mark Hughes doesn’t have the same injury free squad as Conte. They’re missing first choice goalkeeper Jack Butland, while Xherdan Shaqiri is also out for the Potters. They’ve been lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation of late, which sees Peter Crouch as their main focal point in attack. The forward has caused plenty of problems for Chelsea in the past, including a goal at Stamford Bridge earlier this season. However, just how will that setup fare at home to the 3-4-3 system employed by the league leaders?

Stoke Form

Stoke come into this game in patchy form, following a 0-0 draw with Manchester City. That point was a solid result, but the Potters had their backs to the wall at the Etihad. While that was a hard earned point, they have still won just two of their last seven matches. An early exit in the FA Cup was a serious blow to their campaign. They lost 2-0 at home to Championship side Wolves, who Chelsea then dumped out a couple of rounds later.

Stoke are currently ninth in the Premier League, which would represent a good finish to the campaign, after a poor start. Hughes was under pressure at the Bet365 earlier this season, but he’s managed to straighten things out for the Potters. They’ve been in pretty mixed form at this ground so far, winning six of their 14 home league matches. Unlike in previous years, most of those victories have been against weaker sides, with no big scalps of note. Heavy defeats to Tottenham home and away have shown that Stoke have fallen slightly, after once possessing a fortress like home record.

Stoke v Chelsea Head to Head

Recent meetings between these two sides have been very mixed, including a couple of poor results for the Blues away to Stoke in the past. A league defeat and a penalty shootout loss here in 2015 didn’t do much for Jose Mourinho’s hopes of holding on to his job. The Blues did claim a victory in their last meeting, which proved more difficult for the league leaders than they’d imagined.

  • Chelsea 4-2 Stoke, Dec 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Stoke, Mar 2016
  • Stoke 1-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015
  • Stoke 1-1 Chelsea, Oct 2015
  • Chelsea 2-1 Stoke, Apr 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – evens with Betfred
  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – 31/20 with Coral

Chelsea come into this match as 8/13 favourites with Sky Bet, despite travelling to the Bet365 Stadium. While this tends to be a tough place to go, Stoke are priced at 11/2 with BetVictor to get a result here. Meanwhile, Betfair are offering 3/1 on the draw. It’s telling that the Blues are such heavy favourites in this kind of difficult fixture. While trips to Stoke aren’t as difficult as they once were. Can the Blues take full advantage of some patchy Stoke form and continue their push towards the Premier League title?

Chelsea should be worried about their defensive record of late, after conceding in their last five Premier League matches. They struggled against Stoke’s attack in their previous meeting, despite coming out 4-2 winners. Hughes’ men found a way around an excellent Blues defence, and they’ll be confident of scoring against a side who have looked more open in recent weeks. The leaders should be able to find the net in this game, after scoring in 86% of their league matches. That’s why we’re backing both teams to score, which is priced at evens with Betfred.

Chelsea should still take the points, despite their problems at the back. Stoke are a side who look vulnerable, especially against those at the top of the table. While we see Stoke getting a goal, their recent form against Tottenham, two 4-0 defeats this term, makes us think that Conte’s men will be able to hit a few goals. After all, 63% of their league matches this term have seen over 2.5 goals. That’s why we’re backing an away win and over 2.5 goals, which is priced at 31/20 with Coral.

Chelsea v Manchester United Betting Tips (FA Cup) – 13th March 2017

A second consecutive Monday night clash for Chelsea sees them welcome back Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge. The former Blues boss will be looking to improve on his last visit here, which ended in a demoralising 4-0 defeat. There’s considerably more on the line this time around, as the Red Devils come here aiming to book a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. This tie pits the Premier League leaders against the League Cup winners, but which will move closer to the FA Cup final?

Antonio Conte will be aiming to complete a league and cup double, reminiscent of Carlo Ancelotti’s first season in charge. After their win at West Ham last week, the Blues seem to be uncatchable at the summit of the Premier League. United certainly can’t get near them, something even the belligerent Mourinho has admitted. He has tried some mind games, suggesting that the Blues have already won the league, allowing them to completely focus on this huge game. For United, this is sandwiched in between two Europa League games against Russian side Rostov.

Team News: Conte to end cup rotation while United plug striking gap

Antonio Conte has made quite a few changes to his team in the FA Cup so far, but the line-ups he’s named have become gradually stronger as the rounds went on. As we predicted ahead of the Wolves tie, this is likely to be the time when the first team turns up in the cup. This a huge tie between two big contenders for the competition, and Conte has no reason to rest players here. Rotating would cancel out their big advantage over Mourinho’s side, as the Blues have a fully fit squad once again. It’s likely we’ll see a similar team to the one which hammered United last time the sides met.

Mourinho has a couple of things to juggle in this game. While he’d prefer to win another FA Cup than the Europa League, the Champions League place on offer in the later makes it United’s priority. With two tricky Europa League games either side of this match, expect the Red Devils to make a few changes for this tie. They have one major enforced change to worry about, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic starting a three game domestic ban. He’s been key to their season so far, so the Swede will be a massive miss for the visitors.

Manchester United Form

Manchester United come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth in their last domestic outing. That result was a big blow to their Champions League hopes, which suits Chelsea even more. United slipped three points off Liverpool, and they could be as many as six points off fourth by the time this one kicks off. That heightens the importance of the Europa League to them, devaluing this competition. Their main priority has to be their two methods of returning to the Champions League, and their form of late hasn’t been good enough to secure that.

United’s recent big wins, over Saint Etienne in the Europa League and Southampton in the EFL Cup final, came via brilliance from Ibrahimovic. The Swede scored six in his last five matches. Without him, you have to ask how Mourinho’s side will fare. He’s scored 38% of their league goals this term, while he hit the winner at Blackburn in the last round. While they’ve been getting results of late, this is going to be a very different side.

