Tottenham v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 4th January 2017

Can Premier League leaders Chelsea continue their fantastic winning run when they make the trip away to Tottenham on Wednesday night? This frenetic festive period wraps up with a mouth-watering London derby, which is possibly the Blues’ toughest test since their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal. Will Antonio Conte and his men be able to make a strong start to 2017, or will they fail to pick up three points for the first time since September?

Tottenham will also be confident coming into this game, they’ve put together some strong form; they also finally returned to the top four, albeit for only a day. Their push for a Champions League spot isn’t their main aim, however, as they’ve got outside ambitions of winning the title. However, they’re 10 points back from Chelsea, so they’ll need to claim all three points here to boost their title charge.

Team News: Conte to keep faith in search for 14th straight win

Antonio Conte has resisted the urge to make too many changes across the Christmas period. He welcomes back Pedro this weekend, after the Spaniard was suspended for the Stoke game. However, with Willian and Eden Hazard in excellent form, Pedro is unlikely to find his way back into the team here. We’re backing a familiar 11 here, with Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante both moving in to central midfield. That should give them a more solid base against a side in great attacking form.

In fact, Conte only has two injury concerns ahead of this game. John Terry is still a doubt, although he’s unlikely to beat any of the current back three to a starting place. Going into this clash, Terry would be a substitute at best. The Blues have Kenedy and Charly Musonda back from their loans, although they’ve not played much this season. Musonda isn’t fit after returning from Real Betis. Neither of those two are likely to appear on Wednesday.

Tottenham’s only injury worry for this game is Erik Lamela, aside from that they’re set to have a fully fit squad. They’ve been lining up in a 3-5-2 formation of late, and they’re likely to continue that here. That allows their attack minded full-backs to push on, while it also gets Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen into their favoured number 10 roles. However, they’re playing with just Victor Wanyama in front of their back three. That could leave them vulnerable.

Tottenham Form

Since losing 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in November, Tottenham have won six of their last seven matches. That saw them make a return to the top four, dumping Manchester City out in the process, before City leapfrogged then again with a home win against Burnley. Spurs have scored 21 goals in that time, with Harry Kane and Dele Alli hitting solid form up top. They each scored twice in Spurs’ 4-1 win over Watford on New Year’s Day, that was their second consecutive 4-1 victory on the road. Can they continue that excellent scoring form when they return to White Hart Lane on Wednesday night? Or will they struggle against the league’s best defence?

One issue for Spurs is their packed Christmas schedule. Spurs’ kicked off their winter fixtures just a week before this game. They’ve got three games in a week, while the Blues have been resting since Saturday. The Spurs’ squad has already been juggling European football with league action, they might not be able to match the Blues here. Tottenham don’t have the biggest squad, and seeing as they’ve not rotated that much, they might come up a little short when they face the league leaders.

Tottenham v Chelsea Head to Head

Tottenham gave the Blues a scare at Stamford Bridge, as they scored the opener. However, Conte’s side managed to turn things around to continue their impressive winning run Their last trip here was a 0-0 draw under Jose Mourinho, while the season before they lost 5-3 here. It’s hard to see a repeat of either of those results, given how the Blues are playing up front and at the back. It’s tough to see them letting in five goals in any game.

  • Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham, Nov 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham, May 2016
  • Tottenham 0-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham, Mar 2015
  • Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea, Jan 2015

Betting Tips

  • Diego Costa to score anytime – 6/5 with BetVictor
  • Draw – 12/5 with Sky Bet

Given the form of these two coming into this game, it’s clear that this is a really tough match to call. There’s next to nothing between them in the pre-match betting, Coral price Tottenham at 13/8 here, while Chelsea are 17/10 for the win. It’s hard to see just who will take the points, but this is clearly one of the toughest trips that that the Blues are going to face. They were almost gifted the points at Man City when Pep Guardiola’s men collapsed. They won’t get that lucky here, they’ll need to be at their very best to get anything out of this meeting.

The Blues will need Diego Costa firing, and he made a scoring return to the side at the weekend. He hit a late goal against Stoke on his return from suspension. The forward had a much needed break when he was suspended against Bournemouth. That looks to have helped him, and that’s got to be a worry for Spurs. The way they set up is likely to create space at the back, and Costa is one who can take advantage. We’re backing him to score any time, at 6/5 with BetVictor.

Tottenham are yet to suffer defeat at home all season, which highlights just how difficult this game is for the league leaders. We can’t see a 14th win here for Chelsea, but the Blues should avoid defeat in this one. We’re backing these two to take a point apiece, with the draw priced at 12/5 with Sky Bet ahead of this clash.

Chelsea v Stoke Betting Tips (Premier League) – 31st December 2016

Chelsea’s final game of 2016 sees them host Stoke at Stamford Bridge on New Year’s Eve, can they finish the year six points clear? The Blues will be widely expected to continue their impressive winning run, which has led them to a commanding lead at the top of the Premier League. Can they extend that with a victory over 13th placed Stoke?

The visitors come here in a poor run of form, can they repeat the draw that they picked up here last season? This Chelsea side are a lot different, they’ve put together a fantastic 12 game winning run. They can equal Arsenal’s 13 game winning run record with a victory on Saturday. They’re heavy favourites for the points, especially now that Antonio Conte has almost a full strength side to choose from.

Team News: Conte Welcomes back Costa and Kante

Chelsea’s only missing player ahead of this game is John Terry, who hasn’t started a league game since the trip to Swansea in early September anyway. David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta are set to start at centre back for the 13th game running. They’ll be protected by N’Golo Kante, with the former Leicester man now back from suspension for this weekend’s game.

