Norwich v Chelsea Betting Tips (FA Cup) – 6th January 2018

Chelsea return to FA Cup action this weekend as they look to make up for last season’s defeat to Arsenal in the final at Wembley. The Blues are coming off the back of another late blow from the Gunners, after an injury time equaliser saw them draw 2-2 at the Emirates on Wednesday night. Having been on the verge of a much-needed victory, that was certainly not what Antonio Conte wanted against Arsene Wenger’s men. Will the Italian be able to inspire his side into bouncing back against Championship opposition this weekend or will we be in for a giant killing?

The Premier League champions head for Norwich on Saturday evening for their Third Round game, which comes just before another meeting with Arsenal. This month is a big one in terms of domestic cups for the Blues, as they meet the Gunners in the two-legged EFL Cup semi-final. With the FA Cup kicking off and then returning at the end of January, we should have a much clearer idea of where this season is going for the Blues once the month draws to a close, especially with Man City already runaway leaders in the Premier League, ruling out any chance of Conte’s men retaining their title.

Team News: Conte Set For Cup Rotation

After consistent cup rotation across the last 18 months, it’s expected that Conte will shuffle his pack ahead of this clash. He’s not been one to go all out in the early rounds of the cup competitions, but that hasn’t done him too much harm with a final and semi-final under his belt already. That should strengthen his belief in the second string to get a result here, so expect to see plenty fringe and youth players taking to the field at Carrow Road.

The hosts were without Harrison Reed on New Year’s Day, and he’s expected to miss out this cup tie too. Norwich won’t have either of their long term absentees – Matt Jarvis and Louis Thompson – back in time to take on the champions. However, they’re more hopeful over forward Cameron Jerome, who is in contention to start for the Canaries, providing he passes a late fitness test ahead of this clash.

Norwich Form

Norwich City were hoping to capture some of the quality which shot Huddersfield back into the Premier League this season, but their attempts have failed. Despite poaching staff from the Terriers and backing a young German coach, the Canaries are stuck in the bottom half of the Championship table. Of course, given how tight that division is they’re still only nine points shy of a play-off place.

Norwich have won just 35% of their Championship games this term, having won just four of their 13 home matches in the league. They’ve been beaten at Carrow Road by the Championship’s top two, while they drew 0-0 with promotion hopefuls Bristol City. All of that points to a Chelsea win on Saturday, as there’s little about the Canaries which suggests that they can trouble the champions’ rotated side. Having exited the Carabao Cup to Arsenal, it seems likely Daniel Farke’s men could be about to crash out to another London side in the FA Cup, based on their current form.

Norwich v Chelsea Head to Head

The Blues haven’t clashed with the Canaries since the Norfolk side were relegated from the Premier League in 2016. Chelsea did manage to do the double over the side from Carrow Road that term, which was a fine feat in a campaign littered with slip-ups. They last met in the cup back in 2007, when the Blues were 4-0 victors at Stamford Bridge. Could we see a similarly thumping win for the champions when they head for Carrow Road this week?

  • Norwich 1-2 Chelsea, Mar 2016
  • Chelsea 1-0 Norwich, Nov 2015
  • Chelsea 0-0 Norwich, May 2014
  • Norwich 1-3 Chelsea, Oct 2013
  • Norwich 0-1 Chelsea, Dec 2012

Betting Tips

  • Michy Batshuayi to score anytime – 5/4 with Betfred
  • Chelsea to win and Under 2.5 Goals – 16/5 with Coral

Chelsea come into this trip as odds-on favourites for progression. Given that Norwich have crashed out at this stage four years in a row, it’s little surprise that they’re out at 6/1 with Betfair to claim the home win. The draw can be backed at 18/5 with BetVictor, while the Blues are as short as 4/9 with Ladbrokes to progress to the next round. It’s hard to justify backing Conte’s side at that price, despite their good form coming into this one. This is likely to be another early exit for the Canaries, but will they be able to trouble the champions in Saturday’s clash?

The Blues have a fantastic record against Championship sides in the cup, winning 16 of their last 17 ties against sides from the second tier. That good form should continue in this clash, especially as Norwich have lost at home to the current top two in their own division. That should make this little problem for the champions’ second string side, which has taken them into the semis of the EFL Cup. We think one man to benefit from a start will be Michy Batshuayi, which will be welcome after Alvaro Morata’s poor display against Arsenal. The Belgian is priced at 5/4 with Betfred to score here, and we think that’s a great bet.

We can’t see the Blues racking up a big win in this one, they’ll probably look to do just enough to secure progression and get away. We can’t see this being a goal-packed affair, with Norwich looking poor going forward and the Blues now playing well at the back with plenty of options at centre-half. Expect a strong defence to take the field at Carrow Road, which means we the Blues should avoid conceding. We’re backing an away win and under 2.5 goals to be scored in the game at 16/5 with Coral.

Arsenal v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 3rd January 2018

Chelsea face a huge test of their top four credentials when they travel to Arsenal on Wednesday night. The Blues take on the Gunners in a big clash in the race for the Champions League, with the champions aiming to push for a top two finish this term, with the title already a highly unrealistic target given Man City’s dominance. However, Chelsea could still be sucked into a fight for fourth given how many top sides are playing well and in contention for the top four.

There’s going to be huge pressure on matches like this from now until the end of the campaign. However, that’s going to be cranked up by the number of meetings these two are set to have. They were regular opponents in 2017, and now they start 2018 with three encounters in January. Let’s just hope they don’t end up paired together in the FA Cup Fourth Round. The Gunners haven’t always been the easiest opponents for Antonio Conte since he took over, this trip should remind the Italian of Chelsea’s big turning point on their way to the title last term.

Team News: Conte Likely to Stick With Packed Midfield

While this is the ground where Antonio Conte first switched Chelsea to the 3-4-3 system which won the title, they aren’t expected to use that formation here. They’re likely to stick with a 3-5-2 system that the Italian has gone to in big games of late. He’s switched to that set up in recent matches to fit three central midfielders into the side. Given how Arsenal pack the midfield and look to pass it around, that could be a crucial factor for the champions. They’re expected to have most of the squad available for this trip, although David Luiz will probably sit out once again.

The Gunners have lost Olivier Giroud, which is a big blow as he’s a great option from the bench. Santi Cazorla remains a long term absentee for Arsenal, while Aaron Ramsey could also sit out of this big game. The hosts have also drifted towards a 4-2-3-1 system in recent weeks, having started the year with a 3-4-3 set-up after Chelsea blazed a trail with it. The switch back seems to be working quite well for the Blues, and they’re likely to go with a back four, as that’s what they started with at home to Liverpool in their last big game.

Arsenal Form

Arsenal are have a solid season so far, but they’ve not definitively shown that they’re capable of returning to the Champions League through the top four this term. They’ve possibly got a better chance of pushing for the Europa League as Manchester United did, with the Gunners struggling for consistency in the top flight.

