Chelsea v Manchester United Betting Tips (Premier League) – 20th October 2018

Chelsea kick things off as the Premier League returns to action on Saturday, as they host Manchester United. Jose Mourinho makes a return to his former home yet again, after struggling in recent clashes with the Blues. So far this season the Red Devils have struggled to keep the pace with the early Premier League pacesetters, which this time around includes Chelsea. The days of Mourinho and Antonio Conte’s battling style are gone, replaced with a forward thinking approach that has pushed the Blues back into title contention.

There’s some gap between Chelsea and United – both in terms of points and performances. The Blues will likely recognise the current state of play around Old Trafford, which looks alarmingly like the final Mourinho season at Stamford Bridge. So far this term he’s seen his side struggle for form across all competitions, and it’s hard to see the Special One’s ego being prepared for a tough visit to his former stomping ground. However, does he have a plan to block “Sarrismo”?

Team News: Barkley Backed to Keep Blues Place

The Blues have found a settled side, the majority of which seems pretty easy to call. Even the battles which were once a toss up look certain, with Olivier Giroud likely to start ahead of Alvaro Morata, and Willian over Pedro. The only real contest remaining comes in the centre of midfield, and Ross Barkley seems to have the edge over Real Madrid loanee Matteo Kovacic. The former Everton man was impressive against Southampton, and after a strong display away to Spain for England, he deserves a start.

The Red Devils come here with a few injury concerns, including former Blue Nemanja Matic. The midfielder is set to miss this trip to his former home, and that leaves United slightly open in the middle of the park, with Ander Herrera also missing out this weekend. Jesse Lingard didn’t make the England squad for this month’s internationals, and he could well sit out as the Red Devils head south. It’s hard to tell just how Mourinho is going to set his side up, but you can be sure he’ll try out some mix of man marking and repetitive fouling on Eden Hazard.

Man United Form

Things certainly haven’t been going Mourinho’s way of late, and there were rumours that he was set for the sack this month. He went into their clash with Newcastle under pressure, with speculation suggesting that United would use the international break to find a replacement. The Red Devils didn’t make that change, although Mourinho did pull off a 3-2 win after being 2-0 down to the Toon, so that result could have kept him in place for now.

Before that, United had failed to win their last four games. That run included an EFL Cup exit at home to Derby, and a dull 0-0 at home to Valencia in the Champions League. Their last away trip in the Premier League brought a defeat in London, with West Ham beating them 3-1. It’s not exactly been a great start for United, who are down in eighth, while the top five are separated by just two points at the top of the table.

Chelsea v Man United Head to Head

Chelsea have the edge over United of late, and Conte departed England with a solid record over the biggest club in the country. It must have been quite bruising for Mourinho’s ego that he lost four of six meetings with Conte, including all four in London. The pair last met in the FA Cup final back in May, which Eden Hazard’s strike settled.

  • Chelsea 1-0 Man United, May 2018
  • Man United 2-1 Chelsea, Feb 2018
  • Chelsea 1-0 Man United, Nov 2017
  • Man United 2-0 Chelsea, April 2017
  • Chelsea 1-0 Man United, March 2017

Betting Tips

  • Eden Hazard to score – 11/8 with Ladbrokes
  • Chelsea to Win to Nil – 19/10 with BetVictor

Chelsea are well fancied for this clash, as they are priced up at 7/10 with Coral to claim the three points. The Red Devils are 4/1 with Betfred for a shock away success, while the draw can be found at 11/4 with bet365. The recent form United have shown has clearly played a part in the latest betting odds, and that has made the unbeaten Blues favourites to come away with yet another success against their former boss. However, will they be able to see out this clash with one of their top six rivals, given how they slipped up against Liverpool in their last home Premier League outing?

The Blues do at least have the Premier League’s top scorer to call upon, and Hazard clearly has a point to prove to Mourinho. He addressed his time with the Portuguese during the international break, but are things as amicable as he suggests? Even if he has regrets over his time with Mourinho, he is bound to want to punish United, who always seem to come in heavy against the Belgian. After deciding the cup final back in May, we expect Hazard to trouble United once again here. After his excellent start, we’re backing him to score any time at 11/8 with Ladbrokes.

One thing of note about the recent clashes between these two is United’s lack of goals. They’ve failed to score in their last four meetings with Chelsea in London, while they’ve been beaten to nil in four of their last five visits to Stamford Bridge. We expect the usually defensive Mourinho to try and make this game tight on Saturday, and that could see them surrender their attacking threat. With four clean sheets in their last six, we think it’s worth backing the Blues to win to nil at home this weekend. They’re priced at 19/10 with BetVictor to win and keep a clean sheet.

Southampton v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 7th October 2018

Thursday, Sunday: rinse, repeat. That’s the pattern of Chelsea’s season going forwards and one of the biggest challenges facing Maurizio Sarri. The Italian has taken to life in English football with aplomb but balancing the demands of domestic football with the Europa League has proven too much for countless managers and teams over the years.

Sarri has shown so far that he is not going to simply sacrifice the Europa League. Yes, he rotated for the matches against PAOK and MOL Vidi but they were still pretty strong sides full of first teamers and internationals. You could argue that the decision to play a strong side in Greece had a negative impact on Chelsea’s performance in the London derby against West Ham but that was more to do with the travel problems that affected their journey home than the match itself. Certainly, Thursday’s home match against MOL Vidi cannot be used as an excuse should the Blues fail to beat Southampton in a match where they are the strong favourites.

Team News: Big Guns to Return for South Coast Trip

Maurizio Sarri has won many fans in football for his unique style of play. Chelsea fans have definitely been delighted with what they’ve seen so far of ‘Sarri-ball’ but the amount of high intensity work that Sarri demands his players get through does require a fair amount of recovery work. That’s why he gave some of his star players the night off on Thursday but you can expect all the big guns to return for the trip to St Mary’s.

Away from the squad rotation, Chelsea are nearing a full bill of health for Sunday’s match. Pedro is working his way back to full fitness after his shoulder problem, Andreas Christensen should be fit enough for a place on the bench and the same is true of Ruben Loftus-Cheek who is desperate for a chance to impress in a Chelsea shirt after doing so well for Crystal Palace and England last season.

The other selection news is that Rob Green, Danny Drinkwater and Lucas Pizaon are available for selection but it would take a major sickness bug to pass through the squad for either of those to see any game time.

Southampton Form

As a player, Mark Hughes won a huge number of fans wherever he played. That very much includes at Stamford Bridge where Sparky is still fondly remembered for the role that he and his goals played in the club’s resurgence in the 1990s. As a manager, however, Hughes has found it easier to alienate fans than win them over.

A growing number of Southampton fans are falling out of love with Hughes. He did some very good work to keep the Saints up last season but their early season form has been horrible. Southampton have just one win and five points to show from their opening seven matches. They managed to squeeze past Everton on penalties in midweek but after throwing a two goal lead away against Brighton they lost their last two league matches with an aggregate score of 5-0.