Kante and Diego Costa were both suspended for the victory over Bournemouth, but they return for the final game of the year. Cesc Fabregas came in to the side ahead of the last game, and he’s probably earned a place in the starting line-up. Nemanja Matic has started the last two games, and he could be rested here. Conte played Eden Hazard as a false nine, with Willian and Pedro in support. The Spaniard impressed, opening the scoring, so we expect the Brazilian to drop out for Costa. Conte is likely to shift back to the side which won 1-0 at Crystal Palace before Christmas.

Stoke have a couple of injury worries for this game, with Jack Butland once again missing in goal. Stephen Ireland and Geoff Cameron are both injured for this trip, while key attacker Marko Arnautovic is suspended. The Potters started with a back three at Anfield, but it’s hard to see them taking the same approach here. After all, the last sides who tried to match Conte’s system were Man City and Everton, and that didn’t finish well for either of them. Expect a more conservative team selection from Mark Hughes here.

Stoke Form

Stoke come here having failed to win any of their last four games. That includes their first match of the festive period, which saw them thumped 4-1 at Anfield. They took a shock lead against Liverpool, but they couldn’t cope with the Reds’ forward line. The way that back three crumbled doesn’t bode well for them in this trip, especially given how lethal the Blues can be going forward.

Stoke are usually a side who push for the top half, but they’ve spent a large chunk of this season fighting relegation. They’ve manged just over a goal per game in the league, while they’ve let in 28 in total before the half-way stage. There are clearly some big problems for Hughes to fix, and his side still needs plenty of work. A trip to Chelsea isn’t exactly what he would have wanted, given how Conte’s side are in incredible form and full of confidence.

Chelsea v Stoke Head to Head

The Blues really struggled in three meetings with Stoke last season. They were dumped out of the EFL Cup on penalties in October last year, before a 1-0 league defeat there the next month. Even their meeting at Stamford Bridge was disappointing, with a late equaliser giving the Potters’ a 1-1 draw. Chelsea did win home and away against Stoke on their way to the 2015 title, can they do the same this term?

  • Chelsea 1-1 Stoke, Mar 2016
  • Stoke 1-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015
  • Stoke 1-1 Chelsea, Oct 2015
  • Chelsea 2-1 Stoke, Apr 2015
  • Stoke 0-2 Chelsea, Dec 2014

Betting Tips

  • Over 2.5 Chelsea goals – 6/5 with BetVictor
  • Diego Costa to score first – 5/2 with Coral

Chelsea come in to this game as heavy favourites: they’re 1/4 with Ladbrokes to take the points on Saturday. Meanwhile, Stoke are 12/1 outsiders with Betfred. Clearly the leaders are expected to continue their excellent winning run, but will they make this a 13th victory out of 13? They’ll have to be careful, as Stoke have a decent away scoring record. They’ve found the net at Old Trafford, Anfield and the Emirates so far this season. The hosts have conceded just two goals in their winning streak, but backing them to win to nil here could be risky, especially as the Potters have scored on their last two trips to the Bridge.

However, we can see quite a few goals for the Blues this weekend. They’re up against a side who have conceded far too many in recent games. The Potters shipped four at Liverpool, three at Arsenal and two at home to a 10 man Leicester side. With Chelsea in excellent form and scoring for fun, we can see them adding to Hughes’ misery. Six of the Blues’ last nine games here have seen them score three or more goals. We’re backing a repeat of that, with over 2.5 goals for the hosts priced at 6/5 with BetVictor.

Costa wasn’t missed last time out, and the forward got a much needed rest. He’ll walk back into the side for this game, given that he’s the league’s top scorer. We can see him being refreshed, given that he’s had two weeks break heading into this game. That’s bad news for Stoke, and we’re backing them to suffer. Costa has six goals in his last eight outings, and we’re predicting him to open the scoring this weekend, which is priced at 5/2 with Coral.

Chelsea v Bournemouth Betting Tips (Premier League) – 26th December 2016

Can Chelsea make it 12 straight league wins with a victory at home to Bournemouth on Boxing Day? They’re out to extend their six point lead at the summit and keep their fantastic run going. If they can carry their excellent form in to 2017, then it’s hard to see how the rest of the title hopefuls can catch them. However, they need to watch out against a useful Cherries side.

Bournemouth sit in the top half of the table, they’ve been pretty solid in their second season in the top flight. They’ve got a couple of dangerous players, and they recently beat Liverpool 4-3 after a fantastic comeback. This is another new challenge for Antonio Conte, can he inspire his side to another victory? The Blues come in to this one as heavy favourites for the points.

Team News: Suspensions leave Conte without key men

Chelsea have built their excellent form on the back of little rotation, keeping much of the same side across this run. However, that isn’t going to be the case on Monday, as they face a couple of big suspensions ahead of this clash. Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante are both out here, after picking up yellow cards at Crystal Palace last weekend. Those two have been key parts of the title push so far, so just how will the Blues fare with two big absentees from the spine of their team?

Luckily, there are a couple of easy solutions for Conte ahead of this game. Cesc Fabregas has been pushing for a place in the team, so he can step in for Kante. While the Frenchman will be missed, Nemanja Matic will have to pick up the defensive slack. Between him and Fabregas, they should be able to make up for it. Meanwhile, Michy Batshuayi can finally get a league start with Costa out. The Belgian can at last start to show why he cost so much in the summer. He’s been limited to substitute appearances so far.

Bournemouth are missing some players ahead of this trip too, with Lewis Cook, Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas all set to miss out for the Cherries here. Eddie Howe should be able to cope with those absences, although they’re going to miss a key man at the back. Nathan Ake has established himself in their defence, while he’s also been in strong scoring form of late. However, the Chelsea loanee is unavailable for this clash against his parent club.