Chelsea v Manchester United Head to Head

That win over United in October is the obvious stand out in their recent encounters. Aside from that, the other clashes between these sides have been fairly tight. Neither of the meetings between these two last term came with Mourinho in charge, the 0-0 at Old Trafford was around a week after his dismissal.

  • Chelsea 4-0 Man United, Oct 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Man United, Feb 2016
  • Man United 0-0 Chelsea, Dec 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Man United, Apr 2015
  • Man United 1-1 Chelsea, Nov 2014

Betting Tips

  • Over 1.5 Chelsea goals – 11/10 with Betfair
  • Diego Costa to score any time – 11/10 with Sky Bet

BetVictor are pricing the Blues as the 5/6 favourites for this game, no doubt in part to United’s other commitments. The lack of Zlatan Ibrahimovic should make a major difference, that’s seen United drift out to 7/2 with Coral to win at the Bridge. This game would go to extra time if drawn, after the FA scrapped quarter final replays, and Bet365 make it 13/5 for this clash to be level after 90 minutes. Neither side would want the extra hassle of that, but they’ll both be desperate to book a place in the last four. The bookies seem to believe that Conte’s men are going to progress, but we’re looking elsewhere for value on this clash.

Following Chelsea’s hammering of United here last time out, the Blues have been in excellent scoring form at home. They hit eight in two home FA Cup ties, while they’ve scored two or more in their last seven outings at Stamford Bridge. Since that win over the Red Devils in October, they’ve scored three or more in 70% of matches at this ground. We can see the travel weary United conceding another couple here, so we’re backing over 1.5 goals for the hosts, which is very well priced at 11/10 with Betfair.

We’re also backing Diego Costa to score one of those goals, following his strike at the London Stadium. You have to wonder just how much louder the outcry would have been if was Costa and not Ibrahimovic elbowing for revenge last weekend. However, the Spaniard is a changed man, and he’s in lethal scoring form. We can see him putting United to the sword, and getting one over Mourinho. He’s priced at 11/10 with Sky Bet to score in the match.

West Ham v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 6th March 2017

Chelsea play after their rivals in the Premier League this weekend, as they travel to West Ham on Tuesday. The Blues will be aiming to build on the 10 point gap they opened up last weekend, especially as we get close to the run in. This game represents one of their biggest remaining away tests, having travelled to Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs already. The Blues haven’t found trips to West Ham easy in recent years, but how will they fare at the Olympic Stadium?

Chelsea did lose their first trip to this ground, which came in the EFL Cup back in October. That’s the only competition that the Blues have been eliminated from so far this season, as they aim to win the league and cup double in Antonio Conte’s first season in charge. Taking the points here could be a huge step forward for their aim of sealing the championship, especially as they’ll know how their rivals have done when they step out at the London Stadium on Monday night. However, you can bet that the hosts will be up for this game, seeing as they have so little aside from local pride to play for.

Team News: Conte to return to London Stadium with reinforcements

Once again Conte can pick from his full squad, but he’s unlikely to make too many changes. Cesc Fabregas started and scored against Swansea, but this might be the kind of game where Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante are needed in the middle. Otherwise, this should be the usual team taking on the Hammers. That makes quite a change from the rotated side who lost 2-1 at this ground in the League Cup. That game was one of Conte’s early outings with the 3-4-3, only with a weakened side. Can the full strength team step up and claim revenge for that defeat? Given how brilliant they’ve been since the defensive switch, they should come here full of confidence.

West Ham’s season has been hampered by injuries, and they’re still missing a few players ahead of this game on Monday. Former Chelsea man Gokhan Tore is out injured, alongside Diafra Sakho. Angelo Ogbonna is also injured ahead of this game, while key man Michail Antonio is suspended after being sent off at Watford last weekend. The former Nottingham Forest man was linked with a move across London to Stamford Bridge in January. His attacking talent and ability to play at right back made him a potential right wing back, and he would have been a real thorn in the Blues’ defence had he appeared here.

West Ham Form

West Ham have had a turbulent time since their switch to the Olympic Stadium in the summer. What should have been a bright new start for them has been very problematic, and they’ve slumped down the table as a result. They’ve won just 38% of their Premier League matches since their move to the new ground. They’ve lost just as many games, while they’ve crashed out of the Europa League and FA Cup in disappointing defeats at their new home.

Things haven’t exactly picked up for the Hammers of late, as they’ve won just one of their last five home matches. While they saw off a struggling Crystal Palace side, they have conceded nine times in two meetings with Man City. They also slipped to a defeat against Manchester United, and drew 2-2 with West Brom. This ground is far from a fortress, so the Blues should have no fear ahead of this trip.

West Ham v Chelsea Head to Head

Recent meetings between these two sides have been quite mixed, especially last season. The Hammers were on the rise last term, and that led to them taking four points in the two league matches, and they were unlucky not to win in their match at Stamford Bridge. However, the Blues opened their title push with a 2-1 win over West Ham, and they’ll be hoping to maintain their lead at the top with another victory.

  • West Ham 2-1 Chelsea, 26th Oct 2016
  • Chelsea 2-1 West Ham, 15th Aug 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 West Ham, 19th Mar 2016
  • West Ham 2-1 Chelsea, 24th Nov 2015
  • West Ham 0-1 Chelsea, 4th Mar 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – 11/8 with Coral
  • Diego Costa to score first – 10/3 with SkyBet

The Blues come into this game as 4/7 favourites with Ladbrokes, while West Ham are 19/4 outsiders with Bet365. That clearly points towards an away win, but we aren’t going to back the leaders at that price. While their full strength team should be able to reverse that 2-1 away defeat, we can see this being another high scoring encounter between these two sides.

