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.

Burnley v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 19th April 2018

Chelsea return to action on Thursday night, as they play their rearranged Premier League fixture from the coming weekend. The Blues are busy at Wembley on Sunday in the FA Cup semi-final, so they’re in league action against the Clarets this Thursday, with Sean Dyche’s side flying high in seventh, compared to the troubles of the visitors. Their differing fortunes kicked off when the two met at Stamford Bridge in the opening game of the campaign, with the Clarets winning 3-2 in that one. That victory kicked off a strong campaign which has put them in to the top seven, just two points off the top six.

While these two are on opposing sides on Thursday, their interests will align come the weekend. Although they are languishing in the bottom three in the Premier League, Southampton are actually the biggest danger to Burnley’s chances of making Europe. Should the Saints win the FA Cup, they’ll take a Europa League spot. However, a Chelsea win on Sunday would all but secure Europe for Sean Dyche and his men. Given that they sit nine points clear in seventh, the Turf Moor outfit can start looking forward to continental trips if the Blues book a cup final spot.

Team News: How Will Conte Prepare for Wembley

The looming prospect of the weekend’s semi-final will focus the minds at the Bridge, but it remains to be seen how that match will impact Thursday’s team. After moving within seven points of fourth at the weekend, Chelsea basically have to commit to chasing down the Champions League spots, despite that being a doomed cause. As a result, we expect to see the usual system and approach kept for the midweek game. While Victor Moses and Olivier Giroud started on the bench at the weekend, the pair are likely to step in to the first 11 for this clash.

Burnley have got a few long term absentees, with Ben Mee the latest on that list. Steven Defour, Jon Walters and Robbie Brady are all missing for this weekend’s clash, although recent form suggests that the Clarets are getting on regardless. The hosts have tended to start in a 4-4-2 formation this season, and they are likely to adopt that same approach here. Former Blue Jack Cork will take up a place in the middle for the home side, after playing every minute of the campaign so far.

Burnley Form

Burnley come into this clash in fantastic form, after winning their last five matches. They come here after some impressive results, which has pushed them in to European contention. That run of form culminated in the weekend victory against eighth placed Leicester, which put the Clarets nine points clear in the top seven with just five matches left to play. Can they extend that advantage with a victory over the Blues on Thursday night?

The hosts are middling in terms of home form, as they come into this clash with the ninth best home record in the division. They’ve won fewer than half of their home matches so far, claiming more points on the road than at home. The hosts have been successful on the road to the top sides, but they’ve not been able to translate that form into meetings with the big six at Turf Moor. While they’ve managed to win five on the bounce, most of those did come against out of form sides, which should serve to temper Sean Dyche’s optimism ahead of this clash.

Burnley v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea were upset in the last meeting between the two teams, but the Clarets have lost just one of four encounters. They’ll be confident going into the game, although the Blues have won two of their last three trips to Turf Moor in the Premier League. The Blues will be going all out to add to that good run this weekend, as they try to get some revenge for their opening day defeat at the Bridge.

  • Chelsea 2-3 Burnley, Aug 2017
  • Burnley 1-1 Chelsea, Feb 2017
  • Chelsea 3-0 Burnley, Aug 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Burnley, Feb 2015
  • Burnley 1-3 Chelsea, Aug 2014

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – Evens with Ladbrokes
  • Chelsea and BTTS – 17/5 with Coral

Chelsea’s weekend victory sees them posted as the favourites in this one, as they’re priced up at evens with Betfred to win. The Clarets may be in fantastic form, but they sit out at 7/2 with BetVictor for the three points. Meanwhile, you can back the draw at 12/5 with Bet365, which could tempt many a punter. Will the Blues come out with a victory to take into their FA Cup semi this weekend, or will Burnley continue their push for European football?

Chelsea head here on the back of a 3-2 victory over the Saints, but if they’re to rotate anywhere ahead of the semi final it’s likely to be the defence. The issue for the visitors is that they’re now nine games without a clean sheet, conceding in their last seven trips across all competitions. Burnley are in great form, which has seen them pick up in front of goal. However, four of their last five matches have seen both teams score, and in the other West Ham wasted plenty of chances to draw a blank. As a result, we’re backing both teams to score at odds of evens with Ladbrokes.

On top of that, Burnley do have clear issues against top sides at home. They may have done well away to the top sides, but they’ve taken a single point in five home games with the top six. They’ve conceded in all of those games, while Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal have all won here. With that in mind, we think an away win and both teams to score is a good bet here, which is priced at 17/5 with Coral.

Southampton v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 14th April 2018

Chelsea took the disappointment of losing to Tottenham into last weekend’s top flight game, and they dropped another two points at home to West Ham. That demoralising result has only added to the sour mood around the camp, with Cesar Azplicueta all but labelling their Premier League campaign as a disaster. Having fallen from champions to mere Europa League hopefuls in the space of 12 months, the players just haven’t offered enough over the course of the last 32 games. With a 10 point gap between themselves and fourth place, will the Blues have any reason to up their game for this weekend’s trip to the South Coast?

Chelsea head to 18th placed Southampton at the weekend, their opponents in the FA Cup semi-final later this month. The champions are coming off a slip to another relegation threatened side. Having dropped five points to David Moyes’ West Ham, the Blues have failed to assert themselves against the worst sides in the league. Can they improve on that record when they visit Mark Hughes’ new side, or will the former Stamford Bridge hero get a boost after a tough start to his reign as Saints boss?

Team News: Is It Time for Conte to Rotate?

