Chelsea v Man City Betting Tips (Premier League) – 30th September 2017

Chelsea are gearing up for the biggest game of the Premier League season so far on Saturday, with two title contenders going head to head. The Blues are aiming to lay down a marker in their push to retain the title. While the Blues have picked up some impressive results of late, the main focus of the title battle is on Manchester right now, with City starting the season in impressive form. Meanwhile, Manchester United sit level with them on 16 points, and they’ll be looking to take advantage of this huge meeting at the weekend.

Can Chelsea match up to City and their array of technical talents? The visitors are playing some brilliant football, but can they repeat that in their biggest test so far? They may have blown away Liverpool, but City are going to find a much more organised team here, and Pep Guardiola knows that too well. The City boss has a lot of respect and a little bit of fear for Antonio Conte. Can the Italian play on that when these two meet at Stamford Bridge?

Team News: Could Conte go defensive ahead of this challenge?

Chelsea could well go with the 3-5-1-1 they used so well against Tottenham here, as the formation really worked in their clash at Wembley. Packing the midfield like that was an impressive trick, the only issue is that David Luiz can’t step in to that midfield role due to suspension. We could still see the Italian flooding the midfield, while all his talk about Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard forming a partnership could hint that those two will be starting up top together as the champions’ only forwards.

Manchester City’s squad depth means it’s hard to predict their midfield, but Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are both likely to feature up front. The pair have been in brilliant form together, so they’re likely to link up in attack once again. Benjamin Mendy is set to miss out after picking up an injury in midweek, while the Blues are set to face former player Kevin De Bruyne.

Man City Form

Manchester City’s incredible scoring streak came to an abrupt end in midweek, as they faced Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. While City won 2-0, they wasted plenty of chances in that one and were really made to work for the victory. They didn’t find as many openings as usual, while their forwards weren’t quite at the races.

Of course, before that result City had just scored five goals for the third successive Premier League game. That’s a scary record to have, and it’s something Conte will have to find a way to deal with ahead of this crunch clash. However, City weren’t great in big matches last term, winning just two of 12 meetings with the top seven, so that could leave them vulnerable.

Chelsea v Man City Head to Head

Chelsea’s recent record against Manchester City is a little mixed, but it does include home and away victories last season. The Citizens got the better of the two sides in 2015/16, although an FA Cup win for the Blues over City’s reserves was sandwiched in between those defeats. After getting the better of Guardiola twice last season, can Conte repeat the trick at the Bridge this week?

  • 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
  • Man City 3-0 Chelsea, Aug 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 4/7 with Ladbrokes
  • Over 1.5 Chelsea goals – 5/4 with Coral

While Chelsea are at home, Manchester City come to Stamford Bridge as favourites this weekend. The Citizens have been made 6/4 favourites with Betfred, while you can back the hosts at 15/8 with BetVictor. Betfair have priced the draw out at 12/5 this weekend, but surely this will be a close game.

After casting an eye over the markets and prices, it’s very clear that the bookmakers are expecting a high scoring tie this weekend. Given the form they’re both in coming into this match, we can see why. Not only are City playing some breath-taking stuff, Chelsea have the in-form Morata leading the line in this one, with the champions finally starting to click together this term.

The issue for Chelsea here is the fact that they managed just one clean sheet against the top six in 10 meetings last term. Manchester City aren’t exactly great at the back either, they had the same record against the league’s elite. The Blues are likely to concede to a side who have so many options to choose from up front, but this isn’t going to be the walkover some are predicting for City.

The visitors conceded chances to poor sides of late, just making it through because their opponents were unable to finish. Chelsea are in clinical form and they will take opportunities that come their way, so we see the hosts getting a goal. We’re backing both teams to score in this clash, which is priced at 4/7 with Ladbrokes.