Bournemouth Form

Bournemouth took a couple of big wins recently, seeing off Leicester 1-0 at the King Power. That came off the back of their win over Liverpool, so clearly the south coast side are not to be taken lightly. However, they’ve not got the greatest record on their travels. Will they be able to cause a massive shock at Stamford Bridge?

They’ve managed just one victory in seven away matches this season, which isn’t the kind of form they want to take into a tough match like this. Even that win at Stoke was surprising, and they followed it up with back to back defeats at Arsenal and Burnley. When you compare that to the Blues’ form going into this clash, it’s hard to see how the visitors can cause a shock on Boxing Day.

Chelsea v Bournemouth Head to Head

These two sides have only met twice before, and both of those came last season. The first meeting, their only encounter at Stamford Bridge, was one of the lowest points of Jose Mourinho’s tenure. They lost 1-0 to the newly promoted Cherries in December last year, before turning that around for the second meeting. Guus Hiddink led them to a 4-0 win at the Vitality in April. Hopefully Conte can produce something closer to Hiddnk’s result, rather than another home collapse.

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

Betting Tips

  • Michy Batshuayi to score any time – 5/6 with Coral
  • Chelsea to win to nil – 29/20 with BetVictor

This game will represent a huge moment for Conte and his team. The lack of European football has given them plenty of time to prepare for each game, while it has also allowed them to keep basically the same side across their winning run. There’s been a core of nine players, plus four others who have made starts. That all changes this week, with a couple of suspensions forcing Conte’s hand. On top of that, he might want to rest a couple of players, with a busy Christmas period coming up for the Blues. Could that lead to a new look side taking the field on Boxing Day?

We know that striker Costa is going to miss out and without the forward in the team the Blues will look a little short on goals. The Spaniard has hit 13 goals in 17 appearances, so obviously he’s a huge player to have to do without. This is the perfect chance for Batshuayi to step in. The forward cost £33million last summer, but he’s spent most of the season on the bench. He’s been Conte’s most used substitute so far, and he’s managed a few goals off the bench. We see him finding the net in his first league start, so we’re backing him to score any time at 5/6 with Coral.

We’re also backing another win to nil for the Blues. They’ve kept a clean sheet in nine of their last 11 games, which has been a huge help to their winning run. While Kante misses out, the usual back five will start. They should be good enough to keep out the Cherries, so we’re backing a clean sheet here for the Premier League leaders. We’re also backing their excellent winning run to continue, as we’re going with Chelsea to win to nil at 29/20 with BetVictor.

Crystal Palace v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 17th December 2016

Can Chelsea continue their title push when they travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon? The Blues are in action early this weekend, as they make the trip across London for a 12:30 kick off. Will they be able to continue an excellent run of form and keep up their push for the biggest prize available to them this season? They need to be careful, as this Palace side are desperate for points.

The Eagles are hanging around the drop zone, with boss Alan Pardew under pressure going into a busy Christmas period. Surely this is the last game that the Palace boss would want when his job is in jeopardy. Will the former Newcastle supremo be able to pick up some crucial points, or will Antonio Conte’s men continue their roaring form?

Team News: Expect changes in rare return to midweek action

Chelsea aren’t expected to have too many absentees for this weekend’s game, they are likely to miss Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel once again. Both are out due to a lack of match fitness, having been injured earlier in the season. They’re both suffering from a lack of fixtures for the Blues, which restricts who gets minutes on the pitch. Making that even harder is the great form the team are in at the moment, which has seen just 13 players start in the last nine matches. How will that affect them here?

Surely there are going to be changes, having played three games in the space of a week. That’s nothing new for the club, but it isn’t something they’ve done that often this season. The Sunderland trip was just their fourth midweek clash of the campaign. We can’t see Conte sticking with the same side throughout the week, so expect a couple of changes for this clash.

Crystal Palace are without Pape Souare and Connor Wickham, who are both set to miss the rest of this season. They’re also without Loic Remy, who is on loan from Chelsea. He’s also struggling with injury, which has prevented him from playing for his new club this season. They’re likely to rely on Christian Benteke up front, but he’ll have a tough time finding space against the three centre-halves. He did manage to get a goal for Liverpool against the Blues towards the end of last season though and is a threat on his day.

Crystal Palace Form

A year ago, Palace were in excellent form, with absolutely no relegation fears whatsoever. They were pushing for a place in Europe, and they ended up in the top six. After that the Eagles dropped like a stone, and things haven’t really looked up for them since. They may have taken a 3-0 win over Southampton at home recently, but Pardew still found a way to ruin that for himself. Having accused the club’s new American investors of not knowing the game, he seems like a man sleepwalking towards the sack after those ill thought out remarks.

Last weekend saw Palace draw 3-3 with a very poor Hull side, which showed their defensive woes. That came shortly after a 5-4 loss at Swansea. Clearly this is a defence which Diego Costa and Eden Hazard could have fun against. They’ve looked every bit like a struggling side in recent weeks, and now they’re facing a hugely creative attack from one of the top sides in the league. Expect Pardew to be worrying quite a bit ahead of this clash.

Chelsea v Crystal Palace Head to Head

Chelsea opened up 2016 with a victory over Crystal Palace, can they pick up another win here towards the end of the year? Palace were one of the first sides to take advantage of the Blues’ awful season last time around, winning 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. However, the last two meetings here went in Chelsea’s favour, including a 2-1 win on their way to the 2015 title. Can they pick up another victory here to continue the push for top spot this season?

  • Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea, Jan 2016
  • Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace, Aug 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace, May 2015
  • Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea, Oct 2014
  • Crystal Palace 1-0 Chelsea, Mar 2014

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 10/11 with Bet365
  • Over 2.5 Chelsea goals – 7/4 with Coral

Chelsea come into this game as 8/15 favourites with Betfred, while Palace are 6/1 outsiders with BetVictor. The Blues deserve to be favourites, they should manage to make short work of the Eagles, but how will they handle the hosts’ attack? Can their strong defensive record continue in this trip? It’s easy to see Pardew’s side making things difficult at the back. They have some tricky wingers, which is a new test for the two wing-backs.

Since playing Chelsea here, Palace have failed to score just twice in 15 league matches at Selhurst Park. The Blues are facing a tough week with three league fixtures, so it’s easy to see them being a little slow to react at the back. However, Pardew’s side have only kept three clean sheets in those 15, so a Chelsea goal seems inevitable. We’re backing both of these sides to find the back of the net, which is generously priced at 10/11 with Bet365.

A Chelsea goal here isn’t likely going to be a surprise, seeing as Palace have been struggling to keep goals out for a while now. They’ve conceded three or more in five of their last seven matches. That includes five against struggling Swansea, three at Burnley and four at home to Liverpool. This defence is clearly wide open, and the Blues have the players who can take advantage. We can see a big win for the visitors this weekend. That’s why we’re backing the Blues to hit over 2.5 goals in this trip, which is 7/4 with Coral.

Sunderland v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 14th December 2016

Can struggling Sunderland deliver a blow to Chelsea’s title hopes with an unlikely win at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday night? It’s a rare return to meaningful midweek action for the Blues, who are missing out on European action this term. This is the start of a busy December for Antonio Conte’s side. The Italian is going to have to get used to English football’s packed festive period of frequent fixtures. It could come as quite a culture shock for a man well used to the European winter break.

A narrow, hard-fought win over West Brom at the weekend kept the Blues top of the Premier League table. They have a three point advantage over second placed Arsenal, and a full seven point cushion between themselves and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Meanwhile, Sunderland are now rock bottom in the top flight, as they can’t seem to get away from the relegation battle. Can they record a shock win over the leaders, or will they be pushed even closer to the drop here?

Team News: Conte planning midweek rotation?

Chelsea make this trip without too many worries at the back. John Terry is once again available for selection, but he’s not likely to make a start here. We could see a few changes in this game, given their fixture schedule. They’ve played two of six December fixtures, with a trip to Spurs to come in the opening days of 2017. Expect the 3-4-3 to stay, but we could see a couple of stars given a break.

Given his recent performances, Cesc Fabregas will be pushing for a starting slot. He impressed at the Etihad, and he was unlucky not to start against West Brom at the weekend. He could well step in for Nemanja Matic once again. He could replace N’Golo Kante, if Conte decides to rest the Frenchman. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see a little rotation in the wide positions, as they are key, demanding roles which will be tested this month.

Sunderland have a few worries in midfield, with Jack Rodwell and Lee Cattermole both unavailable for this clash. Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore both miss out; they’re set to spend the rest of the season on the sidelines for the Black Cats. They’ve been finding joy of late with Victor Anichebe and Jermain Defoe up top, but expect them to change for this one. It’s hard to see them playing two strikers against the Blues. Conte’s system tends to pack the midfield, so it should do well against a 4-4-2. It’s hard to see David Moyes giving his opponents that opportunity.

Sunderland Form

Sunderland slipped back to the bottom of the Premier League over the weekend. Their 3-0 defeat at Swansea was a total humiliation for the Black Cats, who had started to climb back up the table. They would have been out of the bottom three with a result in Wales on Saturday. However, they are now propping up the league, which isn’t a position which any side would want to be in coming up to Christmas. The side bottom in December tends to end up dropping down to the Championship.

Sunderland have taken three victories from their last five games, which includes back to back wins at the Stadium of Light. Those have been against Hull and Leicester, two of the worst away sides in the division. Will that be a platform for the Black Cats to build on, or were they just favourable results against teams who tend to suffer defeat on the road anyway? A game against Chelsea isn’t exactly the time to judge that, but it’ll certainly be a much bigger test for Moyes and co than their recent home matches have been. The Blues have won four straight away league matches, conceding just one goal in that time.

Sunderland v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea’s recent record against Sunderland is a lot more mixed than it should be. Conte will be looking for his side to avoid a recent trend in these fixtures; the home team have scored three times in the last three encounters. It’s hard to see that happening here, the hosts average just 0.93 goals per game in the Premier league this season. Of course, this is a very different Chelsea side from the one which lost 3-2 in the North East in May last season.

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

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to Win to Nil – 6/5 with Bet365
  • Draw/Chelsea HT/FT – 17/5 with BetVictor

Having won nine straight games, Chelsea come into this trip as 3/10 favourites to claim all three points. However, the West Brom game showed that they can be frustrated. They once again impressed at the back, keeping their seventh clean sheet in their last nine league matches. It seems Conte has brought his Italian defensive steel with him to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have a fantastic defensive record all season, conceding just 11 times in their 15 matches so far. Nine of those goals came in the first six, too. We’ve already mentioned Sunderland’s poor attacking record; we can see them being the latest side to be blunted by this strong Blues backline. We’re also backing this winning run to continue, so we’re going with an away win and clean sheet at 6/5 with Bet365.

While we see a Chelsea win, this won’t be an easy one. Sunderland will still be confident here after their recent home wins, and they’ll be buoyed by West Brom’s display at the Bridge. The Black Cats can keep this one tight early on, with the break through coming in the second half. Sunderland concede 71% of their home goals in the second 45, while Chelsea score 75% of their away goals after half-time. That’s why we’re going for Draw/Chelsea on the half-time/full-time market. It’s well priced at 17/5 with Bet Victor.