Both meetings between the east-west rivals this term have seen three goals scored, while the last four encounters between them have seen at least three goals. The Hammers have been conceding far too many against the top sides, with Arsenal and City both racking up five goals in their recent visits here. The Blues should be confident of scoring a couple, but they have conceded in four straight league matches. While we’re backing an away win, we’re also going with at least three goals. Chelsea to win and over 2.5 is priced at 11/8 with Coral.

One man worth keeping an eye on is wing back Victor Moses, who played for West Ham on loan last season. He’s priced at 4/1 with BetVictor to score against his former teammates. However, we think Diego Costa is the one to go with in the goalscorer markets. He’s hit 16 league goals, half of which have opened the scoring. We’re tipping him to make a quick impact at the London Stadium, as we’re backing the forward to score first at 10/3 with Sky Bet.

Chelsea v Swansea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 25th February 2017

Can Chelsea continue their push for the title against a former coach? Their meeting with Swansea sees a return to Stamford Bridge for Paul Clement, who took over at the Liberty Stadium last month. The former Blues assistant left a role at Bayern Munich to take over in Wales, and he’s overseen a revival in the Swans’ fortunes. They’re now out of the relegation zone, having performed well in big away games in the league. Their impressive recent performances should see them make this trip high on confidence. Can they continue their solid form away to the Premier league leaders on Saturday?

The Blues saw their lead at the top cut down to eight points in the last league weekend. Their draw at Burnley allowed Manchester City to move eight points off the top, so Chelsea can’t afford another slip. Recent weeks have seen a rotating roster of title challengers, which has worked in the leaders’ favour. Allowing any team to get too close is dangerous. Can they return to winning ways when they host the Swans? After 11 straight home victories, you’d expect that Antonio Conte’s men will take all three points.

Team News: Conte to return to full strength side

Chelsea continue to have no injury worries, which gives them a fully fit squad ahead of this home game. Last weekend saw several changes for the FA Cup tie with Wolves, with quite a few big names rested. Conte is likely to revert to his strongest side ahead of their return to league action. Nathaniel Chalobah had the unenviable task of standing in for N’Golo Kante. Expect the former Leicester man to return here, alongside the first choice back three. While they’re up against a team who are stuck towards the bottom of the Premier League, they can’t afford to rotate this weekend.

Swansea are missing long term absentee Jefferson Montero, the winger hasn’t featured since August. They’re also missing midfielders Ki Sung-yueng and Leon Britton. Paul Clement has set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation since taking over, that set up has helped them to climb the Premier League table. Will their new approach help them to cause problems at Stamford Bridge?

Swansea Form

Swansea were propping up the Premier League table back in January, which was when Clement took charge. While he suffered an early elimination in the FA Cup, their league form has been impressive. They’ve won four of six matches since Clement took over, which has seen them jump up to 15th place in the table. They now have a four point cushion on the bottom three, which represents a huge turnaround. They’ll be hoping to widen that gap this weekend. Survival looked very unlikely under Bob Bradley, so the former Chelsea assistant deserves a lot of praise for his work so far.

The Swans have made a couple of tough trips since Clement took charge too. Not only did they beat the champions Leicester at home, but they claimed three points at Anfield last month. Their 3-2 win over Liverpool was impressive, especially given the nature of their performance. The Welsh side looked assured in possession, and they controlled the tempo of the game. They came close to taking a point at Man City, as a last minute goal saw them suffer a 2-1 defeat. Clearly they won’t be overwhelmed by their trip to Stamford Bridge this weekend.

Chelsea v Swansea Head to Head

Recent meetings haven’t been kind to the Blues, they’ve won just two of their last five encounters with the Welsh side. Their 2-2 draw with the Swans here last season was the beginning of a season of turmoil. That was followed by a 1-0 defeat at the Liberty later on in the campaign. Their draw at Swansea this season was the first time the team dropped points under Conte. Can they claim revenge for that in the reverse fixture this weekend?

  • Swansea 2-2 Chelsea, Sept 2016
  • Swansea 1-0 Chelsea, Apr 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Swansea, Aug 2015
  • Swansea 0-5 Chelsea, Jan 2015
  • Chelsea 4-2 Swansea, Sept 2014

Betting Tips

  • Over 2.5 Chelsea goals – 23/20 at BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win and both teams to score – 2/1 at Betfred

Chelsea come into this game as heavy favourites to take the points. They are priced at 2/9 with Bet365 to take the victory, while the visitors are outsiders. The Swans are priced at 10/1 with Sky Bet, while Coral make the draw 9/2. It’s hard to see anything but a home win, given their excellent record at Stamford Bridge. While the Swans have claimed a win at Anfield, that was against an out of form Liverpool side. This will be a much tougher test despite their impressive recent record against the Pensioners.

While Clement has led to some improved results, he hasn’t done much to end the Swans’ problems at the back. They’re still the worst defence in the Premier League, having conceded eight times in their last five, despite their move up the table. The Blues have an excellent attacking record this season, and they’ll be expecting to add to that this weekend. They’ve scored three or more goals in five of their last six outings. We’re backing over 2.5 goals for the hosts, especially with Diego Costa and Eden Hazard in excellent form. That’s priced at 23/20 with BetVictor, and it seems much better than backing them on the match result market.