Southampton v Chelsea Head to Head

Southampton are one of those teams that Chelsea would love to play every week. The Blues have won the last six straight meetings against the Saints including three matches last season. In fact, the Saints have got the better of Chelsea just twice in their last 21 meetings.

  • Chelsea 2-0 Southampton, Apr2018
  • Southampton 2-3 Chelsea, Apr 2018
  • Chelsea 1-0 Southampton, Dec 2017
  • Chelsea 4-2 Southampton, Apr 2017
  • Southampton 0-2 Chelsea, Oct 2016

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to Win and Under 2.5 Goals – 3/1 with Ladbrokes
  • Chelsea/Chelsea in Half Time/Full Time – 15/4 with BetVictor

Ever since mounting a successful bid for promotion from the Championship in the 2011/12 season, Southampton have developed a reputation for being a forward thinking club. The club’s owners have invested heavily in the training and analysis facilities which has seen them sign some very good players and make smart managerial appointments. It all went wrong last season though as Mauricio Pellegrino so nearly took the Saints down and the club seemed almost lumbered with Hughes after he somehow managed to save them.

For the first time in a long time, Southampton fans are seriously concerned about the direction in which their club is heading. That’s a feeling that Chelsea fans are more accustomed to but the one major benefit of Roman Abramovich’s revolving door policy is that the potential for good times is just around the corner. The Stamford Bridge faithful and those who follow Chelsea on the road know to enjoy it when the team is playing well and we think they’ll very much enjoy the trip to St Mary’s.

Chelsea are perhaps the last team that Southampton would choose to face given their problems at the moment and you’d have to say anything other than an away win would be a surprise on Sunday in front of the Sky Sports cameras. Even when Chelsea haven’t quite hit their stride under Sarri’s management, they’ve been able to dominate possession and control the flow of a game. Hughes will doubtless send his team out to stifle Chelsea’s play by limiting their space on the ball. While that will likely frustrate the Blues for significant periods of the match, Chelsea are more than capable of the patience required to break the home side down.

That leads us to two betting tips. The first is on Chelsea winning and there being under 2.5 goals in the match at a biggest price of 3/1 with Ladbrokes. Southampton are in real trouble but they’re not going to roll over and let Chelsea win so we’re not expecting a classic. The second way of profiting from Chelsea wearing Southampton’s resistance down is by taking the odds of 15/4 that BetVictor are quoting on the Draw/Chelsea selection in their half time/full time market.

Chelsea v MOL Vidi Betting Tips (Europa League) – 4th October 2018

Maurizio Sarri was thrown in at the deep end on his introduction to English football. He was keen to say so after a tough first assignment against Manchester City in the Community Shield. Few people were surprised that Pep Guaridola’s men were victorious that day at Wembley Stadium and Sarri was at pains to tell Blues fans that it would take time for his new team to adapt to his methods. Thankfully it didn’t take long for that adaptation to start bearing fruit.

The loss against City remains Chelsea’s only defeat of the season. Yes, it hasn’t always gone 100% to plan – the scrappy defending against Arsenal and the goalless draw with West Ham stand out – but you can’t say that Sarri’s start to life at Stamford Bridge has been anything but impressive. That extends to the Europa League where a dogged performance against PAOK saw Chelsea return home from Greece with the points and it’s that competition that Sarri is now focussing on as MOL Vidi visit the Bridge on Thursday evening.

Team News: Strong Team Expected Despite Inevitable Rotation

This is unchartered territory for Chelsea. Sarri is the first manager who’s had to deal with the punishing Thursday-Sunday schedule for (hopefully) the whole season as this is the Blues’ first ever appearance in the group stages of the Europa League.

Sarri will doubtless be working hand in glove with the backroom staff to assess which players are close to entering the dreaded ‘red zone’ and therefore need a rest ahead of Sunday’s trip to St Mary’s to take on Southampton. This being the early stages of the season though, Sarri will likely refrain from making wholesale changes. That was the order of the day for the trip to Greece – probably Chelsea’s toughest match of the group stage – when Sarri made five changes from the team who stuffed Cardiff 4-1 so expect a strong team to take to the pitch on Thursday.

In terms of injuries, things are looking good. There’s no point in risking Pedro’s shoulder for what should be a routine win and Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another unlikely to be called into action but everybody else looks in good shape. The only other limitations are that Danny Drinkwater, Lucas Piazon and Rob Green are not in the Europa League squad.

MOL Vidi Form

As you’ll doubtless be aware from your religious viewing of the Nemzeti Bajnokság – or Hungarian Division 1 – MOL Vidi’s title defence hasn’t gone entirely to plan so far. Marko Nikolic’s men have bucked their ideas up with wins in their last two matches but that’s only been good enough to see them climb to third, some eight points behind the runaway leaders, Ferencvaros.

Part of the problem for MOL Vidi is that they expended so much energy trying to qualify for the Champions League. Vidi managed to navigate a path past F91 Dudelange, Ludogorets and Malmo but fell at the final hurdle, losing over two legs to AEK Athens.

Chelsea v MOL Vidi Head to Head

This is the first time that Chelsea and MOL Vidi have ever crossed paths and the Hungarian side’s first visit to England since 1985. Fans of the club do still remember fondly the time they beat Manchester United in the quarter finals of the 1984/85 UEFA Cup.

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to Win to Nil – 8/13 with bet365
  • Alvaro Morata to Score First – 14/5 with Ladbrokes

It’s clear that a club like Chelsea should be playing in the Champions League but there’s no need to view the Europa League simply as a punishment for the mistakes of last season. Sarri can do himself and his players the world of good by getting everybody to buy into the idea that this is a real opportunity. From a collective point of view it’s an opportunity to win something meaningful in Sarri’s first season at the Bridge and from an individual point of view it is an opportunity for squad players to play themselves into form and potentially into the first team.

You can only imagine how quickly things would have unravelled in the Europa League if Antonio Conte was still in charge. He found it difficult to motivate players for the biggest games at times, let alone MOL Vidi at home, so Sarri’s man management will be key throughout the tournament. If he is able to light a fire under the 11 players that he picks on Thursday night there is no question that Chelsea will be far too strong for their opponents.

MOL Vidi should be congratulated for the way that they won the Hungarian title last season and for their application in attempting to qualify for the Champions League but this is another step up entirely. Not only are Chelsea unbeaten in all their competitive matches so far this season but they’ve played some very good football in doing so. That said, there is little point backing the Blues to win at a best price of 1/10 unless. It makes much more sense to take a slightly bigger risk and take bet365 up on the 8/13 they’re quoting about Chelsea winning to nil.

One of the issues that Sarri will have to solve over the coming season is keeping clean sheets against the best teams. MOL Vidi, however, are one of the weakest sides that will visit Stamford Bridge this season so a win to nil should be on the cards. An Alvaro Morata goal should also be on the cards if he is given the chance to shine. Motivating a man who has scored 12 times in the Champions League to do the business against relative European minnows won’t be easy but there’s no doubt that the Spaniard is playing for his future at the club. It’s time for him to step up and we have faith that he will on Thursday night so back Morata to score the game’s opening goal at 14/5 with Ladbrokes.