While we see both teams scoring, we actually think Chelsea can find the net more than once. The Blues only failed to score two or more in three of their 19 home matches last term. With 12 goals in six Premier League matches this term, the Blues are in excellent scoring form going in to this meeting with City. The visitors were really poor on their travels last term when it came to the top sides, losing at all of their top four rivals, taking just four points from a possible 18 at the top seven. We can see City slipping up at the back to top class opposition once again, with over 1.5 goals for the hosts looking like great value at 5/4 with Coral.

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea Betting Tips (Champions League) – 27th September 2017

Atletico Madrid play their first Champions League game in their new stadium on Wednesday, in a game laced with undercurrents. The Blues are tough opposition for the side who made the final in 2016, while there are quite a few comparisons to be made between the two managers. Both are brilliant entertainment value on the touchline, and seeing them together should make for fascinating viewing. With the pair gunning for top spot in the group, just who will edge this tie?

Not only is this one of the highest profile games in the Champions League this week, it comes days after the two struck a deal for Diego Costa. The forward is heading back to Spain for a fee of over £50 million, ending the long running transfer saga between the two. That seems like the best move for all parties, as there’s no need to keep Costa around Cobham causing trouble, and he can’t really just stay in Brazil. The question is, will he appear at Atletico’s European housewarming, or will he serve his former side?

Team News: Conte could revert to Wembley roadmap for this crunch clash in Europe

Chelsea should take this game more seriously than they did against Qarabag in the last European game. Expect the Blues to be at full-strength for this one, as they can’t afford a defeat in this huge tie. Getting a result here would be massive for their hopes of progressing, and we can see Conte switching things up. The 3-5-2 set up he used against Tottenham at Wembley seems like it could be really useful in this trip. The Blues could start with a three-man centre midfield to dominate space and hopefully possession, with Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata providing the threat going forward. That set up should help to frustrate the Spaniards, and it could be a crucial switch for their European campaign if Conte does go that way.

Atletico can’t register players until January, so Diego Costa will play no part in this Champions League group stage campaign. Accommodating him in their current set-up will take time, so it probably helps Atletico to not rock the boat at this stage. They’re not likely to make that many changes, with a relatively settled starting line-up. That includes full-back Filipe Luiz, who played for Chelsea during the 2014/15 title winning campaign.

Atletico Madrid Form

Atletico Madrid have started the season with a few low scoring games, so it’s easy to see why they wanted Costa. They drew 0-0 with Roma in their opener in this group, which wasn’t the worst result. The Serie A side are a threat to both of these two, with Atletico desperate to make another push for the Champions League after coming so close in recent seasons.

Atletico remain unbeaten heading in to this clash, but can they add to that against Conte and Chelsea? The hosts have plenty of Champions League experience at their disposal, and they’ve made enough attempts to win this competition to show that they’re a really dangerous side in Europe, as the Blues found out in 2014 against Diego Costa and co.

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea haven’t enjoyed the best of times against Atletico Madrid of late. Their semi-final exit in 2014 was the last time the Blues featured at the latter stages of the competition. The Blues came up short in the UEFA Super Cup to Atleti in 2012, while the last time these two met in the group stage was 2009, when the Madrid side were a completely different animal.

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

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 8/13 with bet365
  • Draw – 9/4 with BetVictor

Atletico Madrid are favourites ahead of their first Champions League game at their new stadium, as they’re 15/13 favourites with Ladbrokes to take the points. Meanwhile, Chelsea can be backed at 13/5 with Betfred, while the draw is priced up at 9/4 with BetVictor. With a tight game expected, you might think the Blues are a little too big at that price, and we think there’s certainly value in going with Chelsea on the double chance market at 4/6 with Coral. That’s even more tempting if Conte does set up as we’ve predicted, looking to take a point from this game and then switching focus to the home meeting down the line.