We’re also going with a goal from the visitors, based on their recent away trips. They’ve scored at Anfield and the Etihad in recent weeks under Clement. Swansea have scored twice in their last two visits to Stamford Bridge, so they should be confident of getting a goal here. We’re backing a home win and both teams to score, which is priced at 2/1 with Betfred. They’ve scored in seven of their last nine away, so we expect them to get a goal away to the leaders.

Wolves v Chelsea Betting Tips (FA Cup) – 18th February 2017

Can Chelsea continue to compete on two fronts when they travel to Wolves this weekend? The Blues are facing a team who have already claimed two Premier League scalps this season, which puts them in a tough position. While the visitors are the big favourites and they are expected to win with a rotated squad, they’re facing a team who have belief against top flight opposition, at a ground which will be packed full of fans hoping for a cup shock. Can Antonio Conte break hearts at Molineux on Saturday evening? A win here would be a major step towards a potential league and cup double.

This is the toughest test the Blues have faced in the FA Cup this year, after home ties against Peterborough and Brentford. However, they’ll be happy to face off against Championship opposition again, as long as they can record a similar result. We know not to expect the strongest 11 on the field here, but that can be said of both sides. Is this the end of Wolves’ fantastic FA Cup run, or are they going to claim a win over the Premier League leaders and book a place in the quarter finals?

Team News: Conte likely to ring changes ahead of this trip

Conte has made consistent changes in the FA Cup so far, despite not having to juggle European games alongside their push for the title. The lack of Champions League or Europa League duties mean that the fringe players need game time, as evidenced by Kurt Zouma’s recent comments about possibly leaving the club. The defender basically revealed that he has been promised minutes in the cup by the manager, so expect to see the big defender slot into central defence for this trip, possibly in place of David Luiz or Gary Cahill.

Given how Conte has rotated, we expect to see John Terry back, along with Nathan Ake. Hopefully Ruben Loftus-Cheek will get a little more time on the pitch, while Cesc Fabregas and Willian have both done enough for inclusion. At a certain point, the manager is likely to start fielding some first team stars in the cup, but that’s not likely to start until the quarter finals, should the Blues progress this weekend. Until then, expect the top names to be given a break ahead of their next Premier League outing.

Wolves come here without defender Mike Williamson, plus Michal Zyro and Jordan Graham are both ruled out. Despite being 18th in the Championship table, Paul Lambert is likely to make changes of his own for this clash. Even in their previous victories over Premier League outfits Stoke and Liverpool, Wolves named a rotated side from the start. That shows where their priorities are, while it also sends out a worrying message about the importance of the FA Cup. Their cup heroes so far, Andi Weimann and Helder Costa, should both feature in this clash.

Wolves Form

Wolves head into this game struggling in the Championship, despite their big money takeover last summer. They’ve spent quite a bit in the second tier, and tried to pull off some big moves, but former Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert was brought in to stabilise the club. Back to back defeats have left them in trouble, as they’re just six points above the drop zone. They could be set for a dreaded relegation into the third tier, not long after stating their aim to make the top flight.

Part of Wolves’ troubles this season has been their home form. They head into this cup tie having pulled off both their shocks away from home, which explains how they were able to beat top flight opposition. They’ve lost half of their Championship games at Molineux this season, conceding 1.64 goals per game and picking up just 1.07 points per match. That’s not good enough to trouble Chelsea, they’ll have to up their game in order to cause another shock on Saturday.

Wolves v Chelsea Head to Head

These sides haven’t met since 2012, the last encounter being a painful one for the side from the West Midlands. As one would expect, Chelsea have had the better of the most recent meetings between the pair.

  • Chelsea 6-0 Wolves, Sept 2012
  • Wolves 1-2 Chelsea, Jan 2012
  • Chelsea 3-0 Wolves, Nov 2011
  • Wolves 1-0 Chelsea, Jan 2011
  • Chelsea 2-0 Wolves, Oct 2010

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 17/20 with Coral
  • Chelsea -1.5 Asian Handicap – 43/40 with Bet365

The Blues are the obvious favourites, priced at 4/11 with BetVictor, while the hosts are 13/2 with Sky Bet to cause a shock. There’s quite a gulf between the two sides, which is all too clear judging by their differing league campaigns. While the cup is the great leveller, can it really put a side fighting relegation to League One up against the Premier League leaders and see a shock? It’s hard to see anything but an away win, although those 4/11 odds aren’t exactly great value.

While the Blues are heavy favourites, we can still see them conceding a goal here. They’re up against a team who have recently recorded cup shocks, plus they’re a side with nothing to lose. Wolves never thought they’d get this far, and now they have a huge game against the potential champions of England. They should have a go at this rotated Chelsea defence, and we’re backing them to score, given that they’ve found the net in 70% of their league games this season, and scored four times in two away trips to top flight teams.

However, we’re backing the gulf in quality to shine through in the final score. The Blues have scored four times in each of their FA Cup games so far, winning by at least three goals in each. They’ve won by two or more in 63% of their league victories, and they should find things easier against the Championship’s second worst home record. That has us backing the visitors with a -1.5 Asian Handicap, which is priced at a decent 43/40 with Bet365.

Burnley v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 12th February 2017

Following their highly significant victory over Arsenal last weekend, can Chelsea continue their push for the title at Turf Moor this Sunday? Having put 12 points between themselves and the Gunners, they’ll be hoping to move even further clear this weekend, when they travel to face the Clarets. Elsewhere, second placed Tottenham face a trip to Anfield, which could see them slip further off the pace. There’s a chance that the league leaders could go even further clear with three points on Sunday, strengthening their hold at the top of the Premier League.

