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 Form

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.

Chelsea v Manchester United Betting Tips (FA Cup Final) – 19th May 2018

Chelsea head into this weekend’s FA Cup final on the back of a 3-0 hammering to Newcastle last weekend. The Blues finished the season by blowing their top four hopes, falling apart in the last week of the campaign. However, the damage was done much earlier, as the failure to invest last summer came back to bite the club. The side had little to offer other than the approach which many had already worked out how to counter, and as a result the Blues have looked predictable across the campaign.

Antonio Conte needs to change that this weekend, in what is set to be his final game in charge. The Italian is widely expected to depart following Saturday’s meeting with Man United and Jose Mourinho at Wembley, given that he bears the brunt of many of the club’s failings. Will he head out with silverware, as Chelsea look to go one better than last season in this competition?

Team News: Will Tinkering Conte Make Changes for Finale?

Chelsea have limited worries ahead of this one, with David Luiz likely to sit out yet again. The Brazilian defender is missing out on the World Cup after a tough season at the Bridge, and he’s likely waiting for a managerial change in the summer as he looks to resurrect his career. The only other player to miss out on Saturday in Ethan Ampadu, but this clash might have come a little too early in his promising career for the Welshman to feature.

The big issue for Conte again is the choice between a 3-4-3 or adding another body in central midfield, which he’s done in consecutive weekends. Against this United side, he may prioritise safety, leaving Eden Hazard and either Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata acting as the front two.

Man United have no players ruled out yet, but they do have doubts around Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Felliani this weekend. They could also miss French forward Anthony Martial, with the striker being linked with a summer switch to Stamford Bridge, having fallen out of favour under Mourinho. There are suggestions that the Portuguese will aim to mirror the Chelsea set up, with a potential three-man defence taking the field for the Red Devils this weekend.

Man United Form

Man United finished the season with a narrow win at home to Watford, days after a 0-0 draw at West Ham. They’ve limped across the finish line in the top flight, having won one, drawn one and lost one of their last three, seeing just two goals scored across those games. Their recent defeat at Brighton came with a much changed side, but it did mean that the Red Devils lost away at all three promoted sides this term, along with losing at home to bottom side West Brom, and drawing at Stoke. While they signed Romelu Lukaku to fix their issues against the worst sides in the division, United continue to struggle against unambitious sides.

Even if United had won all five of those matches mentioned, they’d have still finished five points shy of Man City. The Citizens have set a high bar this term, and United have struggled to match it. They’ve proved this term that there’s little between the four or five sides directly behind City, which is a worry for the likes of Tottenham and United, with Chelsea and Arsenal looking to rejuvenate this summer. The Red Devils have issues this weekend and next season, based on their inconsistency this term.

Chelsea v Man United Head to Head

The Red Devils won the previous meeting, but Antonio Conte has won three of the five meetings he has had with Jose Mourinho. Should the Italian be departing this summer, then he’ll be looking to head out with a positive record against a man who he has had plenty of fare ups with during a two season spell in England.

  • Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea, Feb 2018
  • Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United, Nov 2017
  • Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea, Apr 2017
  • Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United, Mar 2017
  • Chelsea 4-0 Manchester United, Oct 2016

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 4/7 with BetVictor
  • Olivier Giroud to Score – 5/2 with Bet365

Manchester United are favourites for the clash at Wembley, as they come into this one priced at 8/5 with Coral to win this one in 90 minutes. Meanwhile, the Blues are 15/8 with Ladbrokes to claim another trophy, while this game is 2/1 with Betfred to go to extra time. United remain the favourites for glory, with Betfair making them 11/13 to lift the trophy via any means. The bookies are having a tough time picking between these two Premier League giants ahead of Saturday’s final. Can the Blues edge what is likely to be a close encounter?