Chelsea v West Brom Betting Tips (Premier League) – 11th December 2016

After a fantastic victory at Manchester City, Chelsea are now three points clear at the top of the Premier League. They look to have a favourable schedule over Christmas, and that starts with the visit of West Brom this weekend. Can they continue their amazing winning run when Tony Pulis’ side visit Stamford Bridge at midday on Sunday?

After eight consecutive wins, the Blues are obviously heavy favourites to take the points here. Chelsea are looking more and more like title contenders each week, and that was shown by the manner of their win at City. Now they need to build on that, and ensure they aren’t caught out by the recent upturn in form of their next few opponents. This may also be the time for Antonio Conte to think about a little rotation.

Team News: Has Fabregas tied up starting spot?

Last weekend saw Nemanja Matic drop out of the team, with Cesc Fabregas replacing him. That was a surprising inclusion, the Spaniard didn’t seem suited to a holding role in a trip to the Etihad. He was impressive, and he supplied the assist for the equaliser. Could that have earned the former Barcelona man a place in the side for this Sunday’s game? You’d imagine he’s going to get more freedom to create in a game like this, and that could help Eden Hazard and Pedro kick on even more.

John Terry missed the game at the Etihad, he’s still a doubt for this game, although he’d likely be limited to the bench anyway. While Gary Cahill scored an own goal last weekend, it’s hard to see Conte making any changes to his back five. Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel are still searching for fitness, so they’re unlikely to be involved. It’s hard to see too many changes for this game, the settled side that the manager has been using is paying off. Although, they can’t play every game in December. At some stage, changes are needed.

West Brom are set to be without Saido Berahino, although he’s barely kicked a ball for them all season. Aside from that, the Baggies have a fully fit squad for this weekend’s game. They’ve hit a good spell of form themselves, so it’s hard to see too many changes to a winning side.

West Brom Form

West Brom’s win last weekend lifted them to seventh in the table, they’re just starting to hit form ahead of the Christmas period. They’ve won three and drawn one of their last four, which has restored faith in Pulis. They’ve gone from the verge of a relegation fight to the edge of the European spots, but can that rise continue? If they could claim three points here, it would a hugely impressive victory for the Baggies.

West Brom’s strong record doesn’t include their recent away from, which is really poor. They’ve won just one of their last seven on the road, which includes a League Cup elimination to Northampton. They drew 1-1 with Hull last time out, and the Tigers are one of the worst sides in the league. While West Brom are in good form, they are yet to repeat that on their travels.

Chelsea v West Brom Head to Head

The Baggies really troubled Chelsea last season, although most sides did. The Blues conceded twice in both games, but they took four points from those meetings. While they don’t have the best record up against West Brom, that’s mostly in their trips to the Hawthorns. In their last 11 trips to the Bridge, WBA have taken just a single point. That isn’t the kind of record which will fill their fans with confidence ahead of this one.

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

Betting Tips

  • Eden Hazard to score anytime – 19/20 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win and both teams to score – 21/10 with Coral

It’s hardly a surprise that Chelsea come into this game as big favourites. They’re usually expected to beat West Brom, but now they have an eight game winning streak to continue. There’s a lot of talk about the fixture calendar, with Chelsea facing five very winnable games between now and the end of the year. Their next big challenge will be a trip to White Hart Lane in the New Year, but can they continue their form going into that one? Given their record over West Brom, it’s easy to see them continuing their strong run on Sunday.

Eden Hazard has revealed a joke agreement he has with Diego Costa over the big individual awards. The Belgian said he’ll give the striker the Golden Boot, as long as he can win back the Player of the Year trophy he took in 2015. He’s certainly in with a chance, and he could well threaten Costa’s hopes of finishing as top scorer. Hazard is joint fourth on the scoring charts, three off the Spain international. His highest tally across a season is 14 goals but now he has eight in just 14 games. Given his form, we think the Belgian is worth backing to score again this weekend. He has nine in his last 12 for club and country, and he’s 19/20 with BetVictor to add to that this weekend.

While we see a home win, it might not be as straight forward as Conte would like. The defence is now looking a little more open, having conceded in their last two. There were a few worrying moments in the game at City. West Brom have scored in all but one of their last nine away league games. We can see them scoring in a defeat here, which is why we’re backing Chelsea and both teams to score at 21/10 with Coral.

Manchester City v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 3rd December 2016

After hanging on to top spot last weekend, Chelsea face a huge test of their title credentials on Saturday. They travel to Manchester City on the back of a seven game winning run, can they extend that with a victory at the Etihad? This could be their toughest fixture of the campaign, so they’ll need to continue their fantastic form if they’re going to hang on to top spot. We’ll know a lot more about Antonio Conte’s Chelsea after they come through this fixture.

Manchester City looked to be runaway leaders early on, but their dip in form allowed a host of teams back into the picture. They’ve returned to winning ways, but they’re not quite back to their best. With a huge game just around the corner, can Pep Guardiola get his team back to their peak performance level with a highly significant win over the league leaders? They’ll certainly not have it as easy as they did in this fixture last season.

Team News: Conte to ring the changes for big clash?

John Terry missed out on the bench last weekend, he’s set to miss at least two weeks. He said after the Tottenham game that he’s happy to be on the bench with the team playing well. John Obi Mikel remains out, while Kurt Zouma is unlikely to make his return here. There was a lack of intensity in the early stages of the Spurs match, could that tempt Conte into rotating? It is hard to see who he’d drop, and they do have a week to recover and prepare for this fixture. With the Christmas schedule just round the corner, the Blues’ will need to start changing their personnel soon.

To no one’s surprise, Vincent Kompany is injured ahead of this game. The Belgian defender has barely seen any action for City in recent months, and he’s expected to be out for another six weeks. Fabian Delph is City’s only other injury concern. With no midweek EFL Cup action for the Citizens, and with their Champions League fixture next week now a dead rubber, City can name their strongest possible side for this game. That is unless Guardiola tries some odd, unexplainable rotation. Like when resting Sergio Aguero against Barcelona.