However, Burnley will have something to say about that. Few sides come to their ground and get a result, so the Blues are going to face a stern test to say the least. While the hosts are newly promoted to the top flight, they’re looking very good for survival, and that’s almost exclusively thanks to their form at home. They’ll relish the challenge of facing the best side in the league, so Antonio Conte’s men need to be at their best here to come away with the points. Will they record yet another victory, or could the leaders allow the chasing pack to close the gap?

Team News: Could Fabregas return after weekend impact?

Chelsea once again come here with a fully fit squad to pick from. With all options available, Conte is likely to go with his strongest line up, starting in a 3-4-3 once again. The only possible change is the introduction of Cesc Fabregas, who scored soon after coming on against Arsenal at the weekend. The midfielder impressed in his cameo, and he could have worked his way back in to the team for this weekend’s game.

The manager will have a choice between the former Barcelona man and Nemanja Matic, with one of them partnering N’Golo Kante. Elsewhere, we expect no changes to the side which started last weekend, as the boss continues his consistent team selection.

Burnley come into this one without their big summer signing Jeff Hendrick, who was sent off for an awful tackle at Watford last weekend. Sean Dyche is also without Dean Marney and Steven Defour in midfield, which leaves them a little short of options. Hendrick and Defour are two of their four usual starters in midfield, so they have a couple of holes to plug. Dyche tends to start with a 4-4-2 formation, which could cause his side problems here. Teams who start with four in midfield against Kante and co rarely come out on top.

Burnley Form

Burnley come into this game 12th in the table, and they’re now nine points clear of the relegation zone. It’s their best Premier League season so far, having been relegated in their previous two. While they could still go down this term, there’s a lot going for the Clarets at the moment. Their fantastic home record has been the foundation of their push for survival, and it’s something that Chelsea need to worry about this weekend.

Burnley have the third best home record in the Premier League. Only the top two, Chelsea and Spurs, have taken more points at their own grounds than the Clarets have on theirs. They’ve averaged 2.15 points per game at home this term, winning 69% of their home games. They’ve won their last seven at Turf Moor in all competitions, which makes this a very tricky test for the leaders. Can they continue that fantastic run when they host the side with the best away record in the league?

Burnley v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have had mostly good results against Burnley of late. They won at Turf Moor in both 2010 and 2014, winning the league in both seasons. They’ll be hoping for a repeat of that on Sunday, especially as they’ve won their last three visits to this stadium, with their last defeat away to the Clarets coming back in 1973. Will we see a repeat of the routine 3-0 victory they recorded at Stamford Bridge earlier this season?

  • Chelsea 3-0 Burnley, Aug 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Burnley, Feb 2015
  • Burnley 1-3 Chelsea, Aug 2014
  • Burnley 1-2 Chelsea, Jan 2010
  • Chelsea 3-0 Burnley, Aug 2009

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 11/10 with Coral
  • Eden Hazard to score – 11/8 with Sky Bet

Chelsea are priced as the 2/5 favourites with Betfair, despite Burnley’s impressive record at home. Betfred make the draw 7/2, while you can get 8/1 on an eighth consecutive home win for Burnley with BetVictor.

The leaders are expected to continue their push for the title. The Blues aren’t far away, with 34 points the all-important number for them. That’s the combined total of points claimed for Chelsea and dropped by their nearest rivals, which guarantees them another title. Can they cut that number this weekend?

Given Burnley’s strong form at home, the visitors are going to face a difficult test. The Clarets have scored in 85% of their home games, including their last eight consecutive home league matches. The Blues have found the net in 83% of their away league games, so they should grab a goal when they visit Turf Moor. We’re backing both teams to find the net this weekend, which looks very well priced at 11/10 with Coral. Given the form of these two sides, goals seem more than likely here, which makes that a huge price.

We also see Eden Hazard getting on the scoresheet for the Blues, after his wonderful effort against Arsenal last time out. The Belgian has been fantastic all season, and we’re backing him to follow up his excellent display against the Gunners by grabbing a goal at Turf Moor. We’re going with him to score anytime against Burnley, which seems like good value at 11/8 with Sky Bet. Given that he’s already scored 10 goals in the league this season, he’s well priced to add to that total.

Chelsea v Arsenal Betting Tips (Premier League) – 4th February 2017

Chelsea’s first massive game this week was a solid result; can they follow that up with a win over Arsenal? After drawing 1-1 at Anfield, the Blues actually ended up having a strong week. They’ve kept their lead intact after their rivals slipped up in some straightforward encounters. They can’t rely on the same thing happening this weekend, plus they can deliver a serious blow to the Gunners’ title hopes with victory in this game.

Chelsea will also be aiming to avenge their 3-0 loss to Arsenal in their first meeting this season. That result had Antonio Conte stood on the side of the pitch looking helpless, with his head in his hands. He switched to a 3-4-3 in the second half, which then prompted the 13 game winning run which put them top of the table. That makes this game a big test of Conte’s new set up, can it result in a reversal of that defeat at the Emirates? A big win here would really stamp the Blues’ position as champions in waiting.

Team News: Conte to keep faith with Anfield 11

One again Conte comes in to this match with no injury worries. His side came through the January window with no signings, despite being linked with a couple of players on deadline day. They didn’t let any of their first team players go, despite interest in Nathan Ake. That gives the Blues a strong squad to pick from here, but the manager is likely to keep faith with the side which picked up a 1-1 draw at Anfield. The only possible change is Cesc Fabregas coming in for Nemanja Matic, given that they should be able to attack more at Stamford Bridge than away to Liverpool.