Jose Mourinho is likely to make this a tight game, given his record in cup finals. The two managers are both conservative by their nature, and we could see Conte starting with three central midfielders to flood the middle of the park. We are expecting both sides to go with a cautious approach in this one, so we think it’s worth backing a low scoring affair. Under 2.5 goals is our first tip on this weekend’s cup final, which can be found at 4/7 with BetVictor.

Conte will have to pick between Morata and Giroud this weekend, and that pick will be crucial in what could prove a very close game. We can’t see any reason to go with the Spaniard, when you consider that the Frenchman has a brilliant Wembley record and remains unbeaten here, so Giroud should get the nod. With a strong record at this ground and in the FA Cup, Giroud is our pick to score, and he’s really well priced at 5/2 with Bet365.

Newcastle v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 13th May 2018

After all of their hard work to get back into the top four race, Chelsea blew their Champions League hopes with a woeful display against Huddersfield. The Terriers secured their Premier League survival with a draw at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, and that’s left the Blues with a difficult final weekend of the campaign on Sunday, as they need to win at St James’ Park and hope for a Brighton victory at Anfield in order to finish in the top four. That would be a big twist for the Reds, who have an unbeaten record at Anfield this term.

All Antonio Conte’s side can do this weekend is win in their trip to the North East, which will at least restore some momentum ahead of the FA Cup final. The draw with the Terriers summed up the issues which have plagued the Blues all season, with poor defensive errors, toothless attacking play and a lack of alternative approaches. That’s what has cost them so far this season, but will they get the chance to turn things around on the final day?

Team News: Conte to Restore First Team for Finale

The Blues went into their midweek clash without Olivier Giroud or Eden Hazard, which looks like a major mistake following the result. We expect Conte to fix that mistake this weekend, with his strongest team set to take the field on Sunday. However, they will be down in one area, as Thibaut Courtois is a doubt for this weekend. Meanwhile, David Luiz is ruled out of the final weekend game, he’ll likely be focusing on next season’s league campaign, given Conte’s likely exit during the summer.

Newcastle head here without former Chelsea man Christian Atsu, while Blues loanee Kenedy is missing against his parent club. The Brazilian has enjoyed an impressive spell in the North East, which has now come to an end. Another loanee who is set to depart is Leicester’s Islam Slimani, who is set to start for the Toon after coming back from suspension. Aside from that, the only other worry the hosts have is Ciaran Clark, who remains a doubt for this one.

Newcastle Form

Newcastle managed to start an inspired run of form in order to move to safety, but getting away from the drop zone has only made them complacent. They’ve now lost four straight matches ahead of the final game, with their place in the top flight secured. They’re still doing well just to stay in the division, given their Championship quality squad and lack of investment. Benitez turned them into a brilliant defensive unit to launch an unbeaten run, but they’ve been unable to sustain that form.

Losses to Tottenham, Watford, West Brom and Everton have all showed how the Magpies are struggling in the final stages, with their players casting an eye towards their summer break. The hosts have won as many matches as they’ve lost at home this term, while they’ve seen their fair share of low scoring matches at St James’, with 67% of their home outings finishing with less than three goals being scored, and with a tough finish to the season they’re going to likely approach this one with an eye on frustrating their opponents after their awful run of form.

Newcastle v Chelsea Head to Head

A string of home wins have given Chelsea an impressive record against the Magpies, and the Blues have claimed two victories over them already this season, after meeting them in the FA Cup. These two last met at this ground back in 2015, when Chelsea drew 2-2 with Newcastle during their troubled title defence. The manner of the Blues’s victories already this term has shown the gulf between these two, with the Pensioners hitting three goals in each of those wins.

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

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win – 4/6 with Ladbrokes
  • Chelsea to win and Under 2.5 – 29/10 with Coral

Chelsea may not have much chance of finishing in the top four, but they’re still being backed to win their final league match of the season. The Blues can be backed at 4/6 with Ladbrokes to win at St James’ Park, while the home side are priced at 9/2 with Bet365 to claim three points in front of their own support. The draw is priced up at 14/5 with Coral, making Conte’s side the clear pick from the bookies. However, will they follow up on the favourites tag and finish the season by seeing off the out of form Magpies?