We suggested last week that the Chelsea side should incorporate younger players after the Champions League got away from them. However, Antonio Conte upped the age of the team last weekend as Gary Cahill returned for Andreas Christensen. That feels quite counterproductive, but there’s simply no case for making a Champions League push now, with the gap up to 10 points. These two sides meet again at Wembley a week on Sunday, so keeping a few players back might be worthwhile. The Blues are without Ross Barkley, David Luiz and Davide Zappacosta, but they still have plenty of room to rotate. However, Conte is likely to avoid rocking the boat in this trip, so don’t expect him to make any changes in this trip.

Steve Davis is the only real concern Southampton have right now, so they should name a strong side here. Hughes’ went with a 4-4-2 on his return to Premier League action, but that resulted in a loss at West Ham. They looked much better going forward at Arsenal, where they used a 3-4-3 set-up. The wing-backs and attackers flourished with that approach, while Pierre Emil Hojberg and ex-Chelsea man Oriol Romeu act as a shield in front of the three man back-line. That system has troubled the Blues this term, which isn’t a good omen for either of the upcoming clashes with Saints.

Southampton Form

Mark Hughes took charge of Southampton last month, and he managed to inspire a 2-0 win at Wigan in his first game in charge. Since then, the former Stoke boss has dragged his team in to the drop zone, following defeats to West Ham and Arsenal, conceding three goals in each.

There are plenty of concerns for the Saints this season, including the fact that they’ve won just three home matches all season. The highest placed team they’ve beaten so far is ninth placed Everton, having claimed three of their five league wins against bottom four opposition. That run has left Hughes and his team in trouble, and with no home win since November, the Saints are facing the prospect of playing Championship football next season.

Southampton v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea edged a win in a meeting with Mauricio Pellegrino’s Southampton earlier this season, when the pair met at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were brilliant in a 2-0 victory at this ground last season, which is one of three victories they’ve recorded at this ground in their last four trips. Can they match the highs of last season, or will this be another slip for Conte and his men?

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

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 10/11 with Betfred
  • Draw – 5/2 with Coral

Chelsea come into this game as favourites, but it’s rare that you’ll see the defending champions priced at 17/20 with Ladbrokes to win at a relegation threatened side. With almost 30 points between the sides, the Saints are priced up at 18/5 with BetVictor to record a much needed victory, while you can back the draw at 5/2 with Coral this weekend. Given recent form from both sides, it is hard to settle on a winner between the pair. Chelsea do seem like a decent price, but can they shake their recent problems and find something to fire them up for this clash?

The Blues have clear concerns at the back, and the three man defence hasn’t really been effective for over a year now. Problems emerged towards the end of the previous campaign, and now Conte seems lost for a way to combat that. The champions aren’t up against the highest scoring of opponents this weekend, but the Saints did just score twice at in-form Arsenal last weekend. The Blues have failed to keep a clean sheet in eight, while they’ve recorded one away clean sheet in the league in 2018. With that in mind, we’re backing both teams to score at 10/11 with Betfred.

Chelsea’s defensive woes are causing plenty of dropped points, with just two wins in nine away trips in the league. They’ve recorded 12 points from their last 11 matches, and that could offer the Saints a chance to get something out of this clash. Both Tottenham and Arsenal – the teams either side of Chelsea in the table – both drew 1-1 at this ground, with the Saints securing seven draws at home this term. They’ve picked up a point in 13 Premier League matches this season, so the draw seems worthwhile at 5/2 with Coral given how the visitors are playing right now.

Chelsea v West Ham Betting Tips (Premier League) – 8th April 2018

Chelsea head into Sunday’s clash with West Ham in a real state of limbo. Quite where they go from this point is tough to figure out, as they sit eight points off the top four. They’re set for a season in the Europa League next time out, while they’re heading into the weekend expecting to lose their champions tag. It seems like Antonio Conte’s reign at the club is fizzling out, as failure to make the Champions League isn’t something which the Blues board are going to take lightly. So with seven games remaining, this season seems to lack a sense of direction for the hosts.

Last weekend’s defeat showed a clear issue with the current side, which is a lack of ideas when Plan A doesn’t go well. The switch to a 3-5-2 was problematic and quickly scrapped, while the Blues have transformed into a squad built to play three at the back in the last 18 months. Part of the run-in will have to involve finding a way forward for the club next season and beyond, even though Conte’s stay at the Bridge surely won’t last longer than nine games at the most.

Team News: Will Conte Bother Naming his Strongest 11?

Chelsea’s strength last season was a settled 11, one which barely changed across the title winning campaign. There have been considerably more changes this term, but there’s still little depth outside of the first team. Conte does have a favoured side, but is there any point sticking with them here? Tottenham’s fixture list basically guarantees they won’t let an eight point lead in fourth slip, while the Blues basically have to go all in for the FA Cup. Keeping their main men out of the firing line might be good, and it could shake up the team.

With Chelsea now looking towards next season, it might be worth going in different directions with selection here. Other systems, players and approaches should probably be tested out. While it’s hard to see Conte ditching the side he seems to always stick with, some rotation might just do the Blues some good in this clash.

West Ham head here with a number of injury worries to consider, as they’ve lost Manuel Lanzini, Pedro Obiang and Winston Reid. Unsurprisingly Andy Carroll is ruled out through injury, facing the side he was ludicrously linked with back in January. With as many as six players out, David Moyes is limited in what he can do in this trip.

West Ham Form

West Ham visit the Bridge on the back of a huge 3-0 win over Southampton, which sent them up to 14th place in the Premier League. The Hammers are edging towards safety, which doesn’t really seem like a huge achievement given the poor quality of some of the sides left in the division.

West Ham have managed to muster just two away wins to their name this term, and they’ve suffered a defeat in over half of their away matches. They’ve lost seven of 10 trips to teams above them so far, and we expect them to struggle once again in this visit.