Arsenal aren’t just missing a couple of players for this game, they’re also without their manager. Arsene Wenger is serving a four game touchline ban for pushing a fourth official, which keeps him out of the dugout this weekend. He’s joined in the stands by Granit Xhaka, who is suspended. Both Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey are out injured, which leaves the Gunners looking a little light in central midfield. That leaves Francis Coquelin as their only available central midfielder, with Mohamed Elneny off at the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt. That’s a serious problem, given that they’re up against N’Golo Kante this week.

Arsenal Form

Arsenal are coming into this game on the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Watford, which was a serious blow to their title hopes. They found themselves 2-0 down within 14 minutes at the Emirates, and they failed to get back in to it in the following 76 minutes. Alex Iwobi did manage to pull one back, but the Hornets managed to claim a win which knocked the Gunners down to third in the table, they’re now behind Tottenham on goal difference. That defeat was also a blow to their Champions League hopes, as things are very tight between second and sixth.

That defeat followed a 5-0 win for Arsenal at Southampton in the cup. The Saints had fielded a weakened side, which played a part in their collapse. They had won six of their seven matches before that loss on Tuesday night, will they be able to get back in form with a result at Stamford Bridge? They come here with a very weak away league record, winning just one of their last four, and only nine of their previous 24.

Chelsea v Arsenal Head to Head

Obviously the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal will still leave a scar for the Chelsea players, they’ll be out to make up for that loss here. Their recent record against the Gunners has been mixed, with a defeat to them at Wembley in the 2015 Community Shield. The Blues won home and away last season despite struggling to defend their title. They also have an excellent record at Stamford Bridge against Arsenal, winning their last four home meetings with Arsene Wenger and his team. That includes a 6-0 thumping back in 2014.

  • Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea, Sep 2016
  • Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea, Jan 2016
  • Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal, Sep 2015
  • Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea, Aug 2015
  • Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea, Apr 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win – 21/20 with Betfred
  • Diego Costa to score first – 7/2 with Sky Bet

Chelsea are 21/20 favourites for this game with Betfred, while Arsenal are priced at 3/1 with BetVictor to take the points. The Blues will be hopeful of continuing their four game winning streak at home to the Gunners, especially given their midweek defeat. A win here would also be massive for their title chances, but can they find a way past Wenger’s team on Saturday lunchtime?

Given that this is a tactical battle between Conte and Arsenal’s stand-in touchline manager Steve Bould, it’s easy to see a home win. On top of that, the Blues have an excellent home record ahead of this game, winning 91% of their outings at the Bridge, averaging 2.73 points per game. They’ve won their last 10 at home in all competitions, conceding in just three of those clashes. That should be enough to see a home win this weekend, which is what we’re backing here. A win for the Blues is our bet at 21/20 with Betfred.

Results against Arsenal tend to depend on the performance of Diego Costa up front. He scored the winner at the Emirates when these two met last season, while his absence was obvious during the Community Shield game at Wembley last season. The striker was isolated during the meeting at Arsenal earlier this season, but with the 3-4-3 we expect things to be different at the Bridge. The Premier League’s top scorer is now back in the side and scoring, and we’re backing him to get over his penalty miss at Anfield with the first goal here. The Spaniard is priced at 7/2 with Sky Bet to open the scoring.

Liverpool v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – Tuesday 31st January 2017

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Tuesday night, as they face title rivals Liverpool at Anfield. This is a huge clash for the league leaders, as they’ve been in awful form in matches against their rivals at the top. They lost at home to Liverpool earlier in the season, and they’ve suffered defeats away to Tottenham and Arsenal this term. Can they do any better when they take on the Reds this week?

Liverpool are in shaky form of late, so Conte will see this as a chance to knock them out of the title race. With 10 points separating these two ahead of this meeting, a win for the visitors would basically end Jurgen Klopp’s ambitions of leading his side to the Premier League crown. A 13 point gap at this stage, with the league so competitive, would be too much for them to claw back in final 15 matches of the season. Can the Blues deliver a major blow to one of their rivals for top spot? It’s going to be a pretty tall order.

Team News: Huge test for Conte’s new system

Chelsea have no injury concerns ahead of this game once again. Antonio Conte has a full squad to choose from, and he’s likely to restore his key men after rotating during the FA Cup. Expect another 3-4-3 formation, which is a set up they weren’t using in the first meeting at Stamford Bridge. That change has paid off, it led to that 13 game winning streak. With only one defeat under the new system since October, it’s clearly a huge part of the Blues’ push for the title. Expect that formation to feature again, as it might be able to cause Liverpool some problems.

The hosts come into this game with no major injury worries. Striker Danny Ings is their only notable absence, he’s set to miss the season. The former Burnley man isn’t exactly a regular starter. They are likely to have to go without Sadio Mane, with the forward away on African Nations Cup duty. Without his pace, the Liverpool frontline looks a little toothless. Can Klopp find a way around that on Tuesday night? He’s been trying a 4-3-3 with Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho. While that’s a threatening front three, they’ll match up with the Blues’ back three. The Liverpool forwards are likely to struggle for space, given how defence-minded the four in front of the backline are.

Liverpool Form

Liverpool are currently on a terrible run, which has seen them struggle in the FA Cup and crash out of the EFL Cup. Their defeat here to Southampton made it back to back losses at Anfield, after former Chelsea coach Paul Clement led his Swansea side to victory here in the league. That 3-2 defeat to the worst defence in the top flight must have set alarm bells ringing for Jurgen Klopp, as that result saw them fall to fourth and drop even further off the pace in the fight for the Premier League title.

They are yet to record a league win in 2017, which hasn’t done their hopes of winning the league any favours. Klopp has seen his team score four times in their opening seven matches of the year, so their attacking swagger seems to have gone as well. There are quite a few issues for them to fix, especially as Klopp looks limited on options in his side. There’s no one he can really call on to step up to the first team and make a difference. At this stage of the season, squad depth is key. Liverpool just don’t seem to have enough in reserve.