Their main issues are on the road, having won just three of their away trips this season. That isn’t good enough for a side who want to make the top four, but that form won’t have much of a bearing on this clash. The Gunners are much better at home, having won eight and drawn one of their 10 matches here, but the manner of their loss to Man United has to raise questions.

Arsenal v Chelsea Head to Head

These two sides are probably sick of each other at this point, before they play three times in the next month. They are fresh from four competitive clashes in 2017, plus a summer friendly meeting which the Blues won 3-0. The pair drew 1-1 at Wembley in the Community Shield this term and they had a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge, which their frequent meetings could be partly responsible for.

Having clashed so often, it could just be that these two have little new to pull out of the hat to edge a game this big. Of course, the two league meetings were decisive last term, with Arsenal’s 3-0 win at home becoming the springboard for the Blues’ title success. Their turnaround was clear in their 3-1 win in the return fixture.

  • Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal, Sep 2017
  • Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea, Aug 2017
  • Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea, May 2017
  • Chelsea 3-1 Chelsea, Feb 2017
  • Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea, Sep 2016

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 13/10 with Betfair
  • 1-1 Draw – 13/2 with Betfred

The bookmakers are struggling to pick a favourite between these two, with Arsenal slightly ahead at 29/20 with BetVictor. Chelsea can be backed at 7/4 with Coral, while the draw here is at 5/2 with Ladbrokes. This is clearly going to be a close affair, but just how will this one play out? It’s hard to see Chelsea getting involved in the kind of end to end affair that the Gunners have enjoyed of late. Will they end up opening up here, or will this clash be more like their meeting at Stamford Bridge earlier this season?

With six goals across their last five in the league, the Blues aren’t exactly clinical at the moment. They’ve seemingly slowed down going forward, and that form could be a worrying sign if it lasts much longer. One big factor is the importance of Eden Hazard. Half of those six came in a win at Huddersfield, the only match in which he was allowed to play well. Elsewhere teams have been marking the Belgian out of the game for the most part, and as a result we’re backing under 2.5 goals here based on the job Arsenal did in their trip to the Bridge this term.

Given the number of meetings between them, and the back to back draws in their meetings this season, we can see this one finishing level. The Gunners should be a little more conservative in this match than they were against Liverpool, so we’re expecting a close run game. While the draw is well priced at 5/2 with Ladbrokes, we’re going for a 1-1 correct score here at 13/2 with Betfred.

Chelsea v Stoke Betting Tips (Premier League) – 30th December 2017

Chelsea are back in action on Saturday, with a busy few days ahead. This clash comes just before a midweek trip to Arsenal, and then their FA Cup Third Round tie the following weekend. That wraps up a busy Christmas schedule, one which could make or break their season. Antonio Conte will want his side strengthening their place inside the top three, while they’ll have an eye on second with United faltering. While Man City are set to run away with the title, the Blues could force their way into second place in their title defence.

This season is playing out very differently for the Blues this time around, as they were the runaway leaders at Christmas last year. However, Conte’s side are now competing across multiple fronts, while at this stage last season they only had the league and FA Cup to focus on. With four competitions to compete in, squad rotation is going to be a big part of the next couple of months, so we should see a changed Chelsea side heading out at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Team News: Conte Expected to Rotate to Cope with Christmas Congestion

The Blues come in to this one on the back of a solid victory over Brighton, which saw a number of changes. They’ve handled their squad well across the Christmas schedule so far, and we expect that to be the case when Stoke roll in to town this weekend. Gary Cahill got a break last time out, and we expect him to return to the side for this one. The 3-5-2 formation used against Brighton should remain, with Danny Drinkwater likely to feature in a three-man midfield. The key for Conte will be keeping things fresh, especially with a big test to come at the Emirates during the week.

On-loan Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma is a big miss for the Potters, his presence in their defence is a pretty big one, as most Blues’ fans will know. He’s among the defensive absentees for the Potters, with Erik Pieters a doubt, and Bruno Martins Indi is another who is likely to sit out here. Up against Chelsea that could be crucial, with the Blues possessing some impressive attacking talents. A defensive reshuffle is likely to be on the cards for Mark Hughes, which isn’t ideal as they try to stave off the threat of relegation.

Stoke Form

Stoke are having far from a vintage year, and they’ve spent most of the campaign worrying about relegation. The Potters were rumoured to be considering Hughes’ position not too long ago, with a 2-1 win over West Brom seemingly keeping him in place over Christmas. The club still aren’t out of danger, and they remain one of the worst organised sides in the top flight.

Stoke have had particular problems on the road this season, claiming just a single victory on their travels. They’ve lost 60% of their away trips this term, averaging just 0.6 points per game on the road. That’s got to be a concern ahead of this game away to Chelsea, a side who have one of the strongest home records in the top flight.

Chelsea v Stoke Head to Head

Chelsea are in a good run of form against Stoke, as they won home and away against the Potters last season. They followed that up by pulling off one of their most impressive results this season against Hughes and his team, winning 4-0 at the bet365 Stadium back in September this season. While that sparked the possibility of a title charge, the Blues simply haven’t hit those heights regularly. Will they be able to return to that impressive form with a win here?

  • Stoke 0-4 Chelsea, Sept 2017
  • Stoke 1-2 Chelsea, Mar 2017
  • Chelsea 4-2 Stoke, Dec 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Stoke, Mar 2016
  • Stoke 1-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 4/5 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea -3 handicap – 4/1 with Betfair

The Blues come in to this game as heavy favourites to claim all three points against the Potters. Following their comprehensive victory in the last meeting, the champions have been priced at just 1/6 with Coral for the victory, while the visitors have drifted out to 20/1 with Ladbrokes. You can back the draw at 6/1 with Betfred in this game, but little about the form of these two suggests that this game will be anything but a straightforward victory for the home side. With Alvaro Morata backed in to 7/12 with Coral to score in the 90 minutes, it’s fair to expect a few goals in this one too.

Stoke head to a Chelsea side who are in solid form at home, having won 70% of their home matches this term. They’ve won their last six here in the league, while four of their last five victories at the Bridge in the Premier League have come to nil. Stoke don’t exactly have a lot of attacking talent going forward, and the Blues have already kept a clean sheet in the away meeting this term. We expect this to be a comfortable victory for the champions, and we think a win to nil is worth backing in this one, and it is priced at 4/5 with BetVictor.

The Blues recorded a thumping win over Stoke earlier this term, and that’s nothing new for the Potters. Not only did they ship four goals in their trip here last season, but they’ve already suffered heavy losses against some of the league’s top teams. The Potters were hit for seven in their game at the Etihad against leaders City, while they lost 5-1 against Tottenham at Wembley recently. With that in mind, we think the Blues’ attack could click against this weakened Stoke defence, one which has lost by four goals on three occasions already this term. We’re backing the Blues with a -3 handicap here at a huge 4/1 with Betfair.