Chelsea v Liverpool Betting Tips (Premier League) – 29th September 2018

Chelsea picked up a decent victory at Anfield in midweek, but can they follow that up with a home win against the Reds? Liverpool lost for the first time this season in that EFL Cup encounter, which saw an impressive comeback from Maurizio Sarri’s men. Once again Eden Hazard was the star of the show, and there’s going to be expectations on him in this weekend’s biggest Premier League clash.

As predicted, the first meeting between Sarri and Klopp was an incredible clash of styles. The passing play by Chelsea dominated possession, but Liverpool’s dynamic attacking play helped them create chances without seeing too much of the ball. We’re expecting more of the same on Saturday, when the two managers are likely to return to their first choice sides as two of the top three in the top flight meet.

Team News: Can Sarri Keep the Ball Rolling?

Sarri’s approach to team selection is starting to become clearer, as he handed out opportunities in the visit to Anfield. The Blues kept just three of their first choice 11 in their side for the clash with Liverpool. Alvaro Morata got another opportunity up front, while Cesc Fabregas played in the Jorginho position, running the midfield. We expect things to return to normal this weekend, with Sarri quickly settling on a clear preferred line-up. We don’t expect him to make any major switches from that team ahead of his biggest test so far.

Like Sarri, Klopp made his fair share of changes for the cup game in midweek. Daniel Sturridge started, and scored, against his former club. However, he should drop back down to the bench here. Simon Mignolet started in goal, while he switched up their defence and midfield. Again, Liverpool will expect to switch back to their first choice side for this trip. Klopp doesn’t tend to change personnel for big clashes like this, so we expect him to try his usual approach.

Liverpool Form

The Reds had won every game they’d played this season before their midweek loss. Of course, they won’t be too worried about the EFL Cup, given that they’re focusing on a European run and a Premier League title push. So far, they’ve kicked off well in both competitions. The Reds beat PSG in their opening European clash of the campaign, and last weekend brought their sixth win of the season in the league.

Liverpool are the only side to have a perfect record in the Premier League, following Chelsea’s draw at West Ham on Sunday. They currently sit two points clear, although they’re being chased by both Man City and Chelsea. The Reds are the team to beat so far this term, and Sarri’s side will be looking to do just that, and to put themselves in a great position in the early stages of the title race.

Chelsea v Liverpool Head to Head

It’s hard to look past the latest result when it comes to head to head between these two sides. Chelsea have struck a significant blow to their rivals right on the eve of this game, if only due to the proximity to the league clash, and the Blues will be out to build on that in Saturday’s clash. At Stamford Bridge the pair have traded wins over the last few years, with Antonio Conte’s Chelsea winning 1-0 in this fixture last term. However, Sarri will be taking a very different approach this time around, which he’ll hope will be enough to prevent the Reds walking away with another three points this weekend.

  • Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea, Sept 2018
  • Chelsea 1-0 Chelsea, May 2018
  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, Nov 2018
  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool, Sept 2016

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea Draw No Bet – Evens with Coral
  • Eden Hazard to score – 15/8 with Betfred

Despite being the away side, Liverpool have been priced up as favourites here. The Reds may have lost in midweek, but the bookies are confident in their full strength side. You can back Liverpool at 7/5 with bet365 for the points, while the Blues sit out at 15/8 with BetVictor. Ladbrokes have the draw at priced at 5/2, so clearly we’re in for a close encounter. It does have a similar feel to Man City’s trip here last season. Pep Guardiola’s side got early plaudits, but they proved themselves with a win at Chelsea. That narrow 1-0 win wasn’t the most stylish of the season for City, but is was key. Will Liverpool’s title challenge receive a similar boost when they make the trip to London?

While Liverpool are favourites, it’s hard to look past the way Chelsea stepped up with Eden Hazard on the field. He was able to take the Blues up a notch in terms of quality, and that could be crucial once again here. While Liverpool are returning to their first choice side, they’ve got to find a way past a Chelsea team who have easily clicked with Sarri’s approach. With their first choice midfield three on the pitch, taking possession of the hosts won’t be easy. We think the improvement for the Blues is being underestimated here, so we’re backing a home win on the Draw No Bet market. Chelsea are still available at evens with Coral on that market, which combines value with a little bit of safety.

We see Hazard making another big impact on this game, given that he continued his strong form against Liverpool. He’s still the top scorer in the Premier League with five goals in six matches, and the way he’s stepped up of late makes him a real threat here. Liverpool have had clean sheets this term, but their defence remains suspect. They’re vulnerable at the back, and that’s something which Hazard can exploit. Despite his goal in midweek and a strong start, the Belgian is a huge 15/8 with Betfred to score any time in Saturday’s encounter. At that price, we have to get Hazard onside ahead of this clash.

Liverpool v Chelsea Betting Tips (EFL Cup) – 26th September 2018

Chelsea head to Liverpool this week fresh from dropping their first points of the season. A 0-0 draw with West Ham on Sunday was a setback for Maurizio Sarri’s side, and now they meet the only team in the Premier League who have a 100% record. The Blues kick off their EFL Cup campaign on Wednesday night, but can they end Liverpool’s good form? Jurgen Klopp’s side have started with seven wins in their matches across all competitions this season. They have set the early standard for a tilt at the title, although there’s still some way to go.

This a huge challenge for Sarri and his men, as it’s their biggest game of the campaign to date. They’ve got an eye on another meeting with Liverpool this weekend, with that Premier League clash coming at Stamford Bridge. It’s going to be a huge week for the new man in charge of the Blues, especially as he tests himself in a new competition. He also has to make major decisions about team selection, and that’s going to be a really interesting factor surrounding this clash.

Team News: Selection Test for Sarri

Last week’s trip to PAOK in the Europa League showed Sarri’s resistance to rotation. We all expected some major changes, given Chelsea’s supposed lack of interest in Europe’s second tier trophy. It was refreshing to see a manager who wants to win any trophy, but will that policy extend to this competition? There are plenty of fed up players desperate for minutes within the Chelsea squad. Will they get a chance to feature in this Carabao Cup tie? Or is this going to be a strong Chelsea side featuring on Merseyside?

It could well be a mix of both. Eden Hazard is one who could be a surprise inclusion. Sarri is likely to make a couple of changes, but given the respect he showed PAOK, a clash with the Premier League leaders isn’t one he’s going to take lightly. They left the Belgian behind in the trip over to Greece, but he should make the clash at Anfield, with a few changes likely for the Blues.

Jurgen Klopp has never been one to hide his desire to change players for cup clashes. His team selections in the FA Cup have long gathered criticism, following some bold moves. We saw him even rotate for the Champions League clash with PSG, so Klopp could make some moves in this encounter. If anyone is likely to make sweeping changes for Wednesday, then it’s the hosts.