Man City Form

City are unbeaten in four in all competitions, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. They’ve struggled since October; they’ve dropped from the standards they showed at the start of the campaign. They’ve gone from champions elect to third place, while their recent displays have been poor. They’ve claimed back to back 2-1 wins in the league, but they came against some really poor defences. Burnley’s defending last weekend was awful, and Aguero was only too happy to pounce on their mistakes.

City have drawn their last three home league matches. In fact, no team has won a league match in Manchester since September 24th, every single one has finished level. City’s last home league win was a week before that, and since they’ve dropped some crucial points. They’ve drawn 1-1 with Everton, Southampton and Middlesbrough, so this is a great time for Chelsea to visit. Could they take advantage of that poor record, and claim some crucial points to go towards their title push?

Manchester City v Chelsea Head to Head

Recent form between these two has seen some interesting results. City blew away both Jose Mourinho’s and Guus Hiddink’s Chelsea last season. In between those two, City fielded a reserve side at the Bridge in the FA Cup, as they wanted to keep their stars fresh for the Champions League. That allowed the Blues to hit them for five, in one of the highlights of a dismal season. Expect this game to be a lot closer in result to the two meetings from the 2014/15 season, when the Blues won the title. Those were hard-fought games, which the away side probably deserved to win on each occasion.

  • Chelsea 0-3 Man City, Apr 2014
  • Chelsea 5-1 Man City, Feb 2016
  • Man City 3-0 Chelsea, Aug 2015
  • Chelsea 1-1 Man City, Jan 15
  • Man City 1-1 Chelsea, Sep 14

Betting Tips

  • Diego Costa to score any time – 5/4 at Coral
  • 1-1 Draw – 13/2 with BetVictor

We expect a very cagey game when these two sides meet. Given that the Blues have conceded just once in their last seven matches, it might be worth backing against this being a high scoring affair. Under 2.5 goals certainly looking appealing at 43/40 with Bet365, we can’t see this being an end to end clash. Conte will set his side up to be hard to break down, and lethal on the counter. This will be a new chance for the front three to operate in a different way, which could bring a lot out of them. Normally they move and look for space, but now they’ll be trying to break into space in a quick counter-attacking move.

This is a shootout between the Premier League’s joint top scorers. Diego Costa failed to find the net against Tottenham, so Sergio Aguero joined him on 10 goals at the top of the scoring charts. However, the Spanish forward doesn’t tend to be goalless for long, and we can see him getting back into the swing of things with a strike against City. He bullied the City back four here two years ago, and now that he’s back to his best we can see a repeat of that. We’re backing the forward to score any time, at 5/4 with Coral.

Given City’s three consecutive 1-1 draws, we can see a similar result on Saturday. These two played out two 1-1 draws back in 2014/15, when they were evenly matched. After last season’s blip, they seem back on the same level. This will be a really tough test for the hosts, and we’re backing these two to walk away with a point each. A 1-1 draw here is priced attractively at 13/2 with BetVictor.

Chelsea v Tottenham Betting Tips (Premier League) – 26th November 2016

After moving to the top of the Premier League last weekend, things are only getting tougher for Chelsea. They host unbeaten Tottenham next, with the title hopefuls four points behind in fifth place. In this tight battle for the Premier League trophy, no side can afford to fall too far back. Could that inspire Spurs to a first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990? That’s not a record that Antonio Conte will want to surrender.

When you look at the Blues’ recent form, it’s hard to back against them. However, Spurs are yet to taste a league defeat this term, and they maintained that with a spirited fightback at home to West Ham on Saturday. One thing we can expect is a heated game, these two saw plenty of cards when they met in May. Expect another fiery contest between these two, seeing as both are looking to push for the title.

Team News: Will Conte finally make a change?

The Blues have seen a few of their fringe stars get some game time this week. The Under 23 squad played on Monday, with a few big names featuring: John Terry, Cesc Fabregas and Michy Batshuayi all played. They were also joined by Marco Van Ginkel and Kurt Zouma, who are working back to fitness.

None of those are likely to feature, seeing as Conte has kept the same side for five straight games. With a week break in between and no major injuries or suspensions, why would he change things now? Expect that same 11 to get another go this weekend. However, we do expect rotation to start in December, with a busy schedule coming up.

Tottenham could have quite a few injury doubts for this game. They’re set to be without Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies and Erik Lamela for the weekend’s game. Before their clash with Monaco, Mauricio Pochettino said that a few more stars might not be up to scratch either. He said to reporters, “We need to assess (Harry) Kane, (Moussa) Dembele and (Dele) Alli.” It’s thought all three might not be ready to play 90 minutes quite yet. That could leave them very short ahead of one of their biggest games of the season.

Tottenham Form

Spurs are still unbeaten in the league, but their win over West Ham ended a seven game run without recording a victory. They are already out of the EFL Cup, while they are heading for a Champions League exit too. The Premier League title is their main aim this season, but they’re already fifth in the pecking order. Could they be struggling from taking on too much this term, without having the squad to cope?

They’ve been shy of goals lately, Vincent Janssen up front struggled to replace Kane while the England striker was out injured. In their last match with West Ham, they started with two forwards, but they had a tough time getting around the Hammers’ 3-4-3 formation. That could be a big bonus for the Blues this weekend. It was only Slaven Bilic’s changes which allowed Spurs back in to the game, so they could have a tough time against the Blues and their new set up. Conte’s new tactic looks to be one that the Lilywhites struggle to deal with. They don’t have much time to think of a way to counter that system, seeing as they’ve got midweek commitments to worry about.