Chelsea v Brighton Betting Tips (Premier League) – 26th December 2017

Chelsea’s Boxing Day fixture this year sees them clash with Brighton at Stamford Bridge. As the Blues look to wrap up a fantastic 2017 with some strong results in the league, they will hope to strengthen their position in the top four. With a real battle for the Champions League spots shaping up this season, no top side can afford to be in poor form for long. With a favourable run of games to finish the year, the Blues will be expecting to come though the final weeks of 2017 in a strong position. However, they can’t underestimate a newly promoted side.

Antonio Conte and his team are looking to balance the needs of four competitions heading in to January, with the FA Cup Third Round and EFL Cup semi-finals coming up. Whilst the Champions League is on hold over winter, this is a much busier campaign than last time out, giving the season a very different feel. While expectations have been lowered this time around, the champions are still out for a strong campaign. With plenty of huge games coming up over the next few weeks, this is a pretty exciting time for all Chelsea fans.

However, it is quite difficult to simply focus in on the clash with Brighton when there are five big matches against Arsenal and Barcelona coming up on the horizon. Ahead of those tests, the champions need to prove themselves against the Seagulls.

Team News: Rotation Could be Needed to Keep Blues Fresh

Antonio Conte’s full scale rotation in the EFL Cup in midweek might give us an insight into his thoughts for the Christmas period. However, it’s hard to see him going for such wide ranging rotation in a Premier League game. The Blues tried their best to manage 11 players across their festive fixtures last year, but things have massively changed in terms of the demands on the schedule for Conte’s side. With so many games already played and big ones to come, changes are likely in this game.

We expect Conte to make the most of his squad in the winter weeks, with the Blues likely needing to switch things up between games. However, the reliance the team has on Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard means those two are likely to feature, as the champions just don’t look good enough without those two in attack. Elsewhere, Conte has enough options to make changes, with alterations very likely across the backline.

Brighton’s only big injury absence is former Chelsea man Steve Sidwell, who is expected to be sidelined for this one. The visitors are unlikely to make a switch away from their usual formation here, having started with a 4-2-3-1 across most of their outings. Chris Hughton doesn’t seem to be too keen on making big changes ahead of this game, so we’re expecting him to stick with their regular side.

Brighton Form

Brighton head here with a long wait for an away win, as they haven’t won on the road since a trip to Swansea. The Seagulls aren’t too bad on their travels this term as they have been taking advantage of poor sides away from home this term. However. the visitors haven’t quite done enough to suggest they can pose any real threat to the Blues in this Boxing Day clash. They’ve suffered a string of defeats since jumping up to the top flight, and it’s hard to see them adapting well to playing against the side who finished top of the league last term.

Their away results have been mixed really, with their wins on the road having come at sides below them in the table. Meanwhile, they’ve lost every clash away to a top eight side during this campaign, most of those without even managing to score a goal. With their forwards not really delivering, we expect the Seagulls to slip up here.

Chelsea v Brighton Head to Head

The sides have met just a handful of times over the years with Chelsea dominating overall. The Blues have six wins and just one loss from their eight meetings with Brighton.

  • Brighton 0-1 Chelsea, Mar 1989
  • Chelsea 2-0 Brighton, Oct 1988
  • Chelsea 1-0 Brighton, Dec 1983
  • Brighton 1-2 Chelsea, Sep 1983
  • Brighton 0-2 Chelsea, Jan 1973

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – 4/5 with Ladbrokes
  • Eden Hazard to score any time – 19/20 with Coral

Chelsea come into this clash as heavy favourites across the board. The Blues are clearly fancied to beat the Premier League newcomers, as they’re priced up at 1/5 with Betfred to take the points in this Boxing Day clash. Meanwhile, Hughton’s Brighton are massive outsiders, coming in at 16/1 with Betfair. You can get 6/1 with BetVictor here on an unlikely draw for the Blues, but we aren’t backing against them in this one. This should be a straightforward home win for Conte’s men, so we’re looking elsewhere for our value on this game. Luckily, there appears to be a couple of alternative picks worth going for.

We have to look at a home win as part of the bet here, as the Pensioners should have little trouble adding to Brighton’s awful away record against the league’s best. The visitors just haven’t done enough on their travels to back up getting a result, while on current form the Blues could end up running away with this game. There’s enough talent within the ranks of the champions to record a crushing victory, and that has us going for a Chelsea win with over 2.5 goals to be scored in the match. That can be backed at 4/5 with Ladbrokes, and that seems like a good bet.

Hazard should get some much needed rest across Christmas, but we can’t see it being in this game. The Belgian hasn’t been as reliable in front of goal of late, but we think he’ll be able to carve out chances in this clash. The winger has been in great form in the Premier League this term and Chelsea are becoming increasingly reliant on him to find the back of the net. We’re backing Hazard to score any time here at 19/20 with Coral, which seems like a great value bet in a game where we fancy a comfortable home win.

Everton v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 23rd December 2017

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Saturday, as they kick off the day’s matches. With a busy schedule coming up over the next couple of weeks, the Blues are in the middle of the festive fixture frenzy. This could be a defining stage of the season for Antonio Conte and his men, who are looking to get themselves back into the title race, while ensuring they have a place in the Champions League next season. While Man City are already too far ahead to catch this season, the Blues need to make more of an effort to close the gap in the back half of the campaign.

At one point, December looked like it could be a great month for the Blues. Things haven’t quite gone their way, starting with a 1-0 loss to West Ham at the Olympic Stadium. That’s set up another tough trip this week, with Everton suddenly improving at home under Sam Allardyce. The Toffees will be hoping to pick up another three points this weekend, although the recent record between these two sides does slightly count against them. Can Allardyce have a better record against Conte than Ronald Koeman mustered?

Team News: Will Conte Make Changes to Counter Toffees?

Chelsea have almost a full strength squad to pick from ahead of this clash, but we can’t see Conte making too many changes from the usual. The Blues boss has been switching between last season’s 3-4-3 and a 3-5-2 set-up this season, and we expect him to go for the latter with Everton looking impressive. The Italian does look to flood the midfield when facing top sides, and the form of Allardyce’s side is likely to factor in to his choice here. On top of that, we can’t forget that the new Everton boss was one of the few to beat Conte last term, as he led Palace to victory at Stamford Bridge. As a result, expect Conte to settle for a three-man central midfield.

Everton remain without Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman at full-back, while one time Chelsea target Ross Barkley is also injured. The Toffees have gone with a 4-2-3-1 system of late, with Wayne Rooney being deployed behind the main striker. He’s impressed with a few goals from that position, and he’ll be even more useful there this week as he can drop into the centre of midfield if the two behind him get overwhelmed. Allardyce isn’t likely to change much from the side which keeps winning, while they’re short of full-back replacements. That means Cuco Martina and Jonjoe Kenny are potential weak links for the Chelsea wing-backs to exploit.

