Chelsea vs Burnley Betting Tips (Premier League) – 12th August 2017

Can Chelsea kick off their title defence with a victory over Burnley this weekend? Antonio Conte’s side have had an odd summer, despite adding a few big money signings. However, those players have been bought in to replace some big name departures, leaving the squad looking a little thin ahead of a tilt at four competitions. There’s more than a few similarities between this term and the 2015/16 season, when Jose Mourinho’s side fell apart after a lax summer. However, Conte is aware of that risk and the Italian is determined to avoid a similar fate.

Hosting Burnley is a relatively straightforward way to start the season, but we did say the same about Swansea two years ago. Could Burnley pull off one of the biggest shocks in their history? With survival being the goal for the Clarets once again, this game isn’t a real test for them in the relegation battle. However, they could do without a demoralising opening day loss to the champions.

Team News: Conte lacking options following Wembley loss

Chelsea were down to the bare bones for their clash with Arsenal in the Community Shield. Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko remain out, while Diego Costa is still an outcast. Victor Moses was allowed to play in the curtain raiser because it was classified as a friendly, but he’s suspended here. That’s going to lead to a reshuffled backline, with Cesar Azpilicueta moving to right-wing back and Antonio Rudiger stepping into the back three.

Outside of that, Conte doesn’t have the room to make changes. He’d probably like more competition amongst his players, but right now he has a side which picks itself. That was a bonus last season, but it’s a big issue this time around.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche should keep the faith with the side that helped them to safety last season. That was a huge achievement for the club, and they’ve made a few understated signings after securing another year of Premier League TV revenue. They may introduce a few of their new signings to their side here, but we don’t expect them to be too different from the side which hosted the Blues at Turf Moor earlier this year. One doubt for the Clarets is Andre Gray, who is being linked with a big money move away from the club, possibly to high-spending Championship side Wolves.

Burnley Form

Sean Dyche has made some odd signings this summer, bringing in established Premier League names like Phil Bardsley and Jon Walters. He’s brought former Blue Jack Cork to Turf Moor, which seems like a solid signing. However, is that enough to keep them in the top flight? And can it help them pull off a result away to the champions this weekend?

Burnley’s survival last season was largely down to their excellent home form, their away results were awful. They were beaten in almost every away trip, though they just about got their act together late in the season. However, the pressure was off them by then, as their home results got them over the line. The worrying thing for Dyche is that they were safe with some time to spare last season, and then they limped to the finish line. Sides who do that usually have a tough start, and that’s something that the Clarets simply can’t afford.

Chelsea vs Burnley Head to Head

Given that this is the first time Burnley have kicked off a second consecutive Premier League season, meetings between the pair aren’t that regular. The Blues have been comfortable winners in most of their clashes, although the Clarets did put in a strong showing during their meeting at Turf Moor back in February. Will Conte’s side find this game as tough after their difficult summer?

  • Burnley 1-1 Chelsea, Feb 2017
  • Chelsea 3-0 Burnley, Aug 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Burnley, Feb 2015
  • Burnley 1-3 Chelsea, Aug 2014
  • Chelsea 3-0 Burnley, Aug 2009

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win and both teams to score – 21/10 with Ladbrokes
  • Cesc Fabregas to score any time – 21/10 with Coral

Chelsea may not be having the best of times lately, but they’re still massive favourites to see off the Clarets at home. Sky Bet have priced them up at 1/4 for the victory at home, and we struggle to see the Blues failing to win this opening game. They should be able to get around the Clarets, but we don’t think it’s going to be an easy match. There could be a few goals in this one, and not all for the hosts. With a reorganised back line taking the pitch here, could the Blues slip up at the back?

While the 3-4-3 blew teams away last season, there were signs that it was being slightly figured out as they went along towards the end. Eight of the Blues’ last 10 home matches saw them concede, and they’re at risk of adding to that poor run here. Burnley were struggling for goals on the road in the first half of last season, but once they got started they were tough to stop. They scored in 10 of their last 12 matches on the road, but they still didn’t win too many of those. We see them scoring again, but like we said a Chelsea win seems inevitable. We’re backing a home win and BTTS at 21/10 with Ladbrokes.