Chelsea v West Ham Head to Head

Chelsea suffered a real low point in their last clash with West Ham, which saw them lose 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium back when David Moyes and his men were in real trouble. The Blues’ previous three meetings with West Ham have been played in East London, but Chelsea have won four of their last six at home to the Hammers, going unbeaten in that time. Surely with that record behind them they can get a result and put last weekend’s loss behind them?

  • West Ham 1-0 Chelsea, Dec 2017
  • West Ham 1-2 Chelsea, Mar 2017
  • West Ham 2-1 Chelsea, Oct 2016
  • Chelsea 2-1 West Ham, Aug 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 West Ham, Mar 2016

Betting Tips

  • Alvaro Morata to score – 5/6 with Ladbrokes
  • Both Teams to Score – 11/10 with Betfair

Chelsea may not have the greatest form behind them going into this clash, but they are still heavy favourites against the Hammers. The hosts have been backed in to 1/4 with Coral to get back to winning ways, which is something Conte’s side really need to do this weekend. You can back West Ham at 11/1 with BetVictor to take the points from this one, while the draw is 9/2 with Betfred. However, will the visitors be able to upset the odds and pull off a shock result in this clash?

The one bright spot for the Blues from the game against Tottenham was Alvaro Morata and his return to scoring form. The striker now has the most headed goals of any one in the Premier League this term, and the Chelsea man should take confidence from his strike against Spurs. That should earn him a start for this game, and luckily enough Morata is going up against the side who have conceded the most headed goals away from home in the top flight. While the ex-Real Madrid man has plenty of talents and can cause trouble in other ways, his aerial prowess should hurt the Hammers. We’re backing another goal for the Spanish forward, and he’s priced at 5/6 with Ladbrokes to score at any time.

Chelsea are in awful losing form, with five recent defeats in the league. Things are going downhill for the Blues, but they should still score against a poor Hammers defence. However, the visitors have been strong going forwards on the road, and they have found the net in their previous eight away matches. West Ham should hurt Chelsea at the back going off current form, yet you can back both teams to score in Sunday’s encounter at 11/10 with Betfair, which seems like great value as far as we are concerned.

Chelsea v Tottenham Betting Tips (Premier League) – 1st April 2018

Chelsea’s Champions League hopes hang in the balance this weekend, as Tottenham head to Stamford Bridge. With just eight games of the Premier League season remaining, there’s so much on the line when the fifth placed Blues host the side directly above them in the table. The champions need to claim all three points in order to close the gap on the top four, and anything short of a win will leave Antonio Conte’s side staring at a season in the Europa League. There’s plenty of pressure on the hosts ahead of this huge game on Sunday, but just how will the hosts approach this massive derby clash?

Of course, this is a crucial game for Spurs as well, who are eying up the likes of Man United and Liverpool ahead of them. Such ambitions are long gone for Chelsea, who will just want to secure fourth and make their way into the Champions League yet again. Having recently missed out on Europe and slogged through the Europa League, they’ll know exactly what is on the line in this clash. On top of that, fans will remember stealing Tottenham’s Champions League spot after winning the competition in 2012, so pipping them to the post would be incredibly rewarding in a tough season.

Team News: Blues Close to Full Strength for Champions League Decider

Chelsea are only without David Luiz and Ross Barkley once again this weekend, although neither of those two would have featured in this clash anyway. Conte will want to stick with his most trusted side for this clash, and that’s going to see them stick with a 3-4-3 set-up. We expect no major changes from the usual set-up, which is a boost ahead of a game which the Blues can’t afford to lose.

Tottenham’s major worry for this game is the fact that Harry Kane remains on the side-lines. He’s set for a month out of action, and that could well derail Tottenham’s push for the top four. There’s now a gap up front for the visitors, who don’t have that much strength in depth in attack. Forward Fernando Llorente – a player Chelsea were haggling over in August – is likely to step up in his place.

Tottenham Form

Tottenham come into this game with five wins in their last six matches, having lost at home to Juventus in the Champions League. That’s their only defeat since Christmas, which is an impressive run from Spurs. However, they have a tough test in this clash, which puts that record in jeopardy; as they’ve only travelled to one top six side during that run.

Spurs have fixed up their home form, as they’ve adapted to their temporary home. They’re unbeaten in six away trips, but before that they picked up a single point in five league matches on the road, Given that those games included meetings with sides who were all in the top half at that stage, that doesn’t bode well for this trip.

Chelsea v Tottenham Head to Head

History is on the side of Chelsea here, given that Spurs are without a win at the Bridge since 1990, having failed to win in their last 26 attempts at this ground. Three of the last four encounters here have gone the way of the Blues, and they will be hoping to add to that against their rivals on Sunday. The Blues have won the last two clashes – which both came at Wembley. Can they now claim three points in front of their own fans?

  • Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea, Aug 2017
  • Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham, Apr 2017
  • Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham, Nov 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham, May 2016

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 4/5 with Betfred
  • Chelsea to win 1-0 – 7/1 with Coral

Chelsea need a win in this game, and they do come into the encounter as favourites for the three points. The Blues can be backed at 13/10 with Ladbrokes for the victory, while the draw is out at 12/5 with BetVictor. Meanwhile, Tottenham have been priced up at 23/10 with Betfair to take the points back from the Bridge on Sunday.

However, we can’t see the visitors getting a result out of this crucial trip, especially given that this is a must win game for Conte and his charges. However, that doesn’t mean that we’re anticipating an open game, as the Blues are likely to be on the spot at times, so they’ll need to be solid at the back in order to stave off the visitors.