Everton Form

Everton have a disastrous start to the season, but they were able to bounce back from that when Sam Allardyce took charge. Having found themselves in the drop zone after the efforts of Koeman and caretaker manager David Unsworth, the turnaround since Allardyce arrived has been clear, and he’ll be aiming to continue that progress over Christmas.

With five wins and a draw from their last six matches, it’s hard to argue with the hosts’ momentum heading into this clash. However, they may have some concerns over their record against the Blues, which is an area that certainly needs work. That’s not a one off, with the Toffees being winless against any of the eight sides above them – a run which has seen three home defeats.

Everton v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have established some dominance over Everton of late, after struggling against them during the doomed 2015/16 campaign. Since Conte took charge, the Blues have managed four wins against the Toffees – two of which have already come this season. A League Cup win in October followed an early season league win, can Chelsea record a third victory over Everton within four months this season?

  • Chelsea 2-1 Everton, Oct 2017
  • Chelsea 2-0 Everton, Aug 2017
  • Everton 0-3 Chelsea, Apr 2017
  • Chelsea 5-0 Everton, Nov 2016
  • Everton 2-0 Chelsea, Mar 2016

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – evens with Betfred
  • Rooney to score any time – 13/5 with BetVictor

Chelsea may be facing an in-form Everton side, but it’s hard to tell that from the pre-match betting. The Blues are priced up at 8/13 with Coral to take the points, while the hosts are 9/2 with Betfair for another victory under Big Sam. Meanwhile, you can get 11/4 with Ladbrokes on the draw, so the bookies are leaving us in little doubt over who they are backing. While we fancy an away win, we aren’t exactly rushing out to back it at that price. Instead, we have a couple of other bets lined up for this clash as Conte’s men look for another victory on their travels.

Everton have improved going forwards under Sam Allardyce, and they’re managing to convert chances, unlike under Koeman. While they’re getting fewer touches in the box, Everton are doing well in attack, which makes us think that they’ll score here. After all, they have Wayne Rooney up front who can’t seem to stop scoring under Allardyce, and he’s got to be one to keep an eye on. Having struck nine career goals against Chelsea ahead of this clash, we’re backing him to score against the Blues on Saturday, adding to the six goals he’s scored in just five matches since Allardyce arrived on Merseyside.

Everton should be carrying enough threat up front to get a goal, and we can’t see the Blues heading back without finding the net. They’ve averaged two goals per away game this season, while Everton have conceded 1.67 goals per match in the Premier League. Not only have they scored 12 times against Everton under Conte, but they’ve found the net in 89% of their away games so far. That has us backing both teams to score in this clash at evens with Betfred.

Chelsea v Bournemouth Betting Tips (EFL Cup) – 20th December 2017

Can Chelsea secure a place in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night? The Blues may have crashed out of this competition early last season, but they’re currently favourites to make the last four of a competition they last won back in 2015.

Having seen their title hopes evaporate and with Barcelona looming in the Champions League, Antonio Conte may well focus on this competition for some potential silverware. Can the Blues edge their way past Eddie Howe’s men and secure a place in the next round? While they’ve had some pretty significant lows so far this season, losing out in a cup quarter-final to a struggling Bournemouth side would probably plumb new depths.

With fans readjusting their ambitions for the season, a push in the EFL Cup makes sense. This was a competition that was sacrificed last season, as they crashed out at West Ham just before their 13 game winning run in the league got started off. This time around they have reached the last eight, but we still have to wonder if Conte will be completely focused on winning this competition with a tough battle on his hands for a top four spot in the Premier League.

Team News: Conte Likely to Ring Changes for Quarter Final

While the Blues are just 90 minutes from a place in the semis, we have to wonder how much that means to Conte. Even the FA Cup took a spot on the back burner right until the final, when the league season had ended. The Italian went with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the bench for a semi-final with Spurs in that competition, so you have to wonder what kind of side he could produce for this quarter-final. There’s not a huge amount of depth in the Blues squad right now, so he’ll probably be forced into mixing up first teamers and the odd bench player to keep the team fresh over the Christmas period.

Bournemouth have little reason to make changes, even during the busiest of periods. They have quite a strong squad after their recent transfer business, and their squad should be able to take the addition of another big game in their schedule. The visitors will be expected to start with their first choice 11, despite making changes for their win over Middlesbrough in the previous round. If they don’t take it as seriously as a league game, then their hopes of progressing any further are basically done before the game.

Bournemouth Form

Bournemouth got this far thanks to victories over Championship sides Birmingham and Middlesbrough, while they also narrowly edged out newly promoted Brighton at home. That wasn’t the hardest set of games for the Cherries, and they have to expect a significant step up when they head to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

The visitors have an awful away record in the league this season, losing five of their nine away trips ahead of this match. While they’ve won at poor sides like Stoke and Newcastle – teams who Chelsea have beaten by an aggregate score of 7-1 – the Cherries are having a more difficult time against top opposition. They’ve lost out to every top seven side they’ve faced this season, while they’ve faced nine of the current top 10 already and claimed just one point.

Chelsea v Bournemouth Head to Head

Chelsea have won four straight meetings against the Cherries, following a 1-0 defeat to them under Jose Mourinho two years ago. That loss to the then newly promoted side was a humiliating one for the defending champions, and the Portuguese boss barely got another two weeks in the job. Since then things have looked up, with Antonio Conte winning three meetings with Bournemouth on the spin.

  • Bournemouth 0-1 Chelsea, Oct 2017
  • Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea, Apr 2017
  • Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth, Dec 2016
  • Bournemouth 1-4 Chelsea, Apr 2016
  • Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth, Dec 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – 5/6 with Betfred
  • Chelsea to win and BTTS – 19/10 with Ladbrokes

Chelsea come into this one as the 3/10 favourites with BetVictor and other firms, as they look to secure a semi-final spot. The draw here can be backed at 4/1 with Coral, while the visitors are priced at 17/2 with Ladbrokes to take all three points. It’s hard to argue with that, given the recent record between the pair. The Blues have dominated meetings between these two in recent years, and that has us expecting a home win in this quarter final. However, the Blues are far too short to back outright for a victory here, but we think there are a couple of great value bets ahead of Wednesday’s game.

Chelsea will be expecting to progress regardless of the side Antonio Conte picks for this game. However, his choices in the cup do tend to leave the side open, although his sides do tend to produce strong attacking displays in cup matches. They scored eight times across their opening two FA Cup matches last season, while they hit four past Spurs in the semis at Wembley. Will we see another goal-filled game when these two meet on Wednesday?