Chelsea are missing most of their key goalscorers up front, so they’ll need someone to step up in this clash. Alvaro Morata doesn’t look match fit, and Michy Batshuayi is still unproven in the Premier League. Cesc Fabregas is going to be the big winner from this injury crisis, as he’s slotting into central midfield. He is going to need to use all his experience to help the team through the opening weeks, and we can see him providing a goal. He’s priced at 21/10 with Coral to score any time, which we think is worth backing.

Everton v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 30th April 2017

After seeing off Southampton on Tuesday night, the Blues head to Merseyside on Sunday as they continue their Premier League title push. The Blues made it back to back 4-2 wins after beating the Saints, which was another step towards sealing the title. However, they’re facing possibly the toughest of their remaining games, as they make their penultimate away trip of the league season. Could former Blue Romelu Lukaku cause problems here, and get in the way of the leaders’ title push? With a £100 million price tag and rumours linking him with a return to Stamford Bridge, he’ll surly be out to impress.

Ronald Koeman had his Everton side on the verge of the Champions League fight, but they seem good for a top seven place at least. They could yet move into the top six in the final stages of the campaign, repeating the finish that the Dutchman achieved with Southampton last term. Of course, the Toffees will still remember the thumping defeat they suffered in their trip to west London earlier this season. Just how will that loss play on their minds ahead of a crucial game for both sides?

Team News: Eight goals in a week gives Conte a headache

It’s been a brilliant week for the Blues ahead of this game, booking a FA Cup final spot and claiming another Premier League win. Eight goals have propelled the league leaders towards the double, but it’s left Antonio Conte with some questions to answer. Having started four players in the two attacking midfield spots, he now has to decide who has earned a place. After how Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas played together, they could keep their place in the side.

With Diego Costa scoring again we can’t see too many changes from the side which beat Southampton, although that’s quite harsh on Pedro and Willian, who were both very effective at Wembley last weekend. With no injury worries, Conte has plenty of room to make changes, something the opposition manager wishes he had.

Everton have a considerable injury list ahead of this clash, with Irish duo Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy still out. Ramiro Funes Mori and Yannick Bolasie both miss out this weekend, while Aaron Lennon is another who is set for the sidelines. That leaves Koeman with limited options, but they’re expected to continue with their usual 4-3-3 set up, which looks to involve Lukaku as much as possible.

That’s a distinct change from Chelsea’s former policy for the Belgian, who will be looking to show his former side exactly what they’ve missed out on this weekend. Both he and Ross Barkley are set to start in attack, with both players making noises about potential moves to Champions League sides in the summer.

Everton Form

Everton have been strong in the Premier League overall, they’re certainly much improved from their dismal campaign under Roberto Martinez. The Toffees are on course for European football, which was probably the minimum aim as their new owner is promising to take the club to new heights. They were in the mix for the Champions League spots, which would certainly have been a new height for the club, but recent form has seen them fall away from the top four.

The Toffees have managed just two wins in their last five, which has left them six points shy of fourth, despite having played two more games than the team around them. However, they are impressive at Goodison Park, having won their last six outings at their own ground. Can that run continue when Chelsea come to town?

Everton v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea were in the midst of a poor run against Everton, but their brilliant form in late 2016 brought that to an end in impressive style. A 5-0 win for the Blues followed up three meetings without a win. Can Conte guide his side to another success over the Toffees on Sunday? After two defeats at Goodison last season, each under a different manager, the Italian has his work cut out.

  • Chelsea 5-0 Everton, Nov 2016
  • Everton 2-0 Chelsea, Mar 2016
  • Chelsea 3-3 Everton, Jan 2016
  • Everton 3-1 Chelsea, Sept 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Everton, Feb 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 7/10 with Bet365
  • Eden Hazard to score – 29/20 with BetVictor

Chelsea come into this game priced as favourites, but they’re still 21/20 with Betfred to secure the points. Meanwhile, the draw is priced at 5/2 with Sky Bet while Everton are 12/5 with Ladbrokes to claim a victory. There’s certainly value in backing the leaders to take the win, but as this is the toughest match in the run-in, we’ve looked elsewhere for our betting tips on this clash. The Toffees are strong opposition at home, as shown in recent meetings with the Blues, and we don’t expect things to be anywhere near as easy as that 5-0 win at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.