While the Blues’ weakened side slipped up in midweek, that ended a five game winning run. Boss Conte tinkered with a winning formula, which left his side struggling to retain their rhythm for their final home match of the campaign. He is set to use his strongest XI for this one, even if it is too late for them to leap into the top four. We still expect them to finish the season with three points, and at 4/6 with Ladbrokes, the Blues seem like good value for a victory this weekend.

Newcastle aren’t in great form here, and we can’t see them putting up a huge fight on Sunday. They’ve got nothing left to play for after securing their safety, and the club already seem to have turned their focus towards the summer transfer window, and the future of Benitez. We expect them to be shaded out by a Chelsea side who need to finish with a victory, and given that the Magpies have lost 1-0 in three of their last four games, we think you can get great value on an away win, with under 2.5 goals to be scored in the match.

Chelsea v Huddersfield Betting Tips (Premier League) – 9th May 2018

Chelsea kept their top four hopes alive on Sunday, after a 1-0 victory over Champions League finalists Liverpool. The Blues are now guaranteed to finish at least level on points with the Reds if they can win their two remaining games of the season. Meanwhile, they’ve closed the gap to fourth placed Tottenham to just two points, although Spurs also have two matches left to play, compared to Liverpool’s one. While Chelsea are back in the frame, the fact that the other two sides are at home in all of their remaining fixtures makes things quite difficult for them to turn it around.

The hosts will still want to finish on a high, even if they’re going to be kicking themselves for past slip ups as a result. Wednesday’s meeting with Huddersfield is a chance for Antonio Conte’s side to continue their fight into the final day, but there are still questions surrounding the Italians choices which put the team in this mess. Complicating matters further is Huddersfield’s push for survival, as a point would all but secure their top flight place for another year.

Team News: Conte Set for Final Bridge Selection

Antonio Conte isn’t one to switch from a winning formula, but the Blues boss might make a slight tweak as he looks for a more attacking display in what is potentially his final match in charge at Stamford Bridge. He won’t be able to make a change up top, with Alvaro Morata a doubt for the midweek encounter. Danny Drinkwater is thought to be back in contention, but he’s unlikely to feature with Conte likely to switch back to a 3-4-3 after using a 3-5-2 to frustrate the Reds at the weekend. That should see the inclusion of Willian, who has enjoyed an impressive season to date.

The Terriers also like to use a 3-5-2 set-up to frustrate their opponents, and we can see something similar coming from the visitors here. Fresh from a 0-0 draw with Man City, David Wagner’s men are going to push for a similar result. They’re unlikely to make big changes from the team which picked up a crucial point at City, although Terence Kolongo is a doubt ahead of this one. The visitors will have to ready themselves for a clash with a side who are looking to achieve something, rather than facing a team who appeared to be on autopilot.

Huddersfield Form

The visitors really needed that point at City, as it moved them three clear of the drop with two matches to play. The two sides below them – Southampton and Swansea – meet in Wales on Tuesday, so there could be a lot of pressure on the Terriers following that one. The visitors have only themselves to blame should they come up short this season, following a run of one victory in eight matches. A point or two more across that run would have made all the difference, and the West Yorkshire outfit now have work still to do.

Huddersfield finish the season at Chelsea and then at home to Arsenal. Taking on the Gunners in Arsene Wenger’s final match in charge is a difficult one, and it’s going to leave the Terriers sweating on their place in the top flight. Having averaged just 0.72 points per game on the road this season, they’re not expected to turn things around on Wednesday night.

Chelsea v Huddersfield Head to Head

Chelsea won 3-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium in December last year, the first top flight meeting between the pair in over 40 years. They last met at the Bridge over 10 years ago, when the Blues won 3-1 against the Terriers in the FA Cup. However, with only three meetings this century, there’s not a huge lot to take from the head to head record between these two – other than the relatively easy Blues win earlier in the campaign.