Liverpool v Chelsea Head to Head

The Blues haven’t had the best record against Liverpool of late, losing twice to Klopp at Stamford Bridge since he took over in late 2015. They did pick up a draw at Anfield last year, and that was after leading for most of the game. Their last victory over the Reds was a 1-0 League Cup win, which came two years ago this month.

  • Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool, Sep 2016
  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, May 2016
  • Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool, Oct 2015
  • Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool, May 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool, Jan 2015

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 goals – 19/20 with Bet365
  • Chelsea to win draw no bet – 11/10 with Betfred

The bookies seem to be favouring the Reds here, as Liverpool are priced at 7/5 with Sky Bet to take the points. Meanwhile, you can get 2/1 with Betfair on a win for Chelsea. The draw is a 12/5 shot with BetVictor. A point wouldn’t be the worst result for the Blues, but it would allow others to cut into their lead. After a few games with no success over Klopp, Antonio Conte’s side should be aiming to leave here with all three points.

We expect Conte’s men to keep things tight if they can, and they have an excellent defensive record of late. Since switching to the 3-4-3, few sides have found a way past their defence. That’s likely to be true of Liverpool as well, given how they’re struggling to make an impact in front of goal. We’re expecting a low scoring game, which has been the case during most of the Reds’ matches this year. We’re backing under 2.5 goals in this one, which is priced at 10/11 with Coral.

We’re also backing a win for Chelsea, as they look like the best team in the division by quite some distance. While the others have clear issues, the Blues are a reliable unit who aren’t easily shaken. While the leaders are excellent value on the win market, we’re going with a slightly safer bet here. We’re backing the Blues draw no bet, which is priced at 11/10 with Betfred. Given how Liverpool are struggling for wins, that seems like a pretty safe option.

Chelsea v Brentford Betting Tips (FA Cup 4th Round) – 28th January 2017

This weekend sees the return of FA Cup action for Chelsea, as they take on Brentford at Stamford Bridge. Not only are the Blues up against Championship opposition, but they’re facing a local derby, with just six miles separating these two sides. Can the visitors claim a shock cup victory at Stamford Bridge, or will the Premier League leaders continue to compete on two fronts? This should be a straightforward win for the hosts, but things might not be that easy.

The main difficulty for Antonio Conte will be keeping his team focused on this game ahead of a massive week. They face Liverpool and Arsenal in key Premier League matches in the next week. Both of those fixtures are likely to be crucial in deciding the fate of the Premier League title. With those big clashes looming, the Blues boss needs to make sure his side keep their attention focused on beating Brentford before they cast their eyes elsewhere. After all, the Italian will want his side fighting for this trophy too.

Team News: Conte to rotate ahead of big week

Once again Chelsea come here with a fully fit squad from which to choose their starting XI, they have no new injury news. However, we expect a lot of changes to be made from the side who saw off Hull City. Diego Costa only just returned to the side at the weekend, but he’s likely to drop out once again here. Expect some changes in defence, with Kurt Zouma and John Terry likely to feature. Given that there are some huge games in the next week, it’s likely that the Blues will name an almost entirely different side between this game and their trip to Anfield.

Brentford are still in danger of losing key man Scott Hogan, who is being linked with a switch to West Ham. Reports claim that the deal is close, but he could still appear here if that deal isn’t done. The forward appeared in the last round of the cup, so he’s already cup-tied ahead of any potential move. Alan Judge and Lewis Macleod are both out with long term injuries here, while Alan McCormack and Sam Saunders missed out at the weekend and could sit out once again.

Brentford Form

Brentford come into this game having lost back to back matches against Newcastle and Wigan. That has left them in 15th place in the Championship table, so they’re some way off the play-off spots. They’re not in huge relegation danger either, they’re just a middling club so far this season. They come into this game having won just one of their last six in the league, which makes them unlikely to pull off a shock result at the Bridge.

Brentford also come here with some really poor away form, having lost 57% of their matches on the road this season. They have just four away wins from 14 games, while they’ve failed to score in 30% of their outings in the Championship this term. They hammered Eastleigh 5-1 to make it to this round of the cup, but things are about to get a lot more difficult for them this weekend. Will they be able to pull a performance out from nowhere, or will they continue their awful away form?

Chelsea v Brentford Head to Head

Aside from their last meeting in this round of the cup, it’s been quite a while since these two sides have met. Despite being local rivals, they’ve played one another just three times in the last 70 years. We doubt those old meetings will play much into this one, but a repeat of Brentford’s 3-1 win here in 1939 would probably be one of the biggest cup upsets ever. Their last meeting at Stamford Bridge was a comfortable 4-0 victory in a cup replay, which came under Rafa Benitez.

  • Chelsea 4-0 Brentford, Feb 2013
  • Brentford 2-2 Chelsea, Jan 2013
  • Brentford 0-2 Chelsea, Mar 1947
  • Chelsea 3-2 Brentford, Nov 1946
  • Chelsea 1-3 Brentford, Feb 1939

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea -2 Asian Handicap – 4/5 at Bet365
  • Cesc Fabregas to score any time – 19/10 at Betfair

Chelsea come into this game as massive favourites to win here, as you’d expect. They’re priced at just 2/11 with Sky Bet to see off the Bees, with the away side priced at 17/1 with BetVictor to cause a massive shock. An upset here would be up there with the Bradford defeat in terms of shock value, and it would also be a huge dent for the Blues ahead of their big matches over the next week. Conte will want a routine victory here, wrapping things up early on before shifting focus back to the fight for the Premier League title.