Liverpool Form

Liverpool have made a perfect start to the new Premier League season, with 18 points and 14 goals from their first six matches this season. They also swept aside PSG in the Champions League, claiming a 3-2 win over the Ligue 1 winners. However, they’re likely to face a bigger test against the Blues. Chelsea look like a well-oiled machine after just seven games under Sarri, while PSG looked like strangers at Anfield in that defeat.

So far, Jurgen Klopp’s side are setting the standard in the Premier League. A 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday showed their progress, and they’ve managed to win three straight home league games without conceding a goal. Of course, this is going to be a much changed side, so a lot of the elements which have made them so strong this season will be changed. Is that move going to allow the Blues to continue an impressive record in their visits to Anfield, or will Klopp’s second string show the strength in depth that Liverpool have lacked for years?

Liverpool v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea managed to get two credible results against the Reds last season. They were solid across both games, but that was a very defensive display from Antonio Conte across both clashes. This time, Sarri leads the side with a possession based style, which will prove to be quite the counterpoint to the dynamic, and more direct, style of the Reds. Having drawn 1-1 in four straight meetings at Anfield, that’s a score to keep an eye on.

  • Chelsea 1-0 Chelsea, May 2018
  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, Nov 2018
  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool, Sept 2016
  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, May 2016

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 8/13 with bet365
  • Eden Hazard to Score – 21/10 with Ladbrokes

The Reds come into this clash as the clear favourites, having been cut down to odds-on for this clash. They’re 10/11 with Coral to win this tie, while the Blues are 11/4 with BetVictor to get the victory. The draw is the same price with Betfred, so this is likely to be a close game. As we mentioned, rotation is likely here, with changed up sides bringing in bodies who aren’t quite as sharp. Hopefully that will give us an entertaining battle at Anfield, but will it bring a win for the Blues?

With four straight games here bringing 1-1 draws, we have to look at goals in this clash. Regardless of who starts up front, Liverpool have a goal threat from the way they play. They have options going forward, while they face a Chelsea side who have looked really strong in attacking areas this season. We expect the Blues to pose a threat in this trip, especially if Sarri is going to be reluctant to make too many changes to his usual starting 11.

We expect Sarri to take Eden Hazard along here, and he should offer a significant threat going forward. That has us backing both teams to score in Wednesday’s cup tie, which is good value at 8/13 with bet365, with recent form pointing to a repeat. We’re also going to back Hazard to find the net here, and he is priced at 21/10 with Ladbrokes to score on Merseyside.

West Ham v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 23rd September 2018

Chelsea return to domestic action on Sunday, as they follow up a midweek Europa League game for the first time in over five years. The Blues aren’t too enthused about their commitments in Europe’s second tier, with Eden Hazard staying behind for the trip to Greece. The Belgian links up with his teammates for the short trip to the London Stadium this week, but can the Blues claim all three points to maintain their stunning start?

Maurizio Sarri and his men are trying to maintain their perfect start to the season. Their 1-0 win at PAOK in the Europa League means it’s six wins from six for the Blues so far. They’ll be hoping to build on that ahead of a busy week, which brings two meetings with Liverpool. Before that, they need to pick up three points at a ground where Antonio Conte’s team lost last season. Will this clash bring an end to Sarri’s perfect start?

Team News: Sarri Hoping to Revert to First 11

The Blues didn’t rotate as wildly as they could have during the Europa League in midweek. They made a few changes, which included leaving out Eden Hazard. Despite the midweek win, it’s unlikely that the tweaks to the team will stick, and Sarri is hoping to turn to his first choice group once again. However, both Pedro and Mateo Kovacic face late fitness tests ahead of this one, and neither of the pair featured on Thursday night. Should they not play, Willian will keep his place up front, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be hopeful of a start in midfield.

The Hammers have a lengthy injury list, which includes Marko Arnautovic. The Austrian was a vital part of their win at Everton last weekend, scoring at Goodison Park. They remain burdened with a few more long-term absentees, as Winston Reid, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll are all ruled out for this clash. Manuel Pellegrini won’t want to make too many changes to a side which just turned a corner, and he doesn’t really have many options to change things up now anyway. They’re set to start this one with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Arnautovic leading the line if he can return to fitness in time for this clash.

Wes Ham Form

The hosts are fresh from their first league win of the season, but they remain towards the bottom of the Premier League after some poor form. They lost their opening four matches of the season, which saw the likes of Wolves and Bournemouth claim three points at this ground. Are they going to be able to raise their game ahead of a clash with a London rival? Or can the Blues become the latest side to walk away from this ground with maximum points?

The hosts don’t exactly have a stellar record when it comes to facing the league’s top sides. The only top seven team they beat across last season was that home win over Chelsea. They lost at home to three of the top four last term, and their early season results hardly inspire confidence that the Hammers can take three points away from Sunday’s encounter.

West Ham v Chelsea Head to Head

The Blues didn’t have too much luck against the Hammers last season. They took just a point from their two league games, with old foe Chicharito scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. They’ve struggled in trips to West Ham in recent years, losing three of their last four. However, given the respective starts the pair have made this season the visitors will expect that run to come to an end.

  • Chelsea 1-1 West Ham, April 2018
  • West Ham 1-0 Chelsea, December 2017
  • West Ham 1-2 Chelsea, March 2017
  • West Ham 2-1 Chelsea, October 2016
  • Chelsea 2-1 West Ham, August 2016

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 4/6 with bet365
  • Eden Hazard to Score – 23/20 with BetVictor

Chelsea make this trip to West Ham as favourites, and they’re priced up at 4/7 with Coral. Betfair make the draw 7/2, while you can find West Ham at 9/2 with Ladbrokes. The hosts will be hoping to carry on their momentum from last week, and they’ll be delighted by the impact of Andriy Yarmolenko at Goodison. He scored twice for the Hammers, and they’ll have him in a prominent role ahead of this clash at the London Stadium. However, will that be enough to take them to all three points on Sunday? After all, the Blues have already come through some tricky encounters so far this season.

The visitors have been excellent going forward, but defensive concerns remain. They did well to hang on to a lead against PAOK in midweek, but the Blues have just one clean sheet in their last four Premier League matches. Sarri’s side have quickly got up to speed with the way he wants to play moving forward, but not defensively. The last four meetings between these two in this fixture have seen the Hammers score, and we’re backing them to score again on Sunday. Both teams to score is our tip given their form going forward, and BTTS can be backed at 4/6 with bet365 here.

The Blues are boosted in attack by the return of Hazard, who will benefit from a midweek break. The Belgian is the Premier League’s top scorer, and fresh from last weekend’s hat-trick he is in fine form. The forward is emerging as the league’s best player and looks almost unplayable. West Ham have looked vulnerable at the back so far, and their lack of a defensive midfielder is a glaring weakness. As a result, we’re backing the Belgian to score this weekend. You can find Hazard at 23/20 with BetVictor to score any time. Given his strong start to the season, that seems like generous value.