  • Huddersfield 1-3 Chelsea, Dec 2017
  • Chelsea 3-1 Huddersfield, Feb 2008
  • Chelsea 2-1 Huddersfield, Jan 2006
  • Chelsea 0-1 Huddersfield, Oct 1999
  • Chelsea 3-1 Huddersfield, Feb 1984

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to Win to Nil – 31/40 with BetVictor
  • Olivier Giroud to score – 5/6 with Coral

The Blues’ push for a top four finish should get a boost this week, according to the bookies. They’ve been priced up at 2/11 with Betfred to win on Wednesday night, while Huddersfield are 18/1 outsiders with Bet365. The draw can be backed at 13/2 with Coral, with the Blues clearly expected to take the points. That would be a big blow for the Terriers’ hopes of staying in the division, and their away form certainly backs up those prices. Obviously the hosts aren’t great value to back outright for the victory, but there are other bets worth taking a look at ahead of this clash.

The home side have won five straight matches, following back to back 1-0 wins in the league. They are grinding out results in impressive fashion, which has kept them in the race for fourth. Meanwhile, Huddersfield come here having failed to score away to any top half side in the Premier League, which shows their issues up front. We expect Chelsea’s improved defence to continue that awful Huddersfield run, and we’re backing a home win to nil on Wednesday night, at 31/40 with BetVictor. In addition, another 1-0 wouldn’t be all that shocking, and that can be backed at 13/2 with Ladbrokes.

Olivier Giroud has been praised by Conte this week, and the French forward has really made an impact since arriving at the Bridge mid-season. He’s already faced the visit of Huddersfield once this season, scoring twice for Arsenal against them at the Emirates. With his recent form and a solid record against them so far, we think the Frenchman will once again make the difference for the Blues. We’re backing Giroud to score any time, which seems like good value at 5/6 with Coral.

Chelsea v Liverpool Betting Tips (Premier League) – 6th May 2018

Can Chelsea bring Liverpool back down to earth with a victory on Sunday? The Reds make the trip south with their minds drifting towards their meeting with Real Madrid in the Champions League final at the end of the month, which marks a huge step up for the Merseyside outfit. Jurgen Klopp is about to take charge of his biggest game as Liverpool boss, having guided them through against Roma with a 7-6 aggregate win. However, before all of that the Reds need to get their minds back on to the league, ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues know that three wins from three would see them finish the season level on points with Liverpool, although they’d be trailing in terms of goal difference. However, it would be impressive if they could cut the gap to the Reds, given the praise lavished on Klopp’s side, while Conte’s men are having a poor campaign all around. Can they muster the skill and invention required to finish on a high with a victory in the weekend’s biggest top flight clash?

Team News: Can Blues Inspire a Top Four Fightback?

Chelsea have no new injury concerns ahead of this clash, and they should set up with a side who can push Liverpool in this one. We expect a strong side from the hosts, who are missing David Luiz and Danny Drinkwater once again this weekend. The hosts should stick with their 3-4-3 set-up, which has helped them to four straight victories ahead of Liverpool’s visit this weekend. With so much on the line, we can’t see Conte making any big changes for the weekend clash, and yet again his only real decision is to settle between Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata. The Italian has also been handed a boost, with Marcos Alonso ready to return at left-back after serving his suspension.

Liverpool have a considerable injury list ahead of this trip, which could see as many as eight players ruled out. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all expected to miss out, while Adam Lallana and Emre Can should join them on the side-lines. While Klopp has been used to making changes in between European games of late, he could be forced into more shuffling of the pack when they visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Liverpool Form

The Reds are coming off a 4-2 loss in Rome, which was just enough to send them to Kyiv following their 5-2 win in the first leg. The visitors were lucky at times, and they certainly made life difficult for themselves with some poor defensive mistakes. They’ll be hoping to cut those out ahead of this clash, especially with an eye towards their showpiece clash in Ukraine. However, in the short term, Klopp’s side are coming in to Sunday’s game on the back of a Premier League clean sheet.