Luckily, that’s been the case in most of their big home clashes this season. We recently saw them hold off Barcelona for almost all of the game at the Bridge, and their big clashes domestically have gone in a similar direction. Arsenal have drawn 0-0 twice at this ground; once in the league and once in the EFL Cup. The Blues have beaten Man United 1-0 here and lost 1-0 to City despite a solid performance. With that form in mind, we can see a low scoring game against Spurs outfit who will miss Harry Kane. We’re backing under 2.5 goals as our tip here, which is priced at 4/5 with Betfred.

Tottenham have a bit of an issue when it comes to top sides, as they’ve had four trips to the top six this term and claimed just one point. A draw at Anfield was a fortunate result for Spurs, while they were beaten by Man City, United and Arsenal this term. That follows on from their troubles on the road last term, which saw them win just one of their meetings at top 10 sides. With Spurs in poor form in their trips to this ground, we are going with a narrow win for the Blues. We like the look of a 1-0 correct score, which you can back at 7/1 with Coral ahead of this clash.

Leicester v Chelsea Betting Tips (FA Cup) – 18th March 2018

After their Champions League exit in midweek, Chelsea head to Leicester in the FA Cup on Sunday. The Blues are aiming for a return to Wembley, as they chase the only silverware on offer for them this term. While the main focus for the campaign will be securing a place in the top four, Antonio Conte has unfinished business with this competition. The defeat to Arsenal in the final last term will still anger the Italian, and he’ll want to put an end to a record which has seen him lift four domestic titles without succeeding in a cup final as a manager.

Of course, the Blues are taking on a Leicester side who are chasing silverware to follow up their 2016 title win. The Foxes are having a strong season, as they push for a Europa League spot in the league. But can they add a cup run to Wembley on top of that? They’ll be out for a win on Sunday, but their memory of losing out at this stage of the EFL Cup in December is likely to hang over the Foxes’ heads going into this weekend’s big clash.

Team News: Conte Can’t Afford to Rotate at King Power

Chelsea remain without David Luiz and Ross Barkley, but neither of those two were likely to feature in this game anyway. The Blues boss tends to make changes in this competition, but given the current state of the campaign the champions can ill-afford to risk dropping out of the cup. With a two week international break to come before the top four push restarts, the Blues have no reason to try and switch things up or this trip to the King Power.

We expect to see a strong side to start for the visitors, although Conte may continue to make Willy Caballero the goalkeeper for cup matches. Aside from that, there’s little reason for Conte to rotate, so don’t expect too many changes from the side which took the field at the Camp Nou.

Leicester have no major injury concerns this weekend, which gives Claude Puel plenty of room when he approaches his team selection. The Frenchman has tried playing a 3-5-2 system with the Foxes recently, but last weekend saw them win at West Brom with a 4-2-3-1 set-up. They have tried going with a 4-3-3 featuring two wingers, and that kind of approach is probably best when taking on this Chelsea side, so we expect that to be the system Puel uses for this clash.

Leicester Form

Leicester’s 4-1 victory over West Brom last weekend keeps them in European contention, as they remain eighth in the Premier League. They’re just eight points shy of underperforming Arsenal, while they’re only three short of seventh. With three of the top five still in this competition – and each them are favourites in their respective ties – it’s likely that one will lift the cup, opening up a final seventh European place in the Premier League. Can the Foxes claim that?

They’ll have to boost their home form to take seventh, having passed up plenty of chances to leapfrog Burnley of late. The Foxes have drawn three of their last four at this ground, with their only win coming against Championship opposition in the FA Cup. While they have two wins at home in this competition behind them, recent draws at home to struggling sides have to worry Puel.

Leicester v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have a strong record against the Foxes, having gone unbeaten in six encounters. The Blues have also managed to win three of the last four meetings between these sides, along with a 4-2 victory at this ground in the EFL Cup last term. The Blues have only failed to win once at this ground since the hosts returned to the top flight, and that was during Leicester’s title winning season. With that in mind, the Blues have a great chance of progressing here.

  • Chelsea 0-0 Leicester, Jan 2018
  • Leicester 1-2 Chelsea, Sept 2017
  • Leicester 0-3 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 3-0 Leicester, Nov 2016
  • Leicester 2-4 (AET) Chelsea, Sept 2016

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 8/11 with Betfair
  • Over 1.5 Chelsea Goals – 21/20 with Coral

Chelsea make this trip as favourites to win the clash, priced up at 11/10 with Betfred to get the three points. Meanwhile, the Foxes are 12/5 with Ladbrokes to delight their home faithful with a victory, while the draw is 5/2 with BetVictor this weekend. Of course, a draw here wouldn’t force a replay at Stamford Bridge, with quarter-finals going straight to extra time these days. Can the champions live up to their billing as favourites, or will this be the week which sees their season fall apart?

The visitors will have to be a little concerned about their defensive form this weekend, having conceded in their last four. They make this trip having lost five straight away trips, which has seen them ship 12 goals across those matches. The Blues’ defence at the moment isn’t the most experienced, and we think that is playing a part in their defensive issues. While the side looked organised in Barcelona, it was defensive errors which cost the game. Unfortunately, that’s not the first time that has hit the Blues this term.

We see both teams scoring here, based on Leicester having scored in all but two of their home games this term. That outcome can be backed at 8/11 with Betfair. While the hosts are strong going forward, they aren’t that effective at the back. Leicester have conceded two or more in four of their home clashes with the top five, including a 2-1 loss to Chelsea. The Blues have scored twice in five of their last six trips here, and we’re backing over 1.5 goals for the visitors at 21/20 with Coral.