Roma set a benchmark in their opening clash with Atletico. The Italians may have been at home in that clash, but they were as compact as the Spaniards, with the two struggling to create an opening. With those two sides and a Chelsea team who are so focused on positional play and preventing the opposition getting space, most matches in this group could go in that direction. We can chances being thin on the ground this weekend, and we’re not going to be backing goals in this clash. We think the value here can be found in backing under 2.5 goals, which is priced at 8/13 with Bet365. Given how the hosts set up, and the prestige of this occasion, we expect it to be a cagey affair.

We’ve already said that we think Chelsea could get something here, especially if they set up to frustrate. With two crunch meetings with Roma coming next, the Blues have little option other than to try and hold off last season’s semi-finalists this week. They can’t afford a defeat going in to those two vital matches against the Serie A side, while a point would give them a boost in a difficult away trip. We don’t see Chelsea doing enough to take all three points here, so going with the double chance isn’t exactly worthwhile. Instead we’re backing the draw in this one, which is available at 9/4 with BetVictor.

Stoke v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 23rd September 2017

Chelsea came up short in their last Premier League game at home to Arsenal, but can they respond this weekend and get back to winning ways? The Blues didn’t look great in their draw at the Bridge with the Gunners, and the momentum they had previously built up evaporated pretty quickly in that game. Will they find it as difficult to break through Stoke this weekend? The Potters haven’t made the best of starts this season, and Mark Hughes will be worried that his side could suffer yet another loss when the champions roll into town this weekend.

Not only will Antonio Conte be thinking about this trip, but he also has to cast an eye forward to the Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid shortly after. That’s going to be a critical fixture in their group, with the pair battling for a place in the last 16. Chelsea may have added to their squad, to ensure they have enough depth for this campaign, but the key thing now is getting their first team through two vital away trips in the coming days, with a win at Stoke needed first to keep their title hopes alive.

Team News: Blues expected to be back at full strength

After making plenty of changes for the League Cup clash with Nottingham Forest, the Blues are set to be back to full strength for this clash. Eden Hazard is a player we can see starting, after his slow comeback from injury saw him left on the bench for the Arsenal clash. However, Stoke away probably isn’t an ideal place for the Belgian to start, as he’s likely to be kicked around in 90 minutes at the Bet365 Stadium. Conte may choose to rest a couple ahead of the Champions League trip in midweek, but we struggle to see anything but the strongest possible side taking the field for this trip, after a mixed start in the Premier League from the Blues.

Stoke were also in EFL Cup action in midweek, but that’s not going to be a priority for them this term. While a side like Stoke should be pushing in that competition, they’re much more concerned with securing Premier League safety. They are likely to start in a 3-4-3 set-up this weekend, after using that formation away to Newcastle last week. The concern for Hughes is that teams who try and match the Blues man for man don’t always come off too well. Stoke are set to be without Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma, which weakens their three man defence.

Stoke Form

Stoke lost 2-1 to Newcastle last weekend, which was just their second defeat of the season. That loss has left them sitting in mid-table in the early standings, with five points from a possible 15. Stoke have taken most of those points against top sides, but will they be able to add to their haul when Chelsea visit this weekend?

After a 1-0 win at home to Arsenal and a 2-2 draw with Manchester United, Stoke are in form against top sides at home. However, could they have just caught them at the right time? Hughes and his team lost at home to five of the top six last term, and that’s bound to worry them before the Blues pay a visit on Saturday. After conceding twice in their last to league games, Stoke shouldn’t put up too much resistance to Chelsea’s attack this weekend.

Stoke v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have a pretty mixed record against Stoke overall, despite winning home and away last season. The Blues have won just three of their last six trips to this ground, with Stoke coming out on top in the other three. Will this be another victory for Mark Hughes and his side, or can Antonio Conte get his team through another difficult trip to the Bet365 stadium?