PAOK v Chelsea Betting Tips (Europa League) – 20th September 2018

Chelsea kick off their Europa League group campaign on Thursday night, following on from last season’s disastrous finish to the league campaign. The Blues slumped to fifth under Antonio Conte, but five games into the new season and Maurizio Sarri has already raised expectations around Stamford Bridge. The Blues are hoping to secure Champions League football at the very minimum this season, but could they end the campaign with European silverware and gain entry into the Champions League regardless of their domestic performances?

With a competitive race for the top four likely in England, the Blues can’t quite afford to dispense with this competition entirely, given that the winner claims an automatic place in next season’s Champions League. Sarri is still waiting to land major silverware as a manager, and he’s leading the Blues into a competition where they’re among the biggest sides to feature. Ahead of the Blues’ meeting with Greek side PAOK in the Europa League, they may want to consider their chances of winning the trophy. The bookies certainly think they have a chance, with Chelsea currently the outright favourites.

Team News: Sarri Set For European Changes

The Blues aren’t likely to take the Europa League too seriously from the off, with changes likely to be made. Even with a much thinner squad, Sarri had a habit of rotating in Europe last term. He wrote off the Champions League so that Napoli would be fresh for their Serie A title chase. With Chelsea making a perfect start to the new league season, expect that to lead to changes in Thursday’s visit to Greece.

Following his weekend hat-trick, Eden Hazard is set to be rested in this one. The Belgian is among the top players in the world, so the Europa League isn’t really for him anymore. However, he could cause a world of problems for players at this level if he were to feature. The Blues have lost Ruben Loftus-Cheek to injury ahead of a game he would have featured in, which could allow Ethan Ampadu to feature. Sarri is likely to switch the majority of the squad, with Willy Caballero set to start in goal.

PAOK aren’t set to make drastic changes like the visitors. They come here with one issue, with Leo Matos picking up a ban during their Champions League qualifying campaign. That rules the right-back out for this clash, but otherwise the Greek side are at full strength. They’re set to go with their strongest line-up, which doesn’t feature many names familiar to English football fans.


PAOK have enjoyed a solid start to the new season, with seven points from their opening three games. They were victors at the weekend, claiming a 3-1 win over OFI on Saturday. They’ll be hoping to take their good domestic form into the Europa League, but they’ve also made some strides in Europe already this season.

The Greek outfit had made a push for the Champions League group stage this season, and they came quite close. They drew 1-1 in their first leg visit to Benfica, and they were ahead against the Portuguese side in the second. However, the Eagles roared back to claim a 4-1 victory in the last European game here, which dumped PAOK out of the Champions League, and into this competition. That run came after they knocked out Basel and Spartak Moscow in the preliminary stages of Europe’s top tier tournament, so the hosts deserve some credit for their recent form in Europe and should not be taken too lightly.

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 4/5 with bet365
  • Alvaro Morata to score – 13/8 with Ladbrokes

The Blues aren’t bad value here, coming into this clash priced at 20/23 with Coral. They meet a PAOK side who are priced at 16/5 with BetVictor to win at home, while you can find the draw at 27/11 with Ladbrokes. That suggests this is set to be an evenly matched clash. The wholesale changes to the Chelsea side and the fact that the Premier League team are away from home does balance the scales here, but can they still come away with three points in spite of that disadvantage?

The Blues are 6/1 favourites with Betfair to win the Europa League this season, so their second string squad will be expected to kick on and get a result. They face a difficult trip on Thursday night, as the Blues play their first game in this competition since beating Benfica in the final back in 2013. That success is something they could emulate this time around, but they’re likely to start with some weakened sides early on, which does give the hosts a chance to cause a shock.

We think PAOK will fancy their chances at scoring against a rotated Chelsea defence. So far, David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger have been the go-to partnership for Sarri in central defence. This game should see chances handed out to Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill, although that pair could be rusty. We expect to see them challenged by a PAOK side who found the net in all of their home Champions League qualifiers this summer. The hosts have also scored in four of their last five matches in this competition, so they have the talent to cause problems. The Blues will remain strong up front, but with potential vulnerabilities in defence we’re tipping both teams to score here, which can be found at 4/5 with bet365.

Chelsea’s changes will still see their most expensive striker starting up top. Olivier Giroud had a hand in Hazard’s brilliance on Saturday, so the rotation policy for the Europa League should give Alvaro Morata a game. This competition is his chance to impress, and he has a solid European record behind him. We expect the Spaniard to make an impact in the Europa League this term, especially against a side like PAOK. At 13/8 with Ladbrokes to score any time, Morata seems like great value here.

Chelsea v Cardiff Betting Tips (Premier League) – 15th September 2018

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Saturday, as they welcome Neil Warnock’s Cardiff to Stamford Bridge. The newly promoted side have had a mixed start to their first season back in the big time. Typically for Warnock, his team just don’t look up to the level required to survive in the top flight. Will that bring another victory for a Chelsea side who have a 100% record to their name so far?

A flying start has made the Blues one of the early pacesetters in the Premier League, sitting alongside Liverpool and Watford on 12 points. The three sides will be pushing to continue those perfect starts, especially a Blues outfit who were tipped to struggle. Even manager Maurizio Sarri thought that the first five or six games would be tough in a new system. He could start with a five game winning streak if they can brush aside the Bluebirds in Saturday’s clash.

Team News: Sarri to Ignore Options and Keep Faith

There should be a lot for Sarri to consider in his team selection here, but he’s expected to keep faith with his first 11. Many of those stars have played around the globe this week, while the Blues return to European action on Thursday. Their Europa League clash with PAOK should bring changes to the starting 11, which allows Sarri to field his strongest side here, as they go in hunt of a fifth straight victory. Unfortunately, that doesn’t have any room for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who seems frustrated by his lack of playing time.

Cesc Fabregas is the only real concern for Sarri here, with the Spanish midfielder slowly returning to fitness. That gives the Italian boss a full squad to pick from for a busy week, but he has little to think about when it comes to team selection. His only real worry is which winger completes the front three, with Willian challenging Pedro for a first team start this weekend. However, the Spaniard’s direct play looks like a perfect match for the man who got so much out of inside forwards Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon at Napoli.

Cardiff head here with both Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Aron Gunnarsson ruled out. They’re likely to start with a straightforward 4-4-2 system, which doesn’t inspire much fear from the Blues. Instead of trying to pinpoint a weakness in Sarri’s style, the Bluebirds are likely to just dig in and try to hold off the Blues, but they’re unlikely to have much answer for the hosts’ impressive movement.

Cardiff Form

The visitors make this trip searching for their first win since getting back to the top flight. They came close to claiming a result at home to Arsenal just before the international break, but the Gunners claimed a 3-2 win in the Welsh capital. The hosts won’t be expecting to make such hard work of this game. Unai Emery’s side let Cardiff in on too many occasions, making that clash much more difficult than it should have been.