Barcelona v Chelsea Betting Tips (Champions League) – 14th March 2018

Chelsea are back in Champions League action for potentially the last time this season, and maybe the last time for a while. The Blues head into this trip to Catalonia with the bookmakers making no secret of their expectations here, as the Spanish league leaders are heavily backed to win the second leg and the tie overall. With the Blues now in fifth position in the top flight, they could fail to qualify for this competition next term, which would be a disaster for the reigning Premier League champions. Can they boost their season with a shock victory at Barca?

Having recently come under fire after a poor display against Man City, it will be interesting to see how Antonio Conte approaches the second leg. Will his side play a high intensity game in this trip and risk burning out towards the end, or will there be another defensive set-up on display? With a potential final appearance among Europe’s elite coming up, hopefully the Blues can produce a memorable performance at the very least.

Team News: How Will Conte Handle the Catalans?

Conte will be hoping that N’Golo Kante is at full fitness for this huge clash, as his presence will be crucial for the Blues to get anything out of this trip. Without the Frenchman, the Blues lack organisation and dynamism, which cuts a large chunk out of their game. It’s already a huge ask for Chelsea to get anything out of this game, and their approach here will depend on the fitness of Kante.

Without him we could see Conte compensate by using a five man midfield. On top of that, the Chelsea boss has to decide if his team are going to go all out for a crucial away goal or not. However, we think the recent visit to the Etihad may be the blueprint that the champions turn to on Wednesday. Whether such tactics could be at all successful remains to be seen of course.

Barcelona shouldn’t have any major issues ahead of this game, as they don’t have any big selection worries. The hosts have been going with a 4-4-2 system this term, and that is working out pretty well for them so far. We don’t expect them to make any big changes to that approach ahead of this visit from the Blues, especially with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi playing so well right now.

Barcelona Form

Barcelona come into Wednesday’s meeting in fantastic form, having won all but two of their last 18 home matches. That’s not only put them top of La Liga, but the Catalans are making good progress in Europe and in the Spanish cup. With a potential treble on the horizon, it’s hard to argue with what Barca have been producing this season, and that’s why they’re expected to make it through here.

While Barca’s away problems in the Champions League made us think that the Catalans were going to have some issues at the Bridge, it’s a very different story in the Camp Nou. Barca have won 18 of their last 19 in this competition at home, while it’s almost five years since their last home defeat in the Champions League, and that was in a clash with that season’s victorious Bayern Munich side, who won a treble of their own. With that kind of run behind them, La Liga’s leaders will be expecting a victory this week.

Barcelona v Chelsea Head to Head

The first leg meeting between these two continued the string of draws between them. There’s been six draws in the last seven encounters, which means that we might see a closer game once again. Given how we’ve seen Chelsea approach the recent encounters with Barca and Man City, we’d have to expect them to make things tough for the Catalans, which could lead to yet another draw.

  • Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona, Feb 2018
  • Chelsea 2-2 Barcelona, Jul 2015
  • Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea, Apr 2014
  • Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona, Apr 2012
  • Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona, May 2009

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 11/8 with BetVictor
  • Under 1.5 Barca Goals – 17/10 with Betfair

Having struck late to come away from London with a draw, Barcelona are now heavy favourites to book a place in the quarter-finals. The Catalans are priced up at 4/9 with Betfred to win this clash within 90 minutes, while the Blues are a huge 13/2 with Ladbrokes to come away with a victory this weekend. The Blues did qualify with a draw here in their last trip to Catalonia, and Coral make it 7/2 for this clash to finish all square. However, the Premier League side would need a 2-2 draw to progress on away goals, which can be backed at 16/1 with Betfair.

However, it’s hard to see this game racking up quite that many goals. The hosts may be strong at the Camp Nou in Europe, but they’ve seen a few low scoring matches of late. Eight of their last nine in all competitions have seen fewer than three goals scored, as have five of their previous six in this competition. With Chelsea likely to come here looking to make things difficult for the Barca attack, we don’t see this becoming a high scoring tie. We’re backing under 2.5 goals in this trip, which can be backed at 11/8 with BetVictor.

Chelsea do need an away goal, but a key thing for them will be keeping the score down in this visit. We’re backing the visitors to put in a strong defensive shift, especially given they restricted Europe’s strongest attack – Man City – to just one goal and very few chances in the meeting at the Etihad earlier this month. Following on from that display, we’re backing under 1.5 goals for Barca in this game, as they were well-marshalled in the first leg. That bet seems well priced at 17/10 with Betfair ahead of this clash.

Chelsea v Crystal Palace Betting Tips (Premier League) – 10th March 2018

Following a defeat and an awful display at Manchester City on Sunday, Chelsea should be worried about their meeting with Crystal Palace on Saturday. Not only did the Blues lose away to the Eagles earlier this season, but Palace have been tricky opposition for Chelsea in recent years. Having fallen even further off the pace in the top four race, the last thing Antonio Conte’s side need right now is to come up short against a side in the bottom three. Could Palace spring a surprise, or will the hosts return to form?

Chelsea have spectacularly blown a strong position in the Premier League to find themselves lying in fifth place in the table. They’re having a tough time keeping pace with Tottenham, while Manchester United and Liverpool are streets ahead of the reigning champions right now. Conte clearly sees a gulf between his side and the elite, given the conservative way he lined his side up for their weekend trip to the Etihad. Can the Italian turn things around with a more positive approach this week? At this point, three points should really be all that he’s focused on, because the Blues really need to get some form together.