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

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 19/20 with Bet365
  • Alvaro Morata to score any time – 21/20 with Coral

Chelsea head to Stoke as odds-on favourites to take the points this weekend. You can back the Blues at 8/13 with BetVictor on Saturday, despite their mixed record at this ground. Meanwhile, Stoke are 9/2 with Betfred to take the points this weekend, while the draw here can be backed at 14/5 with Ladbrokes. The champions need to get back to winning ways after their slip against Arsenal, but will they take maximum points against the Potters? With the Manchester clubs starting to pull away at the top, the Blues can’t afford to drop any more points if they’re going to retain their title this season.

The problem for Chelsea is that they’ve not looked defensively solid for a while now. All season there’s been some concern over their backline, and now David Luiz is suspended for the Blues, which leaves them a little short. Stoke have been scoring a few goals, while they hit three goals against the champions last term. We can see Stoke scoring here, after scoring against United and Arsenal in their home matches already this term. We’re backing both teams to score here at 19/20 with Bet365.

While Alvaro Morata didn’t score against Arsenal last weekend, the Spaniard still looked sharp. He’s already scored in three of his first five games, failing to find the net against Tottenham and Arsenal. He should find things easier against Stoke, and we’re expecting the Spanish international to grab a goal on Saturday. Given how poor Stoke have looked at the back in recent games, there should be a few opportunities for Morata and co this weekend. We’re tipping a goal for the Spaniard, who is priced at 21/20 with Coral to score at some point during the game.

Chelsea v Nottingham Forest Betting Tips (EFL Cup) – 20th September 2017

Chelsea kick off their EFL Cup campaign this week when they host Nottingham Forest. The Championship side have made a solid start to the season, but can they pull off a major shock at the home of the champions? The Blues made an early exit this competition last term, just as they started the winning streak with bought them the title. They could have added the EFL Cup to that collection with that run, but can they make amends when they return to the competition this week? After a run to the FA Cup final last season, a quick return to Wembley would be a bonus for the champions. Could they add to their 2015 win in this competition?

It’s hard to see this being a priority for Antonio Conte, the Italian has already bemoaned the number of games his side have to play in September. Having made plenty of changes for their first clash in the Champions League, the Italian is likely to switch out a few first team stars for this clash. Given that Forest have already seen off Premier League opposition this season in this competition, that could be a risk. Will we see the Championship side triumph at Stamford Bridge, or a straightforward win for the champions?

Team News

Chelsea’s team against Qarabag should give us a clue of what direction Conte will go in here. The Blues have added strength in depth to the side which won the title last term, and their win in Europe suggests they can compete across all fronts. They rested the likes of Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard, and we should see the same thing happen against Forest, though Hazard might start after starting on the bench in the 0-0 draw against Arsenal on Sunday. This trophy comes bottom of Chelsea’s list, and they’re facing a Championship side. Surely we will see a few changes, with Willy Caballero likely to feature in goal for this clash. Others who could feature are Michy Batshuayi, Davide Zappacosta and Charly Musonda.

Forest may be facing Premier League opposition, but gone are the days when this was a big occasion. Heading to a top flight side probably feels like a chore in the EFL Cup, when so many Championship sides kick off the season aiming for a place among the elite. Forest are at least in play-off contention this term, so there’s little reason for them to go all out this week. Expect plenty of changes from the away side in this tie.

Nottingham Forest Form

Forest have made a solid start to the new season, taking 12 points from a possible 21 in a very competitive league. Having beaten relegation on the final day of the Championship season last time out, they’re clearly off to a much better start this time around. Recent defeats to Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday have shaken them, but Forest should be looking forward to testing themselves against a Premier League side.

Of course, Forest have already tasted a giant-killing this season, thanks to their 3-2 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park. That came in round two of this competition, meaning they’ve now won four of their last five in the League Cup. They’ve also managed five wins in their last six away, with their only loss coming at Tottenham in 2014.

Chelsea v Nottingham Forest Head to Head

With just one meeting this century, it’s fair to say there’s little recent record between the sides. Forest were regulars in the Premier League during the early years, so there are quite a few clashes in the late 90s. Given that the former European champions haven’t been back in the top flight since, meetings have been few and far between. Will we see a repeat of the Blues’ 3-0 FA Cup win 10 years ago?