Cardiff started their season with a loss at Bournemouth, while they claimed a point away at Huddersfield in their other away trip. With two points from four games they sit just above the drop zone in the Premier League, with a relegation battle likely for Warnock’s men this season. On top of that slow start, they have already lost to Championship opposition in the EFL Cup, which sees them come here on the back of consecutive defeats and with questionable morale.

Chelsea v Cardiff Head to Head

There have only been two recent league meetings between these two. Jose Mourinho led the Blues to home and away wins over Cardiff in his first season back at the club. Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti saw off the Bluebirds back in 2010 as his men moved to pick up the league and cup double. Sarri will be hoping that a win over the Welsh side will propel his team on to similar success in the future.

  • Cardiff 1-2 Chelsea, May 2014
  • Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff, Oct 2013
  • Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff, Feb 2010
  • Chelsea 2-3 Cardiff, Sept 1961
  • Cardiff 5-2 Chelsea, Sept 1961

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 20/23 with BetVictor
  • Pedro to score any time – 7/5 with bet365

Chelsea are widely backed for another win, as they’re 2/11 with Betfair to see off the Bluebirds. Meanwhile, the visitors are 18/1 with Ladbrokes, and the draw sits out at 6/1 with Coral. It’s hard to argue with those prices, given that the Blues are out to continue their perfect start against a Cardiff side who are struggling against top class opposition. Does that suggest that we’re going to see a rout when these two clash on Saturday?

The bookies have also slashed the odds on over 2.5 goals this weekend, which suggests that they see the Chelsea attack being busy. However, they were much more restrained against Bournemouth in their last game, which brought them a much needed clean sheet. They have been crying out for some defensive stability, and with a settled back four they should improve over the coming weeks and months. They will expect little trouble from a side who have yet to score on the road, and have found the net in just one of their first four games. That has us backing a home win to nil at 20/23 with BetVictor.

We also like the look of Pedro to make an impact here. As we mentioned, the Spaniard is on the right track to success under Sarri, and is set to get a starting position for this weekend’s game. He found the back of the net against Bournemouth last time out, and we’re tipping the winger for success in this clash. While the likes of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata are odds-on to score, Pedro is great value at 7/5 with bet365.

Chelsea v Bournemouth Betting Tips (Premier League) – 1st September 2018

Can Chelsea stretch their perfect start to the season ahead of the upcoming international fixtures? The Blues have a two week break following their fourth clash of the Premier League season, and they welcome Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge this weekend, just months after the Cherries ran out 3-0 winners in a visit to this ground. Eddie Howe’s men have also made a strong start to the new campaign, and they’re hoping to kick on this time around after a few seasons of stability in the top flight. However, will they be able to end the Blues’ strong start?

It’s been a good first month for Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge, after last weekend’s 2-1 win over Newcastle. The former Napoli boss seemed certain that his tactical plans would take weeks or months to get across to the players, so having nine points on the board at this stage feels like a strong show of confidence in the way the new boss wants to play. With the Blues playing some of the most exciting football we’ve seen in years, fans will be desperate to see the winning run carry through into September.

Team News: Sarri Set to Keep the Faith

There’s no reason for Sarri to go changing anything now, with his side starting so well. Mateo Kovacic came in for Ross Barkley in the last game, and the Croatian seems set to keep his place in the side. It looks like he’s set for a spot in the first choice midfield three alongside Jorginho and N’Golo Kante this term, while Cesc Fabregas is out of contention through injury. Eden Hazard is back starting again, while Pedro’s good form for the Blues is set to see him start once again this weekend. It’s not the most difficult team selection for Sarri to make, given the great start his men have made.

Bournemouth have issues in this clash, but they do welcome Adam Smith back after his red card last weekend. The defender served his suspension in the Carabao Cup, and is free to feature here. He’s likely to slot in at right-back yet again. Howe could call upon Diego Rico and Jefferson Lerma here, after they both started their midweek cup game. The Cherries have little by the way of injury news, meaning that competition for places ahead of this visit is high.

Bournemouth Form

The Cherries remain unbeaten so far this season, following their fightback last weekend. They came back yet again, this time from 2-0 down with 10 men, to draw at home to Everton, showing the attacking quality in this Bournemouth side. Howe’s men can pass the ball around, but they’re also a team who can make the most of set pieces, giving them plenty of threat. That’s helped them score twice in every league game so far, as they kicked off the campaign with wins over Cardiff and West Ham. With early wins under the belt, Howe is looking for more from his side but this is clearly their biggest test yet.

Bournemouth won in midweek, taking themselves through to the third round of the EFL Cup with a 3-0 victory over League Two MK Dons. They come here having won just five matches from their last 39 on the road in the Premier League, after their win at West Ham. They were a side who saw plenty of goals last term, with 63% of their trips seeing over 2.5 goals. They’ve kicked off in a similar manner, and they’re likely to come out and attack at the Bridge.

Chelsea v Bournemouth Head to Head

The previous meeting between these two sides wasn’t one to remember for the Chelsea faithful. The Cherries won 3-0 at the Bridge, routing the then-champions and striking a blow to Antonio Conte’s side. That means that Bournemouth have won two of four visits to the Bridge, but lost five of their last six meetings with the Blues.

  • Chelsea 0-3 Bournemouth, Jan 2018
  • Chelsea 2-1 Bournemouth, Dec 2017
  • Bournemouth 0-1 Chelsea, Oct 2017
  • Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea, April 2017
  • Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth, Dec 2016

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 4/5 with bet365
  • Eden Hazard to Score – 21/20 with Ladbrokes

The Blues are heavy favourites ahead of this clash, with Betfred pricing them up at 2/7 going into Saturday’s meeting. The Cherries are 9/1 with Coral to repeat their win here last season, while you can find the draw at 5/1 with BetVictor. For a side who are unbeaten so far this season, Bournemouth look a little too big on the Double Chance market at 13/5 with Betfair. However, will problems in defence leave them struggling to cope with the Chelsea attack?

Bournemouth looked really poor as Everton picked them apart at the Vitality last weekend. Despite having record signing Richarlison sent off, the Toffees raced into a 2-0 lead on the south coast. However, Howe’s side showed their strength in front of goal with a fightback. Following the midweek game they’ve now scored nine times in four matches and they should trouble a Chelsea defence which isn’t up to scratch just quite yet. We’re going for both teams to score in Saturday’s game. With the Blues set for another high scoring clash BTTS can be backed at 4/5 with bet365 ahead of this encounter.

One area where the Cherries have struggled of late is with penalties, having conceded a spot kick in back to back league games. They could end up doing the same in this visit, which makes us think that Hazard is well priced for a goal here. Not only does the Belgian take the penalties, but he’s scored five times in six Premier League meetings with the Cherries. With that in mind, we’re backing the winger to hit the back of the net here. He’s priced at 21/20 with Ladbrokes to score any time on Saturday.