Team News: Conte Needs Style Change Following City Slump

Of course, there’s no excuse for Chelsea being so reserved against any Premier League rival. Not only have we seen attacking sides get more joy against City, but the Blues’ squad should never be so pedestrian and sheepish. The Italian needs to make some sort of change for this clash, even just in the approach he takes. While going with the 3-4-3 formation once again wouldn’t be a huge problem, a tactical shake-up might be key given how the team have been playing of late. It might be a quick-fire way to wake this team out of their slumber.

Palace have some big injury concerns coming into this game, with Chelsea loanee Rueben Loftus-Cheek among their 10 unavailable players. Mamadou Sakho, Yohann Cabaye and Scott Dann are among their experienced names who miss out, which leaves Roy Hodgson with some selection issues. Their defence should be an issue, with four players missing going into a difficult trip for the relegation-battling side. Palace have been sticking with a 4-4-2 set-up lately, and they’re unlikely to change that approach.

Crystal Palace Form

Palace made the worst ever Premier League start, yet they still managed to bounce up in to mid-table by January when they beat Burnley. However, that was their last win. The Eagles are winless in six going in to this trip, and they have been sucked straight back in to trouble after those poor results. They’re now 18th in the table, and they’re heading for the Championship once again if they can’t arrest this slump.

The question now is did Hodgson actually make a difference, or did the change just spark them temporarily in to life. There’s little time for the Eagles to make another sacking, so they need to end their poor run. Putting an end to a run of two wins in 18 away trips would also be helpful for the Eagles’ survival hopes.

Chelsea v Crystal Palace Head to Head

Recent meetings between these two teams haven’t gone all that well for Chelsea. The Blues lost in a shock defeat in this fixture last season, while the Eagles won here in their first trip to the Bridge following Chelsea’s last title win. This has been a fixture which Antonio Conte hasn’t quite adapted to, and after the Palace display on Monday night you’d have to wonder if the visitors will pose a threat once again.

  • Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea, Nov 2017
  • Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace, Apr 2017
  • Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea, Dec 2016
  • Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea, Jan 2016
  • Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace, Aug 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 11/10 with Coral
  • Alvaro Morata to score first – 29/10 with BetVictor

Despite Chelsea’s troubles, the Blues are priced up as 2/7 favourites with Betfred. Meanwhile, struggling Palace are out at 10/1 with Ladbrokes to pull off another win at Stamford Bridge, which might actually be a little too big given their head to head record against the champions. You can back the visitors to get a point at 22/5 with BetVictor. With Palace winning 2-1 in three of their last five meetings with Chelsea, Betfair are offering 30/1 for that to happen once again. However, we can’t see the Eagles doing that well given their results of late.

That being said, the visitors should still be able to get a goal at Stamford Bridge. This Chelsea defence hasn’t been up to scratch of late, while the Eagles have shown some decent attacking form. They hit their first goals of the season against Chelsea in that 2-1 win earlier this term, and they continued to excite going forward in Monday night’s meeting with Manchester United. Their two goals in that game continued their scoring form, as they’ve found the net in 13 of their last 15. Having scored in seven straight matches on the road, we’re backing them to fire past the Blues’ defence. Both teams to score here, which is available at odds 11/10 with Coral.

Chelsea have attacking threats of their own, and we think one of them will come roaring back to form this weekend. While Alvaro Morata has enjoyed a tough spell at Stamford Bridge at times, this seems like the perfect game for him. Palace have struggled defending out wide, which should allow opportunities for the wing-backs and attacking midfielders to get crosses in. Given that just three sides have conceded more headed goals than Palace this term, Morata should have a chance of making a difference here. We think he’ll get the nod up front in an attacking change from Conte, and as a result we’re backing Morata to score first at 29/10 with BetVictor.

Man City v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 4th March 2018

Chelsea are back in Premier League action this weekend, as they prepare for a trip to leaders Man City. The English champions are facing the side who are set to dethrone them at the summit, with Pep Guardiola’s side now 16 points clear of second placed Manchester United following a midweek win over Arsenal. The Citizens are a full 22 points clear of Chelsea, who have now slipped out of the top four following a defeat in Manchester last weekend. Can the Blues boost their Champions League hopes with an unlikely victory on Sunday?

Antonio Conte has a tough job to stop this City side, especially given how well they’ve played over the last couple of games. Managing to shut down this City team is something which seems almost impossible on current form, while the hosts can’t stop scoring. While there’s basically nothing but time between the leaders and the league title, the Blues are facing huge opposition for a top four finish in the Premier League. After losing to Man United, falling behind Liverpool and now Tottenham, Chelsea have surrendered so much to their rivals that fighting their way back into fourth is set to be an uphill battle.

Team News: How Will Conte Plan to Stop City?

The big question here isn’t around player selection, but with regard to Conte’s tactics. The Blues boss tried to combat City with a five man midfield at the Bridge, which couldn’t match up to the Citizens’ technical skill. However, a high intensity 3-4-3 did push Barcelona in the Champions League. Will Conte take a risk with that system, especially after it started so well at Old Trafford last weekend? We expect him to start with that usual set-up, without a huge number of changes from the team which lost at Old Trafford last time out.

Man City tend to line up with a 4-3-3, and they’re playing with David Silva in a central midfield role in order to fit an extra name in the front three. They did that in two meetings with Arsenal, but they may choose to change ahead of a likely battle with Chelsea in this clash. The Blues should pose a more physical threat, so City could react to that. The hosts are without Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling, while Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy remain long-term absentees.

Man City Form

Man City continued their great run with a 3-0 win over Arsenal on Thursday night. That was their second win by that scoreline over the Gunners in the space of days, following a win at Wembley in the EFL Cup final. Having won the first silverware of the season last weekend, they should be in great form going into this clash. They’ll be looking to keep that momentum going in this meeting with the champions, as they look to wrap up the title as soon as possible.