  • Chelsea 3-0 Nottingham Forest, Jan 2007
  • Forest 1-3 Chelsea, Feb 1999
  • Chelsea 2-1 Forest, Sept 1998
  • Forest 2-0 Chelsea, Jan 1997
  • Chelsea 1-1 Forest, Sept 1996

Betting Tips

  • Over 3.5 goals – Evens with Coral
  • Both teams to score – 23/17 with Ladbrokes

Chelsea are unsurprisingly heavy favourites to take the points in this game. It’s hard to see Forest closing the gap, with the visitors priced as the 18/1 outsiders with Betfred to take a win. Chelsea’s team selection may give the away side a chance here, but we struggle to see anything but a home win. The Blues will want to avoid an upset, which could derail their season just as it got back on track. Given Antonio Conte’s relentless attitude, we can’t see him allowing a cup competition to pass his players by, we expect the Blues to go out fighting for a place in the next round.

Of course, we saw against Qarabag that players are playing for a starting spot. The fringe players were looking to make an impact and get more minutes, which is a situation Chelsea haven’t really had in a number of years. Their squad is growing, and we expect that to pay off when Forest come to visit. These players aren’t going to accept a 2-0, they’ll keep pushing forward like they did in the Champions League. We see the Blues pushing for another big win, so we’re backing over 3.5 goals in this match at evens with Coral.

We can also see plenty of goals here because we think Forest can score themselves. While Chelsea beat Qarabag to nil, their clean sheet came thanks to some good fortune. Their were big chances missed, and we think that the likely absence of Courtois makes it easier for Forest to get a goal. The visitors scored in eight of their first nine games, and we expect them to follow that form up with another goal After hitting three at St James’ Park, one against a weakened Chelsea seems very possible. With the visitors likely to have chances, we like both teams to score in this one at 23/17 with Ladbrokes.

Chelsea v Arsenal Betting Tips (Premier League) – 17th September 2017

Chelsea are looking to continue their winning run when Arsenal visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday. The Blues cruised to a 6-0 victory over Qarabag in the Champions League in midweek, making it four straight wins for Antonio Conte’s men. Given how they bounced back from adversity to record a 13 game winning run last term, could they be about to go on a similar run? With the Gunners up next, the champions will be out to strengthen their top four credentials, while they’ll be looking to keep pace with both Man City and Man United.

The Gunners aren’t in such a good position, despite Chelsea being in crisis after their loss to Arsenal at Wembley in August. Arsene Wenger guided his men to the Community Shield and an opening day win, but after two defeats already in the league his side are struggling. With a title challenge looking unlikely from Wenger’s men, they’ll be desperate to at least return to the top four this term. Winning at Stamford Bridge would be a huge boost to their Champions League hopes, but that’s a tall ask for the visitors, who have an awful record here.

Team News: Starters likely to return to the fold

Antonio Conte made plenty of changes ahead of their Champions League return against Qarabag, which didn’t seem to hamper the Blues. A 6-0 win came without starting Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata, so the champions should have their top stars rested ahead of this huge clash. With Arsenal looking shaky, playing a full strength side with a week’s break is a huge way to capitalise. Given how Chelsea performed last season with a week in between games, we think a fully rested side should do well. The only big question for Conte here is if Victor Moses returns to the side, given how well Davide Zappacosta fared on his debut at right-wing back.

Arsenal head into this game with most of their top stars back from injury. They started the campaign with some problems, but they’re almost back to full strength after four games. The Gunners are likely to line up in a 3-4-3 formation, the one that Wenger turned to after Conte’s success with it last term. We expect the Gunners to take basically the same team which beat Bournemouth 3-0 at the weekend.