The Reds were held to a 0-0 at home to second bottom Stoke last weekend, as they continued their struggles throughout April. They’ve won just one match in the league this month, as they’ve struggled to split attention between two competitions. That’s probably in part due to their issues at the back on their travels, as 73% of the goals they’ve conceded in the league have come on the road so far this season.

Chelsea v Liverpool Head to Head

The Blues have really been struggling against Liverpool of late, with their last home win coming over three years ago. They’ve been waiting since 2013 to claim a Premier League victory against the Reds here, when Samuel Eto’o scored the winner. Meanwhile, the Reds are unbeaten in six meetings, having won both of their visits here under Klopp’s stewardship.

  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, Nov 2017
  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool, Sept 2016
  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, May 2016
  • Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool, Oct 2015

Betting Tips

  • Draw – 13/5 with Betfred
  • 2-2 Draw – 12/1 with Bet365

Chelsea come into this clash priced at 5/4 with BetVictor for the victory, despite Liverpool’s European heroics. The visitors can be found at 11/5 with Coral to claim the three points, while the bookies are clearly expecting some entertainment from this one. You can back both teams to score at 6/10 with Ladbrokes, which could prove an interesting option to many who see this one producing goals. Will this clash live up to expectations this weekend, or will the Reds come here looking to shut down the hosts and scrape a point? That’s hardly been Klopp’s style so far, and we don’t expect him to start now.

The visitors don’t really have it in them to play for a clean sheet, but they’d certainly take a point from this game if offered before kick off. A draw is all they need to secure their place in the top four, so it’s not the worst result, especially just days after returning from a tough away trip in Europe. The visitors are bound to be riding high, and refocusing on this one is likely to be a challenge, so getting their domestic campaign back on track could be key. The visitors have drawn three of their last four in the league, while the Blues have won just one of their home meetings with the top seven, so we’re backing a draw at 13/5 with Betfred.

We can see quite a high scoring clash in this one, given that the visitors have conceded quite a few goals on their travels this term. However, in 18 away trips in the top flight Liverpool have scored at least twice in two-thirds of those, so they are certainly capable going forward. Half of the Reds’ trips have seen over 3.5 goals scored in total, and we think there’s value in backing a 2-2 correct score in Sunday’s match, which looks like a temping option at 12/1 with Bet365.

Swansea v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 28th April 2018

Fresh from their victory at Wembley on Sunday, Chelsea head to Swansea this weekend as they look for a strong finish to the campaign. The Blues know that the Champions League is a tall order for them with just four games remaining, but at least 12 points from those matches would send them off on a high. They also have an FA Cup final to prepare for, and a winning run would be the perfect way to approach the showpiece clash at Wembley. Can Conte’s side take all three points at the Liberty Stadium this weekend?

The visitors do have some decent form behind them, which has raised hopes slightly in terms of a top four finish, but it still requires a huge slip from Tottenham or Liverpool. The Blues need to win all of their games to make it happen, including the clash with the Reds at Stamford Bridge, but first they’re out to claim a win against a Swansea side who are battling against the drop. It does seem like an opportunity for Conte and his side, but they have to be wary as they’re travelling to a side who are in danger and fighting for their lives.

Team News: Will Conte Go With Two up Top?

Chelsea come here knowing Emerson Palmieri will start at left-back for the third consecutive game, with Marcos Alonso still suspended. The Blues are also without Danny Drinkwater and David Luiz, neither of whom were likely to start in this one. The club may have finalised a cut-price tribunal fee for Ethan Ampadu this week, but the versatile Welshman is ruled out of this trip to his homeland due to injury. There aren’t too many big issues for Conte to wrestle with, as the only question is around Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata. Will the Frenchman lead the line, or will they form a partnership yet again?