After conceding another two goals on Tuesday night, the Blues’ defensive woes continue to bug them. With a trip to Everton this weekend, we can’t see their run getting any better. As we mentioned, Everton have six straight home victories ahead of this meeting. The leaders have now conceded in 11 straight league games, which is an awful run for a side of their stature. We can’t see things getting better any time soon, so we’re backing both teams to score at 7/10 with Bet365.

Our final tip for this game is another goal from Eden Hazard. We’re expecting Chelsea to grab a goal on Merseyside, and the Belgian’s form should see him cause problems. Having opened the scoring against Southampton, after hitting a vital third goal against Tottenham, we Hazard will play a key role this weekend. After all, he has scored the title winning goal in the last two seasons, so he’s coming into form at the right time. The winger is 29/20 with BetVictor to score any time on Sunday.

Chelsea v Southampton Betting Tips (Premier League) – 25th April 2017

Chelsea are back in action pretty quickly following their enthralling FA Cup win over Spurs. They face Southampton on Tuesday night as they return to their Premier League title charge. While Antonio Conte has suggested that hands Spurs an advantage in the title race, any prospective Champions League side should be able to handle a Saturday then Tuesday schedule, especially given how light the Blues’ fixture list has been this term compared to others. While the Italian boss is hoping his mind games switch the pressure on to a reeling Tottenham side, he won’t accept any excuses for a slip up this week.

The Blues will want to claim the first of the five wins they need when they host Southampton. They can potentially go seven points clear of Spurs with a win, with their nearest rivals facing a tough trip to Crystal Palace. This could prove to be a great week for Conte’s side, but they need to avoid another slip up at home to Southampton. The Saints have been impressive at this ground since returning to the top flight, which makes this a tough fixture to play 72 hours after a crunch match at Wembley.

Team News: Changes likely after shock Conte selection

Following Sunday’s incredible rotation from Conte, it’s hard to know what to expect here. We still aren’t fully sure if Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were rested or dropped, but they should have done enough to return to the side after both coming off the bench on Saturday. The only issue is that both Willian and Michy Batshuayi, their replacements in the starting XI on Saturday, were both very impressive. We know that the 3-4-3 formation will stay, with Gary Cahill set to return. N’Golo Kante is set to play his first game since being named PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night, capping off an excellent weekend for the Blues.

Southampton are missing Virgil van Dijk at the back, who is a rumoured target for Antonio Conte in the summer. They’re also missing Charlie Adam ahead of this game. The Saints have stuck with a 4-2-3-1 formation of late, and we expect them to use that set up once again on Tuesday. Claude Puel should be able to name his strongest available side, as the Saints had the weekend off to prepare for this fixture. Will that prove to be an advantage for them? With an EFL Cup campaign and Europa League games earlier in the season, the visitors have played more matches than the leaders this term. That week off might not be the biggest of boosts after all.

Southampton Form

Southampton have been solid enough under Puel this season, but there’s a clear step down in quality between this side and the one which finished sixth last term, The Saints aren’t in any position to push for Europe this season, although they did have a League Cup final appearance earlier in the campaign. Since losing to Manchester United at Wembley, there’s been little for Southampton to fight for. They’re on course to make the top half in the league, but that seems to be the height of their ambitions right now.

The Saints’ last Premier League game saw them taken apart at home to Manchester City. A 3-0 defeat to the Citizens came after back to back wins, and that highlights just how inconsistent they’ve been this term. They’ve lost 50% of their away Premier League games, so it’s hard to see the visitors proving to be much of a threat on Tuesday night.

Chelsea v Southampton Head to Head

While the Blues have won the last two meetings with the Saints, both of those have been at St Mary’s. Southampton have avoided defeat at Stamford Bridge in their last two visits. That includes a 3-1 win in their last trip, one of the darkest days in Jose Mourinho’s final few months at the club. There’s a stark contrast between that performance, and the ease at which Conte’s side won on the south coast this season.