Newcastle v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 26th August 2018

Can Chelsea end their struggles at St James’ Park to continue a perfect start to the new campaign? While Maurizio Sarri kicked off the season warning of a possible slow start, six points and six goals is hard to argue with. Last weekend’s 3-2 win over Arsenal wasn’t without problems, but it’s certainly an encouraging sign as the Blues look to adapt to their new boss. Will their strong start continue during this weekend’s visit to the North East?

The Blues meet former boss Rafa Benitez this weekend, a man who they unceremoniously disposed of after his interim spell at the Bridge. His current job has been a struggle, with the purse strings remaining tight at St James’ Park. Mike Ashley isn’t giving him much support, and the home faithful don’t have much to shout about after a slow start. Is this the perfect time for the Blues to visit, or are they being lined up as a big scalp for a home side in dire need of a win?

Team News: Kovacic Set for First Team Shot

Chelsea come in to this clash with little in terms of injury worries. Cesc Fabregas remains out for the Blues, but we struggle to see where he would fit in under Sarri. So far, the new boss has used Jorginho as a holding player, pushing N’Golo Kante into a box to box role. The third man in the three needs to offer energy and goals, which has seen Ross Barkley take up a starting role.

However, Matteo Kovacic has a chance to impress this weekend, following his cameo against Arsenal. The on-loan Croatian should be fit enough to make the starting 11. That’s a boost, given that his link up play with Jorginho and Eden Hazard was really promising last weekend. That’s something we’re hoping to see much more of.

Newcastle are missing Florian Lejeune in defence, while Isaac Hayden picked up a red card last weekend. The Magpies also have Kenedy ruled out, but that might be a blessing for them. The on loan Chelsea man had a horror show in their visit to Cardiff, failing to complete a pass before half time. He spurned chances, luckily dodged a red card and missed a penalty at the end of the game. Following that, he may not have even featured this weekend anyway.

Newcastle Form

The Magpies are chasing a first win of the season, after claiming just a point from their first two matches. Tottenham opened the season with a victory at St James’, but will the Blues continue that with a win here? The hosts aren’t looking all that impressive, and they certainly have issues to address after the weekend. A 0-0 draw at a poor Cardiff side was a bad result, especially after their late penalty miss. Benitez should have led his side to a victory in that visit, but they come into this weekend’s big game chasing a victory.

While a point from two games isn’t the worst start, it comes on the back of problems in the North East. Once again, Ashley is the target of Newcastle fans’ ire. The failure to adequately back Benitez in the transfer market has left them looking weak, but given their 10th place finish in the Premier League last season, they have little need to worry about a relegation battle. Their overall form should be a slight concern, with five defeats from seven matches ahead of this clash. Can they end that torrid run on Sunday?

Newcastle v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea may have won two of three meetings with the Magpies last season, but they were beaten in their previous visit here. The Blues lost 3-0 to Newcastle in May, a game they approached still in with a chance of making the Champions League. Following that defeat, the Blues come here looking for a first win at Newcastle since 2011, when Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge were on the scoresheet in a rare victory at St James’ Park.

  • Newcastle 3-0 Chelsea, May 2018
  • Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle, Jan 2018
  • Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle, Dec 2017
  • Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle, Feb 2016
  • Newcastle 2-2 Chelsea, Sep 2015

Betting Tips

  • Over 2.5 Goals – 10/11 with BetVictor
  • Pedro to score – 9/4 with bet365

Chelsea may have struggled in their recent trips to Newcastle, but they’ve been priced up as heavy favourites for this clash. The Blues are 4/6 with Ladbrokes, while the draw can be found at 14/5 with Coral. The hosts sit out at 22/5 with Coral, massive outsiders despite their great record in this fixture in recent years. Will Sarri succeed where his compatriot failed at the tail end of last season?

While we still aren’t sure what to expect from the Blues game by game, they’re certainly great to watch. They ran rings around Huddersfield, and with Hazard coming back into the side they’ve looked even better. The 3-2 win over Arsenal last weekend was a gripping advert for the Premier League, with the Blues showing a hollow defence behind their attacking glitz. Going forward the arrival and introduction of Kovacic is set to improve them even more, as is retaining Hazard. That means we’re at least expecting goals from the Blues.

Newcastle haven’t made major defensive additions, so that’s an area where they look vulnerable. However, they’ve now hit 12 goals in five home matches against Chelsea, so we can see the Magpies getting on the scoresheet at least once here. On top of that, the Blues have seen over 2.5 goals in eight of their last 10 trips in the Premier League, so we’re backing a high scoring game. Over 2.5 goals is our main tip at 10/11 with BetVictor, while we’re also backing a goal from Pedro, who is 9/4 with bet365 despite scoring in both games so far.

Chelsea v Arsenal Betting Tips (Premier League) – 18th August 2018

Chelsea face their first home clash of the new season on Saturday evening, as they prepare to host Arsenal. The Gunners are kicking off a new era this season, with Uani Emery taking over from Arsene Wenger. They started with a defeat at home to Manchester City last weekend, so this is a difficult beginning for the former PSG boss. Can he get one over new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, or will the Blues continue their impressive start under their new boss?

Their 3-0 victory at Huddersfield last weekend was a great way for Sarri to take to life in England. He had been warning that his style was going to be a tough change for the players to adapt to, but they looked effortless against the Terriers. We got to see a little more from N’Golo Kante going forward, as he has been freed up by the move to put Jorginho in the middle of the central midfield trio. After a poor title defence, there’s plenty to get excited about for Chelsea fans, and that excitement will grow with a result against Arsenal this weekend.

Team News: Sarri Set to Stick with Principals in Huge Derby

The Blues are hoping to welcome back Cesc Fabregas ahead of the meeting with his former club. That will give them a clean bill of health going into Sarri’s first home league game. The former Napoli boss will be looking to bring Eden Hazard into the starting 11, after the Belgian made a late cameo a week ago. The forward looked impressive in the early stages against Huddersfield, and Sarri’s system could really suit him. Kepa and Jorginho made their debut last week, and both will keep their place in this clash.

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny won’t feature again in 2018, which is a blow for the Gunners. They’ve also lost Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal, not ideal as Emery looks to fix their issues in defence. The new boss started with a 4-2-3-1 system in his first match since arriving in English football. They started just two of their summer signings, with highly rated Lucas Torreira missing out in the opener. After a poor performance by Petr Cech in goals there is every chance he may be dropped for this one.

Arsenal Form

The Gunners were full of hope ahead of the new campaign, thinking that things may finally change for them. A summer of signings and the addition of Emery as their new boss had raised expectations slightly. The build up to the new season was full of ex-pros telling us that players are going to try much harder under their new boss. However, that didn’t appear to be the case, as they were beaten 2-0 at home by champions City.

Their performance was incredibly Wenger-like during that defeat, showing that it’s not just a case of a new manager turning up. They have work to do in order to get this side up to scratch for a top four push, so the Blues might be doing well to get this game in early. They meet a side who won just four of 19 on the road last season, and the Blues are expected to add to Arsenal’s problems with a result at the Bridge on Saturday.