Arsenal Form

Arsenal’s season has seen two awful defeats sandwiched between home victories. The Gunners opened up with a win over Leicester, while they easily saw off Bournemouth at the Emirates. However, trips to Stoke and Liverpool have seen them lose without scoring a goal, so they have to be worried about this trip to Stamford Bridge. Can Arsene Wenger’s side turn their form around with a victory on Sunday?

Their 4-0 defeat to Liverpool doesn’t suggest that they can do that. That loss was the latest that Arsenal suffered away to a top side. Their record against the rest of the elite away wasn’t great, in fact Arsenal won just one of their away trips to the top 10 last season. That awful run in likely to continue when they head to the champions, who had an incredible record in front of their own fans last season.

Chelsea v Arsenal Head to Head

Chelsea have a mixed record against the Gunners of late. We’ve left out the Blues’ 3-0 summer friendly win over Arsenal, with Wenger’s side having the edge in recent meetings. The last two clashes have both come at Wembley, with Arsenal lifting trophies at Chelsea’s expense on each occasion. The Blues have won their last five at home to Arsenal, so there’s a clear advantage when these two meet at the Bridge. Will that carry on this weekend?

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

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 27/10 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win 2-0 – 10/1 with Bet365

Chelsea head into this game as the clear favourites, but their price of 4/5 with Ladbrokes seems fair. There’s certainly value in that bet, but we think we’ve found a couple of bigger prices to take advantage of this weekend. We’re certainly avoiding the draw at 11/4 with Betfred, while Arsenal look far too short at 7/2 with Betfair. Given how poor the Gunners have been at this ground, it’s hard to justify backing anything in their favour. After a poor start away from home this term, we are likely to see Arsenal struggle when they head across London this weekend.

Chelsea have restored their defensive record with two straight home wins to nil. Given Arsenal’s failure to score on the road, we can see a clean sheet for the champions this weekend. The Blues have captain Gary Cahill back, and they have numbers to rotate defensively and that should help them going forward. With plenty of options, Conte should have a strong backline coming into this side, while we could see Tiemoue Bakayoko and N’Golo Kante screening in midfield. Given that defensive strength, we think a win to nil for the champions is great value. It can be backed at a huge 27/10 with BetVictor.

Chelsea have scored at least twice in their last seven home league matches. They’ve hit at least two in their last six home games against Arsenal, and in every Premier League match this term. It’s hard to see much more than a 2-0 win for the home side, who are looking to limit themselves with a busy schedule coming this month. After a 2-0 win at home to Everton in their last game at this ground, we’re backing the same scoreline at the Bridge this weekend. That also looks like a big price, at 10/1 with Bet365.

Chelsea v Qarabag Betting Tips (Champions League) – 12th September 2017

Chelsea return to the Champions League this week, with Qarabag the visitors to Stamford Bridge. Can the Blues kick off their return to Europe with a victory? Having steadied the ship after an awful start to the season, the Blues will be hopeful of a strong season in Europe, although they don’t exactly have the squad depth to compete across all four fronts. After a season absence at this level, Antonio Conte has to be focused on getting the champions off and running in Europe, especially given that the Italian badly needs some success on the continent this term.

Conte’s time at Juventus saw them win three league titles after the club had dropped to mid-table before he arrived. While they dominated in Italy, they struggled for results in the Champions League. The season after the manager departed, Juve reached the Champions League final under Max Allegri. He’s taken Juve to the final twice since 2015, so Conte needs to prove himself among Europe’s elite this season. Kicking off with a game at home to Qarabag seems to be the perfect chance for Conte and co to get a win on the board, with much tougher challenges coming in this really tricky group.

Team News: Rotation possible with heavy schedule looming

Ahead of the transfer deadline, Antonio Conte warned of the dangers lurking within Chelsea’s schedule. They have seven games in three weeks of September, so there’s going to be need for some rotation. While the EFL Cup clash with Nottingham Forest is a prime contender for that, this game is also a chance for Conte to make a few changes. He could rest a couple here, with Eden Hazard likely to need a break after returning to the side at the weekend after a long layoff. Given the level of Chelsea’s coming opponents, we can see a weakened team taking the field here, with a changed side surely still good enough to take the points at home to Qarabag.