  • Southampton 0-2 Chelsea, Oct 2016
  • Southampton 1-2 Chelsea, Feb 2016
  • Chelsea 1-3 Southampton, Oct 2015
  • Chelsea 1-1 Southampton, Mar 2015
  • Southampton 1-1 Chelsea, Dec 2014

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 11/10 with Betfred
  • Willian to score any time – 23/10 with Ladbrokes

Chelsea come into this game priced at 4/9 with Bet365 to take the points on Saturday night. The draw is 7/2 with Coral, while Saints are 15/2 with BetVictor to cause a shock. Clearly the bookies aren’t expecting Southampton to pull off a shock this week. Despite the Blues’ recent troubles in the league, losing two of their last four outings, they’re expected to easily take a victory at the Bridge. However, defensive concerns could make that a little harder to accomplish, especially judging by their displays in the last week or so against Manchester United and Spurs. Both fixtures have continued to highlight the Blues’ issues at the back.

Chelsea have conceded in their last 10 Premier League matches, a run which stretches back to January’s win over Hull. Following that run up by shipping two against Tottenham wasn’t great, and it gives the Saints a chance to cause trouble this week. The visitors come have having scored in their last five visits to the Bridge, while four of the last five encounters between these two have seen both teams score. That makes BTTS look like excellent value at 11/10 with Betfred.

Our second tip is backing Willian to continue his brilliant form. We think he’ll keep his place, possibly at the expense of Pedro, and we’re backing the Brazilian to follow up his two goal haul in the semi final with an impressive display. After scoring in such an important game, he’s bound to be full of confidence. We can see the free-kick maestro making another impression this week, and he’s great value to score any time at 23/10 with Ladbrokes.

Chelsea v Tottenham Betting Tips (FA Cup) – Saturday 22nd April 2017

Following a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United last weekend, Chelsea are now facing a challenge from Tottenham on two fronts. Spurs have cut the gap at the top of the Premier League to just four points, and they’re hoping to put pressure on the leaders in the closing stages of the campaign. However, before the league run-in gets under way, there’s a meeting between the top two sides in England at Wembley. The Blues face a rampant Spurs side in the FA Cup semis this weekend, can they quickly bounce back from their setback at Old Trafford? Antonio Conte will be desperate to mastermind a turnaround.

Tottenham come into this match in excellent form, with pundits raving about their recent displays. However, they do fear the national stadium, despite agreeing to move to Wembley next season. In four European games at this ground this term Spurs managed one win, as they recorded early exits from both the Champions League and Europa League. That’s something the Blues can exploit here, especially given the experience Conte has at his disposal, compared to this youthful side which Pochettino has established.

Team News: Conte sweating on Courtois and Alonso

Chelsea’s plain sailing on the injury front fell apart at Old Trafford, as late injuries to Thibaut Courtois and Marcos Alonso cost them in that game. Conte will be left worrying about the fitness of both players ahead of this tie. Alonso should have recovered from his virus, which would come as a huge boost. Eden Hazard looked lost without the Spaniard’s overlapping runs, something no one else could bring to that left-hand side.

Asmir Begovic is an able deputy for Courtois, but the Blues will still want their first choice stopper restored to the starting line-up for such a massive game. While Conte was rotating in the cup, he’ll be avoiding that as much as possible. This is no time for a farewell run out for John Terry, who announced his departure this week. The club captain will leave in the summer, but he’ll be hoping to celebrate two more trophies before he moves elsewhere.

The big team news as far as Tottenham are concerned is around their set up. They have Harry Kane back, and Pochettino’s men are firing on all cylinders right now. However, they could well change their approach in an attempt to nullify Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho did to such great effect at Old Trafford.

Tottenham Form

Tottenham come into this clash in fantastic form, having won eight straight games ahead of this showdown. Spurs have scored at least twice in their last 11 matches, which puts them in a great position ahead of this clash. While their winning run is going to face stern opposition in the run in, Pochettino’s men must be full of confidence coming into this meeting.

While pundits have been falling over themselves to praise Spurs’ after their recent form, it’s worth considering that they’ve won their last two against average sides. Beating Bournemouth and Watford isn’t exactly a huge challenge, those are two poor teams who have little left to play for. Winning those matches at home isn’t something that sets them apart as title winners, although it’s kept them comfortably in the top four, and kept them in touch with the leaders. Stepping up to beat the Blues is a much tougher task.