The last time these two sides met, former Chelsea assistant manager Paul Clement was in charge of Swansea. However, Carlos Carvalhal has been called in as a firefighter, after Clement left them rooted in the drop zone. The former Sheffield Wednesday boss hasn’t made that many noticeable changes, but he’s turned things around at the club. They are currently lining up with a 5-4-1 formation in recent weeks, and against a Blues side who are starting to pick up a little momentum they’re likely to use a similarly defensive approach. The absences of Renato Sanches and Wilfred Bony won’t help the hosts either, but they still head into this one with options in attack.

Swansea Form

Swansea come into this clash down in 18th in the table, so facing off against one of the top six isn’t what they need right now. It’s not an easy weekend for rivals Southampton and Stoke, but the Welsh side are in danger of the drop after some poor recent form. They’ve failed to win in six matches, which culminated in their 5-0 thrashing at newly crowned champions Man City last weekend. Bouncing back from that loss is going to be a challenge for Carvalhal and his men.

The Swans saw their form pick up thanks to their impressive run in the FA Cup earlier this season. Getting results in the cup did seem to give them a boost in the league, but they’ve picked up just two points since a 3-0 hammering by Tottenham in the quarter-finals on St Patrick’s Day. That leaves the Welsh side in a tough position, as they look for a morale boost ahead of a crucial home clash.

Swansea v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea come into this clash following back to back wins against the Swans, but their performances against the Welsh side of late haven’t been great. They’ve taken a point from their last two visits to this ground, after throwing away a winning position under Antonio Conte here last term. We’re hoping for a more entertaining clash than the 1-0 Chelsea win the pair played out in November.

  • Chelsea 1-0 Swansea, Nov 2017
  • Chelsea 3-1 Swansea, Feb 2017
  • Swansea 2-2 Chelsea, Sept 2016
  • Swansea 1-0 Chelsea, Apr 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Swansea, Aug 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 5/4 with Coral
  • Olivier Giroud to score – 7/5 with Ladbrokes

Chelsea visit Wales as 11/20 favourites with BetVictor, as they look for a strong finish to the season. You can back the draw at 3/1 with Bet365, while the hosts are 6/1 with Betfair. After improving their form, the former champions are now widely expected to follow that up by claiming the points in their trip to the Liberty Stadium. However, will they do Swansea’s relegation rivals a favour by claiming a win, as the visitors look to keep their faint Champions League hopes alive.

Swansea are out of form overall, but they’ve picked up in their home matches. The hosts have scored in eight of their last nine at home ahead of this clash, and they’ll be looking to punish the Blues. The visitors are without a clean sheet in eight on the road, with little sign of that changing. There’s a clear lack of leadership within the side, and the Swans should take advantage. With that in mind, our first tip here is to back both teams to score at very handsome odds of 5/4 with Coral.

The Blues have looked good with Giroud up top and the striker scored against Southampton at Wembley on Sunday. That should earn him a starting place for this clash, and we feel like the forward can cause problems against the Swansea defence. He could well have Alvaro Morata creating space for him too, so we are backing Giroud to find the net in Saturday’s late game. He’s our pick for an anytime goal scorer, which seems like a good value bet at 7/5 with Ladbrokes.

Chelsea v Southampton Betting Tips (FA Cup) – 22nd April 2018

Chelsea are up against Southampton for the second time in eight days, as they travel to Wembley on Sunday for an FA Cup semi-final. The Blues pretty much know that the cup is their last chance of taking anything from this season. It would put the Blues into the Europa League group stage, which isn’t exactly the greatest prize, but it’s still something. Given the competitive nature of the Premier League, the Blues will want to secure a place in that competition to boost their hopes of making their way back to the Champions League down the line.