With new signings Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta on board to help with squad depth, both could feature here. The pair have international experience, and should be able to step up to this competition after their deadline day moves. Michy Batshuayi is another who could feature, after making a few appearances since the start of the season. Alvaro Morata won’t be able to feature across all of the Blues’ games this month, so we’re expecting a change up top from Conte.

Azerbaijani side Qarabag are made up with a real mesh of nationalities alongside a few homegrown players. They tend to line up in a 4-3-3 formation on Europe, but they could change that ahead of one of the biggest clashes in their history, if not the biggest. Taking on Chelsea is a huge leap for the visitors, and they might make a few sacrifices up front in order to try and keep things tight here.

Qarabag Form

While Chelsea’s campaign is only just getting underway, this is the furthest Qarabag have ever made it in this competition. They managed to knock out Copenhagen in the last round, becoming the first ever Azerbaijani side to make it to the group stage of the Champions League. That’s a massive landmark in itself, but how will they fare in their opener?

The visitors have managed to win their opening three games domestically, so it’s been a strong start overall from Qarabag. They’ll be out to make an impression in this competition, but they have a tough task after the draw. Their form may be impressive so far, but it doesn’t suggest they can take a result from Chelsea, Atletico Madrid or Roma in this group.

Chelsea recent Champions League results

With no head to head record to go through, we’ve cast an eye back over Chelsea’s recent European results. The last Champions League game at Stamford Bridge was a 2-1 defeat to PSG in 2016, and that’s a result the Premier League champions will want to reverse. Their 4-0 win over Maccabi is more in line with what we expect here, with the hosts heavy favourites for the points.

  • Chelsea 1-2 PSG, Mar 2016
  • PSG 2-1 Chelsea, Feb 2016
  • Chelsea 2-0 Porto, Dec 2015
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv 0-4 Chelsea, Nov 2015
  • Chelsea 2-1 Dynamo Kyiv, Nov 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 3/5 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea with a -2 handicap – 11/10 with Betfair

Chelsea will be glad to have a straightforward return to Europe, as they’re 1/10 with Coral to take the points in this game. You can get odds of 8/1 with Betfred on the draw here, while Qarabag are 20/1 with Bet365 to get the victory and cause a massive shock. While the Blues lost to Burnley in their first home league game of the season, we can’t see them suffering an even bigger collapse in this game. They should live up to their pre-match odds.

Given Chelsea’s price, we think seeking something a little longer is prudent and the hosts are well priced to win this game to nil. They’re 3/5 with BetVictor to win and keep a clean sheet, and we’ve already said that we see the away side playing defensively here. We don’t expect Qarabag to come out on the attack, and Chelsea should easily deal with any threats they do face. A home win to nil does seems like great value given the gulf between the pair, so it’s our first tip here.

With such a gulf in class between these two sides, we can see a big win for the Blues this week. They should be out to send a message on their return to the big time, and playing a side with little European experience should help the Premier League champions race to a big victory. We’re backing Chelsea with a -2 goal handicap, at 11/10 with Betfair.

Leicester v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 9th September 2017

Chelsea return from the international break aiming to continue their winning form. With new bodies through the door on transfer deadline day, the Blues hierarchy believe they have a squad capable of challenging for the Premier League title. It remains to be seen just how true that is, or how much Antonio Conte shares their opinion. The new additions could make an appearance this weekend, as the Blues kick off a run of seven games in three weeks straight after many of their squad flew around the world for international clashes.

Of course, Leicester have the same issues given the number of internationals they now have on their books. The former champions have made a solid start to the new campaign, and they’re certainly looking like contenders for a European spot. Having added plenty of squad depth – something which Chelsea and Conte struggled to do – the Foxes have to be respected this term. They gave Arsenal a game on the opening day, whilst they kicked off their campaign at home with a 2-0 victory over Brighton. Can they add to that win when the champions visit the King Power.