Chelsea v Tottenham Head to Head

Even when the Blues were struggling last term, Spurs still failed to take advantage. Both of the meetings last term finished level, which cost Tottenham two points in their failed push for the Premier League title. Danny Rose admitted that the players cried in the dressing room following their 2-2 in May, which handed Leicester the title. Can Chelsea leave them in tears again this weekend?

  • Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham, May 2016
  • Tottenham 0-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham, Mar 2015
  • Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea, Jan 2015
  • Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham, Dec 2014

Betting Tips

  • Over 1.5 Chelsea goals – 31/40 with BetVictor
  • Diego Costa to score any time – evens with Bet365

Last weekend’s game showed that Tottenham do have a few vulnerabilities at the back. With Alderweireld out, they don’t look anywhere near as solid. There’s no bigger test of their defence right now than a game against Chelsea, who are scoring goals for fun, especially at the Bridge. They’ve scored 12 goals in their last three league outings at home, against some quality sides. They put four past Manchester United, and hit five against Everton last time out. They’ve done all that without conceding a goal, which is a pretty remarkable run.

Momentum is carrying the Blues through some tough games with ease, and that’s partly down to their great scoring record. Can they continue that by taking advantage of a shaky Spurs defence? The 3-4-3 set up clearly troubled them at White Hart Lane, so it’s hard to see them coping when they travel to the Premier League leaders. We can see Conte’s side adding another couple of strikes onto their tally for the season, so we’re backing over 1.5 goals at 31/40 with BetVictor.

A key part of Chelsea’s recent strong scoring form has been Diego Costa, who currently leads the race for the Golden Boot. He’s hit 10 goals in 12, which is the kind of form that shot the Blues to the league title in 2015. He found the net 20 times that season, and he’s already on course to better that tally. With six months of the season still to go, it’s easy to see him hitting the 25 goal mark. With Spurs struggling at the back, Costa is going to be hard for them to handle. Given his excellent scoring form, we think he’s fantastically priced at evens to score against Spurs this weekend.

Middlesbrough v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 20th November 2016

Chelsea head to Middlesbrough on Sunday, will their visit be as successful as their last? They were 5-0 winners here in 2008, and they’re in good enough form for a repeat. Coming off a 5-0 win before the international break, will they continue their fantastic form? They’ll want to continue their winning run to keep up their push for the title. Ahead of this weekend they’re just a point behind leaders Liverpool.

Middlesbrough have made an unspectacular start to their return to the top flight. They’re fighting relegation, but there are at least three weaker sides in the division so far. They have a solid home record and some quality players, but will that be enough to trouble the Blues here? The visitors need to negotiate this trip with many of their stars returning from all corners of the continent.

Team News: Any change to winning formula?

The big drama over the international break was the injury to Diego Costa. That may have seen him miss the friendly with England at Wembley, but the forward is expected to return here. The big worry is that he’s a booking away from a ban, with Tottenham to come next weekend. Antonio Conte is likely to finally have Kurt Zouma available though. That said, the Frenchman may not even make the bench with the current competition for places at centre-half. It’s hard to see him replacing Terry among the substitutes.

It’s also hard to see Conte making too many changes to his in-form side. He’s settled on an 11, and even last season’s player of the year is missing because of that. Willian has had some mitigating circumstances for his absence, but can he force the Pedro and Eden Hazard pairing apart? We can’t see any chances being made from the side who beat Everton 5-0 last weekend.

Middlesbrough are without defenders James Husband and Daniel Ayala for this clash. They have former Manchester City man Alvaro Negredo up front, but they look short of options at the back. Can any of their defenders keep pace with the Premier League’s top scorer on Sunday? This should be a game to enjoy for Diego Costa. Can he add to his nine goal haul this term?

Middlesbrough Form

The hosts come into this game in an awful run of form. They’ve won just one of their last 10 matches, while they have just two league victories to their name all season. They’re just a point above the drop, and if any of the bottom three start to pick up, Boro could be in massive trouble. Few expected them to struggle this much during the summer, they were odds-on to avoid the drop before the season began.

Aitor Karanka’s men did pick things up in their last game though. Marten De Roon scored late on to give them a fine 1-1 draw away to Manchester City. That wasn’t exactly a result they earned, it was courtesy of City’s poor league run and tame finishing. Chelsea have been a lot more ruthless and clinical than the Citizens in recent weeks, so it’s hard to see a repeat of that result. The hosts have lost three of their last four at home, and the Blues are odds-on to make it four from five this weekend.

Middlesbrough v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have a fantastic record against Middlesbrough, having won the last six meetings between the sides to nil. The 5-0 victory on their last league trip here was a rare highlight under Luis Felipe Scolari, before things began to unravel for the World Cup winner. The last meeting between these two came in the FA Cup, with the Blues coming out on top. You can tell that 2-0 victory was some time ago, as Victor Moses was among the scorers. He’s now back in the starting line-up, could he find the net again at the Riverside? The way the Blues are playing, every outfield player looks like a scoring threat.

  • Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea, Feb 2013
  • Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbrough, Jan 2009
  • Middlesbrough 0-5 Chelsea, Oct 2008
  • Chelsea 1-0 Middlesbrough, Mar 2008
  • Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea, Oct 2007

Betting Tips

  • Diego Costa to score any time – 4/5 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win to nil – 29/20 with Coral

Diego Costa was among the players to score past Everton in the last game, which kept him top of the Premier League scoring charts. The forward has missed both of Spain’s international fixtures through injury, but hopefully that short break leaves him fully rested ahead of this game. He’s been key to how the Blues have played this season, and the fact that he’s at risk of a suspension is a big worry. Costa can be relied on for goals, but you can’t rely on him to keep his cool.