It seems quite likely, given that over 2.5 goals has landed in every game in this competition under Conte’s watch. That’s partly down to an awful defensive record – which has seen them concede in all of their previous five games in the EFL Cup, including shipping two at home to Bristol Rovers last season and failing to keep clean sheets against Nottingham Forest and Everton at home this term. We expect a high scoring game, and our tips here reflect that. We’re going for a home win and over 2.5 goals, as we see Chelsea winning and Bournemouth grabbing a goal in this clash.

Chelsea v Southampton Betting Tips (Premier League) – 16th December 2017

Can Chelsea build on their midweek victory over Huddersfield by seeing off Southampton at Stamford Bridge this weekend? The Blues are looking to get back on track after their shock loss to West Ham, but most of the sides below them have also dropped points of late, while Tottenham are gearing up for a tough trip to Manchester City on Saturday. That gives the champions an opportunity to boost their prospects of finishing in the top four this term, which has to be the minimum achievement from this campaign despite the patchy form which has hampered any potential title charge.

Antonio Conte will want his side to put together a run of form to carry the Blues into a commanding position in third, with the sides behind them struggling for form too. If the hosts can add another three points against the Saints, they should be able to finish 2017 on a high. With a League Cup quarter-final to come – along with a favourable run in the league – this should be the month when Conte’s men come into their own. Man City may be running away with things at the top, but the Blues could at least be the team chasing down Pep Guardiola’s side this season.

Team News: Conte Hoping for Morata Return After Midweek Absence

Chelsea’s big absentee in midweek was Alvaro Morata, who had been looking tired in recent weeks. The forward should start again here, but Conte does have a decision to make. The Blues started with Willian and Pedro behind false nine Eden Hazard in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield. That victory may have Conte considering using that system again, given that the Blues have picked up four big wins when using that approach. However, having splashed out over £50million on the Spanish striker in the summer, we can’t see him being left out of this one – especially as he’s working really well with Hazard in a front two. Conte’s other big choice is deciding if he starts with a 3-4-3 once again, or moves back to a 3-5-2 with Hazard and Morata paired together.

Southampton have no injury concerns coming into this game, but they’re still expected to make some changes here. They could move away from their 4-2-3-1 formation following a poor display against Leicester in midweek. They aren’t looking that solid at the back despite having an impressive array of defensive talent, while the Saints aren’t getting on the front foot to dominate games, so they could really do with switching things up in this game.

Southampton Form

The Saints made a pretty sluggish start, and that was without facing most of the top sides in the division. They’ve now won one of their last eight in the league having come up against some of the big six teams, and this trip to Chelsea is another tough afternoon for the Saints.

The visitors find themselves just four points above the drop after some awful form, and they could sink even closer to the bottom of the table with a slip up here. Having lost seven of their 17 games so far, the side who have been regulars in the top eight over the last few seasons are struggling. To make matters worse, they come in to this one having lost 4-1 to Claude Puel in midweek – the manager they dismissed in the summer.

Chelsea v Southampton Head to Head

Southampton have established themselves as a top 10 side in the Premier League, and as a result they’ve become a thorn in Chelsea’s side. That was not apparent last season, as the Blues won home and away against the Saints. However, a 4-2 aggregate defeat across two meetings in 2015 shows how dangerous the visitors can be on their day. Luckily their recent form hasn’t been quite up to scratch, which is a boost for the champions.

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

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – Evens with Ladbrokes
  • Both teams to score – Evens with Betfred

Chelsea have been made 4/11 favourites with BetVictor to take the points in this one, with the Saints coming off the back of a poor result against Leicester. They’re priced at 17/2 with Betfair to bounce back from that loss by claiming all three points in this trip, while you can back the draw here at 15/4 with Coral. However, we can’t see anything but a home win in this game, with Conte’s troops dropping points in just two of their 19 home league matches against sides from outside of the top six. The Blues tend to see off the smaller sides at the Bridge, which bodes well for the champions as they really need another three points on the board here.

We can see quite a few goals being scored when these two sides meet, with 11 of their last 13 encounters seeing both teams score. That includes the last six meetings at Stamford Bridge, with the Saints boasting a decent record at this ground of late. To make matters worse for the Blues, they are up against a side who are in goalscoring form, with both teams scoring in all of the Saints’ last five games.

As a result, it could take a few goals for the Blues to get a result here. They’ve conceded in their last four outings, which has us thinking that they’ll need to score a few to see off the men from the south coast. We can certainly see both teams scoring again, which is priced at evens with Betfred, while we’re backing the home team to win this one with over 2.5 goals in the match at evens with Ladbrokes – having scored three goals in two of their last three league matches.

Huddersfield v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 12th December 2017

Chelsea are looking to bounce back from a surprise 1-0 loss at West Ham on Saturday when they travel to Huddersfield on Tuesday night. The champions suffered a poor defeat away to the Premier League’s bottom side for the second time this season, which capped off a pretty poor week. Having fluffed the chance to top their Champions League group with a 1-1 draw with Atletico, things just aren’t going right for the Blues right now. Can Antonio Conte inspire a turnaround, and take advantage of a straightforward December fixture list?

Their hopes of racking up points this month and pushing up the table have already been blown, with that defeat at London Stadium. However, Chelsea do have an impressive away record this term – but can they continue that here? Having won five of their eight matches on the road so far, Conte will be hoping that he can lead his side to victory over the newly promoted Terriers. However, the hosts are impressing in the top flight this season, and they have to be considered a threat. Having lost to West Ham and David Moyes, the Blues have to be fearful of most of the Premier League.

Team News: Conte Could Revert to Type After Struggles

Conte was quite bullish after the West Ham defeat, noting that the Blues have lost just four of their 16 matches so far. Obviously that isn’t good enough to sustain a title push, and the champions are facing a fight just to make it in to the top four this term. He’ll look to make a change after that, and switching to a 3-4-3 set-up once again could be the answer. It’s hard to see Tiemoue Bakayoko earning a place in the team this week – and it’s likely that N’Golo Kante and Cec Fabregas will be partnered up in the middle of the park. With a favourable fixture list to come, the Blues need to shake things up and get points on the board.

Huddersfield aren’t likely to have any major injury concerns heading into this game, which is a boost as they look to continue some solid home form. They set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation for their win over Brighton at the weekend, and we can’t see the Terriers looking to shake things up for a clash against the champions. That same approach was used in their clashes against the two Manchester clubs, and we expect them to treat Conte’s side as a similar threat. Having scored twice at the weekend, expect Steve Mounie to lead the line for the hosts.

Huddersfield Form

Huddersfield claimed a much needed win on Saturday, seeing off Brighton 2-0 at the John Smiths Stadium to keep their distance from the relegation zone. They’re now just outside the top half on goal difference, so the Terriers are enjoying an impressive first season in the Premier League, so they can’t be underestimated here. They did end a four game losing streak with that result, while it continued their impressive home form this term.