City are impressing at home, having won all but one of their league matches at the Etihad so far. They’ve won 13 matches on the spin there, heading into this meeting with the Blues. Will Antonio Conte’s side be able to break that run, or can City extend that fantastic run of results? Having scored at least twice across all of those wins, the hosts are going to be really difficult to stop.

Man City v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have a mixed record away at the Etihad in recent years, but most of their recent meetings have been at Stamford Bridge. The Blues lost the reverse fixture earlier this term, while they have lost three of their last six trips to City. The 3-1 win which the Blues picked up last season was followed by a home win, but the victory for Pep’s men earlier this term showed how the dynamic has changed between these two.

  • Chelsea 0-1 Man City, Sep 2017
  • Chelsea 2-1 Man City, Apr 2017
  • Man City 1-3 Chelsea, Dec 2016
  • Chelsea 0-3 Man City, Apr 2016
  • Chelsea 5-1 Man City, Feb 2016

Betting Tips

  • Over 2.5 Goals – 7/10 with BetVictor
  • Sergio Aguero to score – 21/20 with Ladbrokes

Chelsea are massive outsiders coming into this trip to the Etihad. The Blues are priced at 21/5 with Coral to claim another win at this ground, while City are priced at just 13/20 with Betfred to make this their 14th straight Premier League victory at this stadium. Meanwhile, the draw can be backed at 31/10 with BetVictor. The Blues are looking to follow up their 3-1 win at this ground last season, with a repeat of that scoreline incredibly priced at massive odds of 40/1 with Betfair.

We do expect another high scoring game on Sunday, although it is more likely to go in City’s favour on current form. The Blues did make a strong start at Old Trafford last weekend, but their inexperienced defence couldn’t hold the Red Devils at bay. That doesn’t bode well for this meeting with City, who have been scoring goals for fun at their own ground. The Citizens have seen over 2.5 goals land in their last 13 home matches in the league, while the Blues have averaged close to two goals per game on the road. On the back of that, we should see plenty of goals here, with over 2.5 priced at 7/10 with BetVictor.

One man who is likely to get in on the scoring is Sergio Aguero, with the forward scoring 10 times in 15 clashes with Chelsea. The Argentine has 21 goals in 21 league starts, and we expect him to hit the target against the Blues on Sunday. Despite his impressive form and great track record against Chelsea, Aguero can be backed at 21/20 with Ladbrokes to score any time in this weekend’s big game. With a high scoring game likely, we’re tipping him to get one of the goals at the Etihad.

Manchester United v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 25th February 2018

Can Chelsea claim three points in their return to Premier League action on Sunday? The Blues are bound for Old Trafford this weekend, as they look to dent Jose Mourinho and Manchester United’s push for the Champions League. Despite adding Alexis Sanchez to the side, the Red Devils have struggled in the league of late, losing back to back away games. The last thing they need after a couple of setbacks is to welcome the champions to Manchester. With just three points between these two sides heading into this clash, it could have a huge bearing on this season’s top four race.

Of course, this weekend does represent something of a missed opportunity for the champions. They could well have been lining up at Wembley this weekend, having lost out to Arsenal in the EFL Cup semi-finals. The Blues will be on their way back from Manchester as the first silverware of the season is contested, so it would be a pretty demoralising trip south should they lose to Mourinho’s men. Can Antonio Conte and his team avoid that fate by securing all three points against their top four rivals on Sunday?

Team News: Will Conte Push for a Five Man Midfield?

The big question heading into this game is over the system Antonio Conte decides to go with. The 3-4-3 has been relatively unchanged in recent weeks, but the Italian has moved to a 3-5-2 in big games this season, in order to control the midfield. They’re likely to come up against five United midfielders in this one, so a change could be necessary. The system also helped the Blues claim a 1-0 win at home to United in the reverse fixture, and now that Conte has enough bodies in midfield to play with a five across the middle, he could be tempted to make a change ahead of this crucial clash.

Much of the week’s discussion has been about Mourinho’s relationship with Paul Pogba. The Portuguese doesn’t seem all that keen on the club’s record signing, and he’s not hit the heights expected given his enormous transfer fee. The midfielder should play a part in this game, but for Mourinho to make him effective he needs to tweak his approach. The signing of Sanchez seems to have impacted their setup, which is now a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Pogba alongside former Chelsea man Nemanja Matic in central midfield. That’s likely to be the duo once again on Sunday, which is at least a powerful double act, if nothing else.

Manchester United Form

Two defeats from their last three league games have left United much closer to the top four battle than to leaders Man City. The Red Devils trail City by 16 points, although they do have a chance to close that gap temporarily this weekend. Fifth placed Tottenham went into the weekend just four points behind Man United, with the remaining three Champions League spots seemingly being contested by the four sides sandwiched between City and Arsenal.

United do have a good record behind them at home, unbeaten against all of the sides below them in the standings. They lost to City at Old Trafford, but aside from that they have 10 wins from 12 matches, which has seen them average 2.46 points per game. That has given them the second best home record in the division, so Chelsea have their work cut out in this weekend’s clash against a side that has scored more freely on home soil.

Manchester United v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have been hosting Man United pretty regularly of late, which has seen them claim three wins from their last five encounters. Their recent record at Old Trafford hasn’t been too bad, losing just one of their last five trips to Old Trafford. However, that defeat came in their visit to Manchester last April, which brought a rare loss for Conte on the way to the league title.