Of course, in the shorter term Antonio Conte is simply aiming to win another trophy at Stamford Bridge, adding a line to his CV before his likely summer job-hunt. The Italian has endured a testing second season at the club, but he can at least tick something off his checklist this term. The former Juventus boss failed to win the Italian Cup in his spell in Turin, something the club have done every year since he left. Can he end his wait for a domestic cup win, redeeming himself after last season’s defeat to Arsenal in the final?

Team News: Can Blues Book Wembley Return?

Chelsea could possibly have David Luiz back for this weekend’s game, although his form this season and issues with Conte mean he probably won’t feature anyway. The Blues have a concern up front now that Olivier Giroud is pushing for a place in attack, while Alvaro Morata has struck up some form in recent weeks. Settling on one of that duo is going to be the biggest choice for Conte. Elsewhere, he should just go along with the first choice side, although with Marcos Alonso in line for a ban we’re set to see either a huge game for Emerson Palmieri, or Cesar Azpilcueta shunted out to the left.

Southampton don’t have any major issues going into this weekend’s clash. They’ve got Jack Stephens ruled out through suspension, but aside from that Mark Hughes has a full strength side to pick from. The only issue for them is that there’s been so few standout players in this Saints squad this season that settling on a side for such a huge occasion is bound to be difficult. The Saints caused problems by lining up with a 3-4-3 system last weekend, and they have little reason to change that for Sunday’s encounter.

Southampton Form

The Saints have suffered back to back 3-2 defeats against London sides, and they’ll be out to avoid a similar scoreline here. Hughes has taken over at St Mary’s, and his first move was to guide them through to the last four of this competition, with an impressive win over Wigan. The Saints have actually been much better under Hughes, despite the negative spell he had at Stoke this term and his early struggles for results with Southampton.

However, the Saints have won just one league clash since November, which suggests that their board waited too long before making a managerial change. They are out to improve their form, with the cup proving to be a bit of a release for the struggling side this season. Will they use their Wembley clash as a chance to rescue a potentially disastrous campaign, or are Hughes and co. going to play to form with yet another defeat on Sunday?

Chelsea v Southampton Head to Head

The Blues added to their strong run of form against the Saints with a victory last Saturday, although they had to come from two goals behind in the process. After five straight wins against the south coast outfit, the Blues will be expected to rack up another victory when the pair clash at Wembley on Sunday. However, can it live up to the drama of the latest meeting?

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

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – Evens with Ladbrokes
  • Olivier Giroud to Score – 11/10 with Betfred

Chelsea’s victory at St Mary’s seems to have had an impact on the betting here, as the Blues are priced up at 4/9 with Bet365 to win within 90 minutes in this clash. The Saints are 13/2 outsiders with Coral, while the Premier League strugglers are priced at 7/2 with Betfair to force a draw against the recently dethroned champions. Antonio Conte’s side have clearly landed a plum draw in the last four, as they’re 1/5 with BetVictor to reach the final through any means. On the other hand, the Saints are 11/4 with Bet365 to qualify for a Wembley return.

After last weekend’s 3-2 clash at St Mary’s, we obviously have to fancy goals in this one. That game showed how poor the Blues are defensively, and they don’t exactly have a Plan B to switch to. We’re set to see another clash of two sides playing 3-4-3, and that hasn’t worked for the Blues for much of this season. Going man for man has caused problems for the Stamford Bridge side in recent matches, so we’re expecting both teams to score in Sunday’s semi, which is nicely priced at best odds of evens with Ladbrokes.

As we mentioned earlier, Giroud or Morata is Conte’s big decision for this game, but who will he settle on? In our eyes, it has to be the Frenchman after his two goal salvo against the Saints last weekend. He has that form backing him, along with 14 FA Cup goals since moving to England. With multiple wins in this competition to his name already, we see Giroud impressing at Wembley, so we’re backing him to terrorise this Saints defence yet again, as we’re going with the French forward to score at any time at 11/10 with Betfred.