Huddersfield have won half of their home matches since gaining promotion to the top flight, suffering just two defeats. The Terriers may have slipped up against two of the top six – losing to Man City and Tottenham – but they also managed to pull off a victory over Man United here this term. Will they add to that when the champions visit on Tuesday?

Huddersfield v Chelsea Head to Head

These two sides have rarely met in recent years – the only two encounters were cup matches at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are preparing for their first trip to Huddersfield since the early 70s, which was a very different time for both sides. Having built a new ground since then and after years in the lower reaches of the Football League, the Terriers will be viewing this as a huge game for them.

  • Chelsea 3-1 Huddersfield, Feb 2008
  • Chelsea 2-1 Huddersfield, Jan 2006
  • Chelsea 2-2 Huddersfield, Jan 1972
  • Huddersfield 1-2 Chelsea, Aug 1971
  • Chelsea 0-0 Huddersfield, Mar 1971

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 5/4 with Betfred
  • Chelsea and over 2.5 goals – 11/10 with Coral

Chelsea come into this one as heavy favourites for the points, they’re 1/3 with Ladbrokes to become just the third side to win at the John Smiths Stadium this season. The hosts are out at 10/1 with BetVictor for the victory, while the draw can be found at 4/1 with Betfair. The Blues may have lost out on the road on Saturday, but they’re clearly heavily fancied to get back to winning ways on their travels. Will they be the latest top side to win at this ground, or will they fall to a similar fate as United did here?

The Terriers do carry a threat going forward, although they are only really scoring in their home matches. Huddersfield have scored 73% of their goals this season at home, while they’ve not scored on the road since the opening day of the campaign. They’ve managed to score in their last four home matches, averaging exactly a goal per game at home this term. Having found the net against both Manchester sides, we’re backing them to score against the Blues. Backing BTTS in this one holds a certain appeal at 5/4 with Betfred.

The Blues will be looking to bounce back with a win, and the way that Tottenham and Man City won here should give them hope of a victory. Both of those defeats saw at least three goals scored, while 62% of the Blues’ trips have seen over 2.5 goals. With the visitors averaging close to two goals per game on their travels this term, we expect them to edge a high scoring match against a side who have a good scoring record in front of their own fans. We’re backing Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals in the match, which can be backed at 11/10 with Coral.

West Ham v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – Saturday 9th December 2017

Chelsea are back in Premier League action on Saturday afternoon, as they make the trip across London to visit West Ham. David Moyes’ side have struggled for points all season, which has left them stuck in the bottom three as we edge towards Christmas. While there’s plenty of talent and experience in this West Ham side, you have to question their work ethic, which is something they need to have if they’re going to survive a relegation scrap. The Blues should be confident of claiming three points, given how David Moyes struggled with Sunderland last season, and he’s threatening to take his new side in a similar direction.

Having wrapped up their Champions League campaign, Chelsea are focusing on securing a top four finish in the Premier League this time around. Manchester City are running away with things, and the main aim for Antonio Conte’s side is making it into next season’s European Cup. There is a slight chance for the champions to get back into the title race, with the two Manchester clubs meeting this weekend and with a kind December fixture list. However, first up they need to claim all three points when they visit the struggling Hammers to have any chance of pushing the leaders later in the season.

Team News: Will Conte Turn to Wingers Against Struggling Hammers?

We can see this being the type of game that would suit Conte’s 3-4-3 approach, as the Italian has plenty of creativity to play in the supporting roles behind Alvaro Morata. Both Willian and Pedro should be pushing for a start in the side ahead of this weekend’s game, while Eden Hazard is in wonderful form of late. That strength is something which the manager needs to take advantage of, especially against an incredibly leaky West Ham defence. Other than that, we struggle to see any major changes for the champions, although the centre-halves could be switched around once again.

West Ham used a 3-5-1-1 system in their defeat at Manchester City, but they did that without a recognised frontman. They looked to pile bodies into the middle of the park for that game, which is a tactic that seemed to work against City. However, with Chelsea playing with two roaming players in advanced positions, the Hammers need a bit of a rethink here. A three-man defence is the standard way to play against the Blues these days, but further up the pitch Moyes needs to make changes if he’s to lift spirits at the London Stadium.

West Ham Form

West Ham come into this weekend’s game after a dreadful run in the Premier League, which led to the sacking of Slaven Bilic. However, the hammers haven’t been able to arrest their slump under new manager Moyes, which is a worrying sign at this point in the campaign. They’re second from bottom as things stand, without a win in eight league matches, but can that change here?

The Hammers have two home league wins this season, which both came against sides in the bottom six in the league, including basement club Swansea. Their other matches haven’t quite gone so well, and they’ve lost every meeting with the top six so far. Based on how the Blues have been faring in the league of late, it’s hard to see things changing for Moyes and his men here.

West Ham v Chelsea Head to Head

The Blues made two visits to the Olympic Stadium during its inaugural campaign, claiming three points in the league here in October. The Blues were knocked out of the EFL Cup at this ground last season, but that came against an experimental Chelsea team. With Conte set to go with the big guns here, given how poor the visitors are at the back, we can see yet another high scoring encounter between these two teams.

  • 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
  • West Ham 2-1 Chelsea, Oct 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea and over 2.5 goals – 11/8 with Betfred
  • Eden Hazard to score any time – 7/5 with Betfair

Chelsea come in to this one priced at 1/2 with Coral for all three points, with the Hammers still searching for a win under former Everton boss Moyes. They aren’t fancied to end that wait this weekend, as the hosts can be backed at 13/2 with BetVictor to claim a home win. The draw is priced at 3/1 with Coral here, but recent years haven’t seen too many stalemates between these two, and we can’t see them finishing level here. The Blues are priced around where they should be given how poor the Hammers have looked this season, but we’re looking at slightly bigger prices for our bets on Saturday’s early kick-off.

West Ham have tended to see high scoring games this season, especially in their defeats. The hosts have lost nine of their 15 league games this term, with almost all of those seeing over 2.5 goals scored. Their only defeat to see fewer than three goals was a dismal 2-0 loss at Watford in Moyes’ opening game after taking charge. Since then, normal service has been resumed with 4-0 and 2-1 defeats to Everton and Man City respectively. This isn’t a new problem for the Hammers – 14 of their 17 defeats last season saw over 2.5 goals, which is why we’re backing the same again here at 11/8 with Betfred.

We can see at least one of the goals coming from the in-form Hazard, who hit another two against Newcastle last week. He has three goals in five league meetings with West Ham, including two in his last three away meetings with the Hammers. We think it’s worth backing him to score any time at 7/5 with Betfair here.