Chelsea v Arsenal Head to Head

Chelsea have seen their strong record against Arsenal evaporate over the last few years. They’ve failed to win in seven clashes with the Gunners, a run which started with the FA Cup final at the end of the 2016/17 season. Last term Antonio Conte met Arsene Wenger on several occasions, but the Italian simply couldn’t get the better of the Arsenal boss. It was a disappointing campaign all-round, but the results against Arsenal were one of the lowest moments. Sarri will be aiming to improve on that this weekend.

  • Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea, Aug 2018
  • Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea, Jan 2018
  • Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal, Jan 2018
  • Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea, Jan 2018
  • Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal, Sept 2017

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 8/13 with Ladbrokes
  • Eden Hazard to score – 13/8 with BetVictor

Chelsea come into this clash priced up as the clear favourites, probably due to Arsenal’s awful away form last season. You can back the Blues at 4/5 with Coral for this clash, with the Gunners sitting out at 3/1 with Bet365. The draw is priced at 29/10 with Betfair, so there’s little doubt about who the bookies are backing in this clash. After an impressive result in the opener, it’s hardly a surprise that the Blues are being backed for another win. However, can they shake their poor record against the top six? After stalling against their Champions League rivals last season, Sarri needs to get the most out of the hosts here.

The Pensioners won just twice at home to the top seven, and their recent struggles against the Gunners are a worry going into this game. While Sarri’s Chelsea looked strong going forward last weekend, you have to question their defence ahead of another meeting with a major rival. They’ve switched back to a back four, and that is going to take time to get used to. Arsenal’s forward line is bound to pick up, and we can see them finding an opening against a Chelsea side who are adapting to a new shape. That has us tipping both teams to score here at 8/13 with Ladbrokes.

Hazard’s display off the bench last weekend delighted fans, and he seems set to stay at the club. He’s looking focused, aiming to take his World Cup form back to the Premier League. The forward has caused problems for Arsenal for some time now, and we think he’ll do the same this weekend. He’s bound to play a bigger role in Saturday’s meeting, and we think that he is great value to score any time here at 13/8 with BetVictor.

Huddersfield v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 11th August 2018

The Blues get their new Premier League season started in West Yorkshire on Saturday, with a trip to Huddersfield first up for Maurizio Sarri. Of course, they lost to Man City in the Community Shield last Sunday but this is their first 100% competitive game and having endured a tough season last term they will be desperate to start with a win.

Under Antonio Conte the defending Premier League champions finished fifth, some five points shy of a Champions League spot. That means they will be in the Europa League this term and before that competition gets started on 20th September they will want to have accrued as many points as possible.

Their opponents on Saturday have different concerns and, as 12 months ago, simply surviving in the top flight will represent a brilliant achievement for the small club. The Terriers finished the 2017-18 campaign in a respectable 16th place and given their budget they would surely be happy with that outcome again. They were strong on home soil last term though and will be eyeing a win here as they hope to start the new season with an upset against one of the big boys.

Team News: What is Sarri’s Best XI?

New boss Sarri has had the summer to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of this squad and with the transfer window now shut he knows exactly what cards he has to play. The big question is, does the former Napoli man know his best hand? Preparations have been somewhat hit by the involvement of a number of players in the World Cup, whilst transfer speculation around the likes of Eden Hazard and Willian also haven’t helped.

Of course, there are some things we do know, chiefly that there will be no Thibaut Courtois, following the Belgian’s move to Real Madrid. Replacement Kepa cost a huge sum, so it will be interesting to see how he settles in at the Bridge. We also know that Sarri will play his usual formation, meaning a return to four at the back. Alvaro Morata is likely to have Hazard and Willian behind him, whilst new boy Jorginho and N’Golo Kante will be joined in midfield by either Cesc Fabregas, Ross Barkley or possibly Mateo Kovačić if the Real loanee is deemed ready.

The Blues essentially have a fully fit squad and with a likely back four of César Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Antonio Rüdiger and Marcos Alonso it is the final midfield place that seems the only question mark.

The Terriers have a few injury concerns and will have some late fitness tests, with midfielder Danny Williams the only player definitely absent. New striker Adama Diakhaby should start and David Wagner’s men will probably feature a few new faces after a relatively busy summer. Big money signing Terence Kongolo will strengthen Huddersfield’s defence but with a total of 13 new players to integrate, quite how well the home side will gel remains to be seen.

Huddersfield Form

Obviously there isn’t too much of real note to go on for either side here. Chelsea’s game with City was the most competitive either side has played since the end of last season and we really don’t want to read an awful lot into pre-season friendlies.

That said, the home team should, in theory at least, be full of confidence for this clash. Their final warm-up saw them beat RB Lipzig 3-0, with new striker Diakhaby scoring. A raft of changes were made in that game but it remains a positive result and saw the Terriers play 3-5-2, which we expect here against the Blues. Prior to that, Wagner’s men saw off Bologna and Lyon and they have had a good build-up, scoring goals with relative ease.

Huddersfield v Chelsea Head to Head

Despite their poor season last term the Blues recorded a big 3-1 win at the Kirklees Stadium. Given how strong Wagner’s men were on home soil and how few goals they conceded, that was a fine result. More of the same would certainly be nice here, although the most recent clash, in the penultimate game of last season, was less pleasing.

  • Chelsea 1-1 Huddersfield, May 2018
  • Huddersfield 1-3 Chelsea, Feb 2017
  • Chelsea 3-1 Huddersfield, Feb 2008
  • Chelsea 2-1 Huddersfield, Jan 2006
  • Chelsea 0-1 Huddersfield, Oct 1999

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 goals – 17/20 with BetVictor
  • Draw – 3/1 with Bet365

Chelsea are big favourites here but we have a bad feeling that this might not be the easiest of games. Huddersfield have had a magnificent pre-season and will be confident they can get a result on home soil. Last season they were hard to break down in front of their own fans and with a raucous atmosphere guaranteed the Blues could struggle.

Last season games at the Kirklees saw a total of just 41 goals at an average of 2.15 per game. Wagner knows that a draw would be a solid result here and whilst we don’t expect them to play for such a result we certainly don’t expect them to go all out for the win either. They will fight for every ball and give the Blues a real game and the draw looks overpriced here at big odds of 3/1.

Chelsea are available at just 8/13 and sadly we can’t back them at that price, despite their 3-1 win here last term. Sarri has some big changes to implement in terms of style and that will take time. Moreover, with the European transfer window still open, there remains a chance that Hazard will be agitating for a move and things are certainly not as rosy off the pitch as would be ideal.

We expect a tight game here and although we don’t see the home side winning (11/2 Bet365) we do think they can nick a point. The 1-1 stalemate would be our correct score tip but we’ll play it safer and back the draw instead, in what is likely to be a low scoring clash, despite Sarri’s preference for attacking football.