Team News: Conte ready to welcome back Hazard

Chelsea may have added in a couple of bodies to the squad, but the key thing for them is the return of Eden Hazard. The Belgian hasn’t featured for the Blues since May, but despite missing preseason he still lined up for his international team over the break. He’s now fit to return for the Blues this weekend, which is a massive boost as Conte gets to line him up with Alvaro Morata. Given the nature of Chelsea’s squad right now, getting everyone back to fitness is crucial. That should see Willian and Pedro competing to play alongside Hazard, with competition across the team once again. That gives the manager the option to rotate ahead of the club’s return to European football next week.

Leicester have been lining up with a 4-4-1-1 formation this term, with Jamie Vardy as their central striker. Having lost Danny Drinkwater to Chelsea, the Foxes have signed Sporting Lisbon captain Adrien Silva to replace him. He could start in an impressive midfield alongside Vincente Iborra, which will be tough for Chelsea to break through. With those two likely to feature just behind Shinji Okazaki, the Foxes work rate will be tough to match. The hosts are certainly in much better shape than when they last hosted Chelsea, with the club then spiralling towards the drop zone.

Leicester Form

Leicester head in to this game on the back of one win from three, but they’re playing much better than that suggests. Having met Arsenal and Manchester United away in the opening weeks of the season, this has been a tricky start for Craig Shakespeare. They weren’t blown away in either of those two, holding out against United for 70 minutes before losing 2-0. Their clash with Arsenal was a seven goal thriller, in which the Gunners hit two late goals to secure the points. Having tested themselves against those two, the Foxes will certainly be up for this challenge on Saturday.

Leicester did manage to win their only home, game pulling off a 2-0 win over Brighton. The Foxes were able to cruise past most of the bottom half sides last term, but they did struggle against top teams. They may have plenty of options in their squad, but can that bridge the gap between themselves and the Blues? It’s going to take a huge step up for them to get anything from this clash.

Leicester v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea took advantage of Leicester’s problems last season to claim two 3-0 victories, which helped propel them to the title. The Blues also beat Leicester in the EFL Cup, but they weren’t as successful the season before. Having lost at the King Power, Jose Mourinho then lost his job. Antonio Conte will be hoping the same doesn’t happen when his Blues take their title defence to the King Power.

  • Leicester 0-3 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 3-0 Leicester, Oct 2016
  • Leicester 2-4 Chelsea, Sept 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Leicester, May 2016
  • Leicester 2-1 Chelsea, Dec 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win – 4/5 with Betfred
  • Morata to score any time – 23/20 with Coral

Having claimed back to back wins, Chelsea will be aiming to carry that momentum across the international break. With a packed schedule on the horizon, the Blues need to kick off with a win here, and the bookies are reflecting that in their prices. The draw here is available at 13/5 with Bet365, while you can back Leicester at 15/4 with BetVictor to claim a home win. Those odds are probably fair, despite the Foxes impressing at times this season. Their results so far make them underdogs.

Chelsea head into this one as deserved favourites, and we’re backing them at solid enough odds of 4/5 with Betfred. Having won two matches on the spin against top sides, the Blues have shown that they’re back to their title winning form of old. They’ve impressed against both Tottenham and Everton, and they should use that form to get a result at the King Power. We’re backing the away win here, which looks like a great price given how the Blues have picked up since losing to Burnley.

Morata has looked strong for the Blues since joining from Real Madrid, and he reiterated his debt to Conte during the international break. He’s always been desperate to play for the Italian, and we see him repaying that debt this weekend. His great start should continue against a Leicester side who have shipped goals to both Arsenal and Manchester United’s new big money strikers. We see Morata piling in on top. He’s priced at 23/20 with Coral to score any time this weekend.