  • 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
  • Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United, Feb 2016

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 7/10 with Ladbrokes
  • Draw – 12/5 with BetVictor

Man United’s strong home form obviously makes them favourites for Sunday’s clash, and they’ve been priced up at 11/10 with Betfair to take the points. Meanwhile, the Blues are out at 11/4 with Betfred for a victory at Old Trafford. You can back the draw at 12/5 here, with these two sides looking quite even going into this weekend. Can the Blues pull off a victory, or will they be left outside of the top four and reeling from yet another blow to Conte’s position as manager?

While Chelsea have seen their fair share of high scoring away trips this term, we expect a different kind of game this weekend. These two managers may have a deep dislike for one another, but they come into this clash knowing that a safety first policy is probably the best way to go. We’ve all see how Mourinho sets up for big games, and if Conte goes for a midfield five once again then we’re likely to see a very cagey game played out between these two once again.

Only one of the last six meetings between these two have seen both teams score, while the last five meetings at Old Trafford have seen under 2.5 goals. Given how these two managers are likely to approach this game, we can see another low scoring affair on Sunday. We’re backing under 2.5 at 7/10 with Ladbrokes here. With four draws between the two at Old Trafford since 2013, we’re also going for this one to finish level, which is available at 12/5 with BetVictor. With a close game very likely, that seems like a great price.

Chelsea v Barcelona Betting Tips (Champions League) – 20th February 2018

Chelsea return to Champions League action this week, and they are about to pay the price for their second place finish in the group. The Blues slumped to finish behind Roma in their pool, leaving them facing La Liga leaders Barcelona in the last 16.

Given how the Catalans are very much on the up domestically – despite the sale of Neymar – the Blues are the outsiders in this one. Can Antonio Conte inspire his side to a victory over another Spanish side, or will they drop out of Europe at the first knockout round as they did in the 2015/16 season?

The bookies clearly see a victory for Barcelona, not just overall but in this first leg. Losing the opening clash would be a huge setback for the Premier League champions, with a trip to the Nou Camp coming up in three weeks’ time. Chelsea crashed out to PSG in 2016 when they were last in the competition, during their last dismal season following a title win. While things haven’t been quite as tough this time around, crashing out of Europe at this stage would be a setback which Antonio Conte can’t really afford at this stage.

Team News: How Will Blues Deal With Catalans?

Conte made his customary changes in their FA Cup clash on Friday night, but don’t expect anyone to be held back for this clash. Marcos Alonso should be fit again to take up his place on the left side of defence, while Victor Moses will be on the opposite wing. Olivier Giroud is available for selection despite playing a role in Arsenal’s Europa League campaign, but he’s not likely to start ahead of Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard showed his worth in the trip to Atletico Madrid earlier this season, and there’s hope that he can provide a similar impact in this game.

Barcelona may be known for the 4-3-3 which Pep Guardiola utilised to take them to incredible levels, but things have been different this season. The loss of Neymar, and the injury to his replacement – Ousmane Dembele – means Barca are no longer using their front three. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are their double act up front, with a four man midfield behind them. While a 4-4-2 isn’t what you’d usually expect from Barca, but the approach does seem to be working for them. Having moved seven points clear at the top of the table in Spain, it’s clearly an effective approach.

Barcelona Form

It’s hard to match Barca’s form this season, given that they’ve won 18 of their 23 league games, drawing the rest. It’s been too much for European champions Real Madrid to handle, who are 17 points behind the Catalans in the table. They’ve won 75% of their away trips this season, so can they take that form into this clash with the Premier League side?

The visitors have built their brilliant form on a strong defensive record, as they’ve conceded just 0.48 goals per game in the league this term. They’ve managed to keep a clean sheet in 61% of their outings in La Liga, which should worry a Chelsea side who have been hit and miss up front this season. However, the Catalans have drawn both trips to sides in the top three in Spain, so there’s a chance that they’ll struggle in another big game this week.

Chelsea v Barcelona Head to Head

The Blues have a fantastic record against Barcelona of late, having gone seven games unbeaten against the Catalans. That includes the last two meetings – the incredible double header in the 2012 semi-finals of this competition, including an incredible strike from Ramires and the late Fernando Torres strike. Can the Premier League side continue that run this week?

  • Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea, Apr 2012
  • Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona, Apr 2012
  • Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona, May 2009
  • Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea, Apr 2009
  • Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea, Oct 2006

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 19/20 with Betfair
  • 0-0 Draw – 10/1 with Coral

Chelsea are 3/1 outsiders with Betfred heading into this game, despite their impressive record against the Catalans of late. Meanwhile, the visitors have been made favourites at evens with Ladbrokes, while you can back the draw at 13/5 with BetVictor here. It does seem like the recent record between the two sides is being largely ignored, and there’s also a case to say that Barca’s results in this competition are being ignored too. They’ve not been a side who have won at a canter in their recent away trips in Europe, so could they struggle at Stamford Bridge?

Barca have slipped up at top sides in Spain, and they come into this game with a mixed record in Europe on the road. The last few seasons have seen them toil in trips to all kinds of sides. They’ve managed just three wins in their last nine away in this competition, including just one victory in five. They lost to nil away to PSG and Juventus last season, before seeing a single goal scored across the last three European ties. An own goal gave them a 1-0 win at Sporting, while they drew 0-0 at Olympiakos and Juventus in the group. That doesn’t bode well for this clash.

With Chelsea having a mixed record going forward this term, we can’t see this being a high scoring game. We’re backing under 2.5 goals in this clash, which looks like good value at 19/20 with Betfair. Given how the Blues are unbeaten of late against the Catalans, having drawn most of those clashes we expect this one to finish up level too. While the draw seems like good value in this clash, we’re backing a goalless draw in this one, despite many predicting goals. A 0-0 draw is well priced at 10/1 with Coral.