The former Atletico Madrid man won’t hold anything back, even with a suspension potentially on the cards. He’ll be at full intensity when the team travel to Middlesbrough, and that’s why we’re backing him to grab a goal. The forward has nine in 11 in the league this term, which is an outstanding return. Middlesbrough have just one home clean sheet all season, and we can’t see them adding to it here. A goal for Costa is our tip, which is priced at 4/5 with BetVictor. He’s 11/4 to open the scoring with Sky Bet.

We’re also backing an away win to nil in this game. Not only have the Blues kept six straight clean sheets against Boro, but they’ve recorded five in a row in the league. The 3-4-3 formation is working well for the Chelsea defence; it’s changing a lot of perceptions around David Luiz. With Conte’s side finally looking like they have that Italian steel at the back, we’re going with an away win and clean sheet on Sunday. That’s priced at 29/20 with Coral.

Chelsea v Everton Betting Tips (Premier League) – 5th November 2016

Everton are the visitors to Stamford Bridge this weekend, as they look to build on their win last weekend. The Toffees saw off West Ham on Sunday, which moved them up to sixth in the table. Can they climb even further with a shock win at the Bridge? They do have a pretty strong record against the Blues of late, but the home side are in great form.

These two last met in the FA Cup back in March, when Everton ended Chelsea’s last hopes of a trophy and chances of qualifying for Europe. That was a bitter blow in a tough season, especially going down to Roberto Martinez, who ended up losing his job at the end of the campaign. Ronald Koeman is now looking to improve this side and get them competing for a place in Europe. He’ll be hoping for a result against the team who currently round off the top four.

Team News: Conte selection consistency paying off

Antonio Conte has named the same team for three consecutive league games, and he’s likely to do the same here. While he made plenty of changes for the West Ham match in the EFL Cup, he’s settled on a regular starting 11 in this 3-4-3 formation. John Terry should sit out once again, as this system would leave him pretty exposed. Kurt Zouma is still awaiting a return, while Cesc Fabregas is injured, he’s doubtful to appear on the bench.

The only potential change we could see is Willian coming in to play off Diego Costa. The Brazilian lost his place after heading home following the death of his mother. Since then, Pedro has kicked on and put in a few impressive displays. He seems to have a real understanding with Eden Hazard. While last season’s player of the year deserves a chance, it’s easy to see Conte sticking with the side who have won the last three league games.

Everton head into this game with a considerable injury list. Idrissa Gueye, often compared with N’Golo Kante, is suspended. His most likely replacements, Muhammed Besic and James McCarthy, are both injured. Goalkeeper Martin Stekelenburg is a doubt, and he’s been in inspired form for the Toffees this term. The visitors don’t have the biggest squad to work with, so they could be a little bit thin here. They do have former Blue Romelu Lukaku leading the line, which could prove significant.

Everton form

Everton started the season in brilliant form, drawing their opener and then winning four in a row. That run put them just behind City, and it sparked talk of a Champions League push. However, since then they’ve won just once in five, and crashed out of the EFL Cup to Championship side Norwich. Having been second after five games, they’re now sixth after 10. That makes Koeman’s reign difficult to judge. So far, he has a lot of support, even during a poor run of form.

Everton did get themselves a win last weekend, as they beat West Ham 2-0 on Sunday. That was a much-needed triumph, travelling here without a win in five would have been tough. The Toffees have had a little morale boost, and they’ll be hoping to claim a big scalp this weekend to aid their European push. They did claim a 1-1 draw at Manchester City recently, but they were helped by City’s awful run of form and Champions League distractions.

Chelsea v Everton Head to Head

Chelsea have won none of their last three against Everton, all of which came last season. The Toffees saw off the Blues at Goodison twice last term, while these two drew 3-3 in this fixture. The visitors were 2-0 up at one stage in that game, so it ended up being a good result for the Blues. Can Conte take the team back to their title winning form of 2014/15, when they won home and away against this weekend’s opponents?

  • Everton 2-0 Chelsea, Mar 2016
  • Chelsea 3-3 Everton, Jan 2016
  • Everton 3-1 Chelsea, Sep 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Everton, Feb 2015
  • Everton 3-6 Chelsea, Aug 2014

Betting Tips

  • Diego Costa to score – 19/20 with Betfair
  • Chelsea to win to nil – 19/10 with BetVictor

The head to head form between these two may throw you off the scent a little, but Chelsea are firm favourites for this game. Coral make them 8/13, and that’s the biggest price you can get on a home win here. Meanwhile, Everton are 9/2 outsiders for an away victory. That’s hardly surprising, seeing as the Toffees have won twice in their last 11 away league games.

We’re backing Diego Costa to find the net again on Saturday. The forward is the Premier League’s top scorer, finding the net eight times in his 10 matches this term. He’s back to the form from the Blues’ title winning season, and he’s on course to better his total of 20 goals from that season. We’re backing him to grab his ninth of the season in this clash. The Spain international has four goals in four games against Everton since joining the Blues. He’s priced at 19/20 with Betfair to score any time this weekend.

Our second bet is Chelsea to win to nil, after Conte’s side kept their fourth consecutive clean sheet against Southampton. The Blues have looked incredibly solid since switching to the 3-4-3. They adopted the new formation at Arsenal while 3-0 down, and they’ve not yet conceded a goal with three at the back.

This set up needs to face pacey, intelligent wingers to have problems, and that’s not something Everton have in their side. Their wide threat isn’t great, Yannick Bolasie and Kevin Mirallas both tend to drift inside. We can’t see Lukaku getting the service he needs, and we expect the back three to marshal him well. That’s why we’re backing another win and clean sheet, which is priced at 19/10 with BetVictor.