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid Betting Tips (Champions League) – 5th December 2017

Chelsea wrap up their Champions League group this week, as they face Atletico Madrid in the final European clash before Christmas. The Blues have nothing to worry about on the qualification front, as a 4-0 win over Qarabag sealed their progress to the next round. However, Antonio Conte will have his side focused on finishing top of the pile, which could be vital in the next round. The way the Champions League is shaping up this season, the Premier League champions would likely have PSG and Barcelona among their three options for last 16 opponents if they finish second. Obviously that isn’t ideal, and not just because it would likely result in yet another trip to Paris.

Chelsea’s hopes of progression in this competition rely on recording a strong finish to this group. Roma are at home to Qarabag, meaning Atletico Madrid have next to no chance of going through. That also means that the Italians are heavy favourites to take three points in their final game and jump top of the group, unless Chelsea can claim a victory at Stamford Bridge this week. When you take into consideration that Conte is yet to have a truly successful European campaign as a manager, there’s a lot riding on this game for the home side, so can they repeat their impressive win in Madrid in the reverse encounter?

Team News: Chelsea set for Defensive Switch to Claim top Spot

Chelsea went to Anfield recently with a switch to their usual big game formation. Conte has moved to a 3-5-1-1 formation for meetings with top sides, using it to trouble Man City and win against Tottenham. It was also deployed in the first meeting with Atleti, which worked perfectly against the La Liga side. We fully expect that approach to be wheeled out once again here, denying space to the visitors. That may make this a very cagey game. However, that is something that they’ll need to get used to if they are to progress in this competition.

Atletico are expected to line up in a 4-4-2 system for their meeting with Chelsea, with former Blue Fernando Torres set to start up front. The Spaniards don’t have much width in their side, but they do have Antoine Griezmann in attack to cause problems. He struck from the penalty spot in the meeting in Madrid, and the Frenchman will be a thorn in the side of Chelsea’s defence. However, their system does appear to play in to the hands of any kind of three-man defence that the Blues can play, as they’re likely to be outnumbered across all the main areas of the pitch.

Atletico Madrid Form

Atletico Madrid remain shy of the title race in Spain, being overtaken by Valencia in the push for top spot. As things stand, they face a battle just to return to the Champions League next season, and they’re already set for a drop into the Europa League this term. While their results in La Liga have been solid but uninspiring, things have been going much worse for Diego Simeone’s side in continental competition.

They head into this trip with just one win in the Champions League this term. That victory came at home to Roma last time out, which kept them in contention for a place in the next round. However, that wasn’t enough to give the Spaniards a serious chance of qualifying, as they need a miracle result for Qarabag away to Roma to get through this group. Having dropped four points against the group minnows, it’s easy to see where Atleti have gone wrong in this campaign.

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid Head to Head

Chelsea’s victory at Atletico earlier this season was held up as one of the great performances by an English side in Europe. It was a big defeat for the Spaniards, as they lost their opening Champions League game at their new stadium. That victory was a small dose of revenge, given that Chelsea have lost out to Atletico in a Champions League semi-final and the UEFA Super Cup in recent encounters.

  • Atletico Madrid 1-2 Chelsea, Sep 2017
  • Chelsea 1-3 Atletico Madrid, Apr 2014
  • Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea, Apr 2014
  • Chelsea 1-4 Atletico Madrid, Aug 2012
  • Atletico Madrid 2-2 Chelsea, Nov 2009

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win – 11/10 with Bet365
  • Chelsea to win 1-0 – 7/1 with BetVictor

Chelsea come in to this game as 11/10 favourites with Bet365 to take all three points this week. The visitors are coming in to this game as the outsiders, priced at 12/5 with Ladbrokes to boost their slim qualification hopes with a victory this week. Meanwhile, the draw is 5/2 with Betfred, which is a tempting price in a match that we’re fully expecting to be very close. However, a point doesn’t really suit either side, so will we eventually get a winner?

Chelsea’s system may just tactically stump Atletico, especially if the Blues crowd can push them forward. Atletico’s back four could be pulled out of position by ingenuity in attack from the Pensioners, while having three men in the centre of defence and midfield should see the Premier League champions dominate this game. The Blues need to get over the line to have any chance of making a strong run in Europe, as they simply aren’t going to have the momentum to take on one of Europe’s elite next. Conte needs a more straightforward draw in the next round too, so he’ll be pushing his side to get a victory here. We’re backing a Chelsea win at 11/10 with Bet365.

We can still see this game being a close one, with chances likely to be slim for either side. We don’t expect a high scoring encounter, and we think there’s a lot of value in backing a 1-0 win for the hosts, at 7/1 with BetVictor.

Chelsea v Newcastle Betting Tips (Premier League) – 2nd December 2017

Chelsea are straight back in to Premier League action this weekend, as they host Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. The Blues won 1-0 against Swansea at home on Wednesday night, and they’ll be out to add another three points to the board when the Magpies make the long trip down south. It’s a gruelling one for the away support, heading for London for a lunchtime kick-off, which seems like the usual way for the Premier League to kick off their busy December schedule. Can the champions start their run to the festive period with another victory this weekend?

There’s a bit of an edge to this game for the home support, given that maligned manager Rafa Benitez returns to the club after taking over as Newcastle boss. He guided them through a tough Championship campaign last season, while the Spaniard won the Europa League while at Stamford Bridge in 2013. He wasn’t a popular figure with the Blues’ support before or after his short spell as interim manager, and we expect the home crowd to make that clear when Benitez takes his place within the opposition dugout this weekend.

Team News: Conte Likely to Recall Hazard after Midweek Changes

With three Premier League games in the space of a week, Antonio Conte made changes ahead of the clash with Swansea. The Blues moved back to a 3-4-3 system, with Eden Hazard dropping down to the bench for the clash. Willian and Pedro both impressed late on at Anfield, and they supported Alvaro Morata. We expect the Belgian to return just behind the frontman this weekend, while Cesar Azpilicueta should make a start after being handed a rare break. The midfield duo of N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas should stay, as they seem by far the strongest pairing on recent form.

Newcastle don’t have a great squad at their disposal, which is partly why the fans are so desperate to get a takeover sorted with the January transfer window looming. They come in to this trip with three players absent through injury, which is a blow to a side who have only had 17 players make more than one start in the league this term. Benitez has a core group that he heavily relies on, so don’t expect any big changes from their usual side for this clash.

Newcastle Form

Newcastle made a solid start to life in the Premier League, but things haven’t been quite so easy for them of late. While they were briefly sat up around the European spots, Rafa Benitez is working with a squad of largely Championship players. There just isn’t the quality to keep them in the top half, but that doesn’t excuse their recent poor form. The Toon have taken just a single point from their last five games, and that came away to a West Brom side who are in trouble themselves.