The Blues should be able to record a comfortable win without too many problems. They beat Peterborough by three goals in the last round, while 70% of their home Premier League victories have been by two goals or more. The Blues have scored an average of 2.73 and conceded just 0.55 goals per game at home against their fellow top flight sides. Against a team from the division below they should be able to record an even bigger margin of victory. We’re predicting a very comfortable home win for the Blues, as we’re backing them with a -2 Asian Handicap, at 4/5 with Bet365.

With changes likely, we see an appearance by a few players who tend to sit out of Conte’s team. Cesc Fabregas has shown his talents in the starting 11 of late, but he’s hardly the man Conte will turn to for games against Liverpool and Arsenal. The midfielder should look a class above against Championship opposition, and we’re backing him to make an impact when Brentford visit. We like the look of the Spaniard to score any time on Saturday. He’s priced at 19/10 with Betfair to score, and we think he’d due a goal, especially if he gets the full 90 minutes.

Chelsea v Hull Betting Tips (Premier League) – 22nd January 2017

Can Chelsea continue their push for the Premier League title by seeing off Hull this weekend? The Blues are returning to Stamford Bridge for the first time since getting permission to renovate their ground. This is also their first home game since the fall out between Diego Costa and Antonio Conte, so will the forward miss out again here? Or will the striker-less formation continue after featuring last weekend?

Hull come here buoyed by a few good results, with new boss Marco Silva making a good impression. The Tigers have won two of their last three games under their new manager, but this is by far his toughest test yet. They face an EFL Cup semi-final in midweek after this clash, but expect them to prioritise the league as they chase top flight survival. Will that see them claiming a shock result at the Bridge? That would certainly be a blow to the Blues’ hopes of regaining the title.

Team News: Costa likely to be frozen out again

Chelsea come here with no injury worries, they should have a fully fit squad to choose from. However, it’s unlikely that Diego Costa has done enough for selection. His tantrum and links with a move to China threatened to derail the Blues’ push for the title. Losing the Premier League’s top scorer isn’t exactly something that Conte is welcoming, but he’s dealing with the situation well. It wouldn’t be surprising if the boss goes with the exact same 11 who won 3-0 at Leicester last weekend, which included no striker, with Eden Hazard as the false nine. That at least gives Willian some deserved game time, along with Pedro.

Hull started the season with a depleted squad, and that has haunted them all campaign. They’re without at least five players for this game. Dieumerci Mbonkani and Ahmed Elmohamady are away at the African Nations Cup, which hasn’t affected Chelsea this season. The Tigers selection woes are made even worse as Jake Livermore is set for a switch to West Brom, so he won’t be available here. However, the incredible £10million fee that the Baggies are paying should make up for that. The Tigers are expected to line up in a 3-5-2 formation here.

Hull Form

Hull are looking up after a few good results, they won 3-1 at home to Bournemouth last weekend to boost their hopes of survival. They also claimed an FA Cup win over relegation rivals Swansea. That has given Silva a strong start at the KCOM, he’s continuing their impressive record in the cups, as they’ve already earned a spot in the last four of the EFL Cup.

A huge problem for the Tigers here is their awful away form. They’re coming to Stamford Bridge as one of the worst travelling sides in the top flight. Hull have just one away win all season, losing 80% of their trips so far, while they’ve failed to win in any of their last nine league away days. They’ve taken just 0.4 points per game on their travels, giving them the third worst away record in the league. That shouldn’t trouble the Blues, who have won 90% of their home matches so far. The visitors have an awful defensive record home and away, as they’ve conceded a goal in their last 19 Premier League outings.

Chelsea v Hull Head to Head

Chelsea have a strong record against the Tigers of late, winning both matches during their last full season in the top flight. They’ve now won five straight against their next opponents, while they’re yet to taste defeat against Hull in any encounter. The first meeting with Hull this season was the debut of Conte’s 3-4-3 formation with the Blues. They won 2-0 at the KCOM, which kicked off their excellent 13-game winning run. Can a victory here have a similar effect?

  • Hull 0-2 Chelsea, Oct 2016
  • Hull 2-3 Chelsea, Mar 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 Hull, Dec 2014
  • Hull 0-2 Chelsea, Jan 2014
  • Chelsea 2-0 Hull, Aug 2013

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 4/5 with BetVictor
  • Eden Hazard to score any time – 21/20 with Coral

Chelsea are heavy favourites to win this one, priced at odds of just 1/5 with Sky Bet. That’s hardly surprising, given Hull’s awful away record. They’re going up against the side with the best points per game record at home in the league. A victory here would see Chelsea move on to 30 points from 11 matches at the Bridge. Given the gulf in class between these two teams, it’s easy to see the hosts recording a big win. However, it’s not worth backing them on the win market, but there are other value bets to consider on this game.

Chelsea come here having conceded just 0.6 goals per game at home, while they’ve kept a clean sheet in 60% of their outings at Stamford Bridge. They’ve also recorded a shutout in five of their last seven in the Premier League, and it’s easy to see them improving that record on Sunday evening. Hull come here averaging just 0.6 goals per game on the road. Half of their away matches have seen them fail to score, so it’s easy to see them struggling at the Bridge. We’re backing a home win to nil, which is big at 4/5 with BetVictor.

Chelsea are set to come here without Costa, given the striker’s recent troubles. That should see Hazard playing as the false nine here, and we think the Belgian will revel in that role. Playing with him up front worked against Leicester, and we see it causing problems for a Hull team who concede 2.4 goals per game on the road. That should see Hazard getting plenty of chances up front, and we’re backing him to make an impact. He’s 21/20 with Coral to score at any time on Sunday.