Newcastle had previously lost their last four league matches before that draw at the Hawthorns in midweek. A 3-0 loss to Watford at home is probably the low point of the season for the Magpies, with their usually solid defence falling apart. They’ve been far too open over the course of the last week, which should worry their manager ahead of a daunting trip. They’ve managed just one clean sheet in their previous 10 matches, and we expect Newcastle to struggle at the back when they head to the Bridge.

Chelsea v Newcastle Head to Head

Chelsea were resounding victors in the last meeting between these sides, which came as Guus Hiddink was repairing things at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were 5-1 winners on home soil, having drawn 2-2 with Newcastle at St James’ Park under Jose Mourinho. The Blues have won their last four at home to Newcastle, with the Magpies’ last win here coming just two weeks before the Champions League final win in Munich.

  • Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle, Feb 2016
  • Newcastle 2-2 Chelsea, Sep 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle, Jan 2015
  • Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea, Dec 2014
  • Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle, Feb 2014

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 10/11 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win 2-0 – 5/1 with Bet365

Chelsea come into this game as heavy favourites, priced at 1/4 with Ladbrokes to take all three points. Meanwhile, Newcastle can be backed at 14/1 with Coral to end their poor form with a victory over the champions. A point would probably be a boost for the Magpies, and they’re priced at 11/2 with Betfred to return to St James’ Park with a point from Saturday’s early game. Obviously we aren’t going throwing money on the Blues at such a short price, but they should come out of this one with the points and a comfortable win.

One area where Newcastle are really struggling is up front. They’ve looked short of a forward since claiming promotion back to the top flight, but the resources just haven’t been there for the club to add a proven striker. The visitors come in to this game having averaged 0.86 goals per game on their travels this term, while the Blues have conceded just 11 times in their 14 matches this season. Chelsea have managed to keep a clean sheet in four of their last five league matches, and we’re backing them to secure another win to nil here, which can be backed at 10/11 with BetVictor.

The Blues haven’t been scoring too many goals of late, and they come into Saturday’s clash having scored a single goal in four of their last five league matches. Hazard should be able to create a few opportunities against this Newcastle defence, but we don’t see the Blues suddenly racking up a big win given that 71% of their home matches this term have seen under 2.5 goals. That has us backing a 2-0 victory for the hosts at 5/1 with Bet365.

Chelsea v Swansea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 29th November 2017

After a creditable draw at Anfield at the weekend, Chelsea return to Stamford Bridge to face a struggling Swansea side. The Blues may have been able to come back from behind to Liverpool, but that’s left them a full 11 points off league leaders Manchester City. With such a massive gap to pull back, is it time for the reigning champions to give up on any potential title aspirations? Either way, Antonio Conte still has a job on his hands to secure Champions League football for the Blues, who are only three points ahead of sixth place ahead of this bonus midweek round of fixtures. Slipping up on Wednesday would be a huge blow to their top four hopes.

This game sees a return for Paul Clement, former Chelsea assistant manager who now has a tough job on his hands at Swansea. Despite saving the Welsh side from the drop last season, his team have dropped down to 19th place in the league ahead of Wednesday night’s clash. That’s the same position they were in when he took charge earlier this year, so clearly not much has changed. Can Clement boost his hopes of keeping his job with a win at the champions, and put another dent in his former team’s distant hopes of winning the title?

Team News: Conte Likely to Bolster the Attack

It could be said that Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 system was a little too pragmatic against Liverpool, which failed to test Liverpool’s poor defence. When changes were made late on, the game opened up for the champions. The introduction of Cesc Fabregas was crucial, the 3-5-2 set-up is made for the Spaniard.

However, we still expect him to make a start here despite a likely change to 3-4-3, with Willian and Pedro both pushing to start. With Tiemoue Bakayoko failing to impress, we’re backing Cesc to start alongside N’Golo Kante here. Given that Conte has close to a full squad to choose from, he shouldn’t have any other tough decisions to make ahead of this match.

Apart from Kyle Bartley, Swansea have no injuries ahead of this daunting trip. However, on-loan Tammy Abraham is ineligible to play against his parent club. They started with a diamond midfield and two up top last weekend in an attempt to make their side more attacking, but don’t expect the Welsh side to be quite so daring in this game. The Swans will need a bit more defensive steel, and they could potentially switch to a 3-5-2 system to try and match up with Chelsea’s approach. They started with that system in a recent clash at Arsenal, and we expect to see just as much caution from Clement here.

Swansea Form

Swansea are having an awful time of things coming into this game, having taken one point from their last five matches. They may have ended a four game losing streak at the weekend, but that point came in a clash at home to Bournemouth. That’s the kind of game the Swans really need to win in order to survive, and that’s left them in serious trouble heading up to Christmas. At this point, it does seem like Clement has a lot of work to do to keep his job.

Swansea have an awful record on the road, with just two away wins since February in the Premier League. That’s a pretty long spell, and their two victories came at the current bottom side – Crystal Palace – and last season’s bottom team Sunderland. That’s a huge way from taking three points away against the champions, especially after losing some key players in the summer.

Chelsea v Swansea Head to Head

The Swans did have a bit of form against Chelsea, but that was put to the sword in a 3-1 win in February. The Blues started their dismal 2015/16 campaign against the Swans, dropping two points at the Bridge. Conte suffered a similar result early on last season, which was when problems first started to emerge with his 4-1-4-1 system. However, on recent form it’s hard to see a repeat of any Chelsea issues here.

  • Chelsea 3-1 Swansea, Feb 2017
  • Swansea 2-2 Chelsea, Sept 2016
  • Swansea 1-0 Chelsea, Apr 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Swansea, Aug 2015
  • Swansea 0-5 Chelsea, Jan 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 4/5 with Coral
  • Chelsea to win 2-0 – 11/2 with BetVictor

Chelsea came into this game as heavy favourites for the points here, they’re 1/6 with Bet365 to claim another home win. Swansea’s awful away form is quite clear in their price here, they can be backed at 18/1 with Ladbrokes to cause a huge shock. Even a draw in this game would be a surprise, and the Swans are out at 6/1 with Betfred to take a point back to Wales. Clearly there’s little value in backing the hosts to come away with a win, but Swansea’s poor away form does offer a few other options.

The Welsh side have managed just three away goals in the league this season, and finding the net has been really hard for them since selling their two main attacking threats in the summer. With Tammy Abraham out of this game, they have even less chance of causing any problems in this trip. The Swans claimed two of their away strikes against Frank De Boer’s awful Crystal Palace outfit, while their lack of shots this season further shows their issues up top. We’re backing a Chelsea win to nil at 4/5 with Coral here.

Conte has been clear about the issues his squad have faced with fixture congestion. With an extra midweek Premier League match, he’s going to want to get his side out in front and close the game down. The Swans are a side who keep things quite tight, so we’re backing a straightforward 2-0 win for the champions, which is 11/2 with BetVictor.