Chelsea v Tottenham Head to Head

Chelsea will be worrying about their last meeting with Tottenham ahead of this clash, having lost 2-0 at White Hart Lane in January. That loss ended the Blues’ 13 match winning streak, and it showed how to beat the 3-4-3 for the first time since Conte switched to it. However, the leaders beat Spurs 2-1 in that run, and they have a strong record aside from that loss.

  • Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham, Nov 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham, May 2016
  • Tottenham 0-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham, Mar 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 4/5 with Betfred
  • Chelsea to qualify – 5/6 with Sky Bet

Chelsea come into this game priced at 8/5 with Bet365 to win in 90 minutes, while Tottenham are priced at 9/5 with Coral to come out on top. A draw between these two is 9/4 with BetVictor, and that’s not something we can rule out. Given Tottenham’s form and the small gap between them, this clash could well go to extra time. Following Chelsea’s loss to Manchester United, the weaknesses in their 3-4-3 set up seem to have been exposed. Can the Blues find a way to get around the man marking which troubled them last weekend?

A major worry for the Blues is that their defence has been far too open of late. They’ve now conceded in 10 straight Premier League matches, which doesn’t bode well for this weekend’s clash. The Blues are facing a Tottenham side who are in great scoring form, and we expect Mauricio Pochettino’s men to find a way through. However, we’re backing the Blues to find the scoresheet, so we’re backing both teams to score at 4/5 with Betfred.

Given the Blues’ struggles at the back, it’s hard to make a case for backing them on the match betting. This could be a long clash, especially if Tottenham set up to frustrate the leaders. While we think Antonio Conte’s side will eventually come through this tie, we could see extra time or even penalties when these two meet.

Spurs have an awful record at Wembley, winning just one of their four matches here this term. That’s why we’re avoiding backing Chelsea on the match betting, and backing them to qualify for the final instead at 5/6 with Sky Bet. Overall, that seems to be much better value, and it’s a bet which could keep going through 120 minutes and then some.

Manchester United v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – Sunday 16th April 2017

Chelsea head to Old Trafford on Sunday as they head in to the Premier League run in. The league leaders are hoping to maintain their seven point advantage over Spurs, and they’ve been warned to stay focused by boss Antonio Conte. The Blues need just five more victories to take back the title they last won in 2015. Will they be able to earn one of those wins over the man who led them to that last title? This is the first time that the Blues visit Old Trafford with Jose Mourinho in the home dug-out, which should make this a fiery occasion.

The former Chelsea boss has suffered two damaging defeats to his old club already this season, the first was a 4-0 loss in their last league encounter. A defeat at Stamford Bridge last month ended the Red Devils’ FA Cup hopes, can they get revenge by putting a dent in the Blues’ title push? It would certainly make for a nervy end if Spurs were to move within four points, so a loss here could be a massive blow to the leaders’ hopes of lifting the title next month. However, United’s Europa League exertions could just swing this towards the visitors.

Team News: Conte unlikely to change ahead of final big test

Once again Antonio Conte has no injury worries ahead of the weekend, let’s hope he isn’t getting too comfortable with having a full squad. While the stability and options are pushing the Blues clear at the top, the challenge comes next season when they’re playing two games per week. However, the run in allows them enough recovery time to keep a settled side, so we expect Conte to keep the same XI which saw off Bournemouth last weekend. Having reverted back to the strongest side, it’s hard to see any reason to change ahead of one of the last big challenges which the leaders face in their title push.

Mourinho’s Manchester United are a perfect example of the problems caused by a fixture pile up. Former Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata misses out on Sunday, while Ashley Young is also unavailable. Defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are out, which leaves the Red Devils looking a little short on numbers at the back. The big question is over Mourinho’s formation. Las weekend he seemed to revert to the 4-3-3 he used when he first arrived at Stamford Bridge, but we wouldn’t rule out a 3-5-2 set up, to try and match Chelsea’s midfield.

Manchester United Form

Manchester United are unbeaten in 14 Premier League matches, but they’re not winning enough games to push on into the top four. The Red Devils have drawn 56% of their outings at Old Trafford, which is mostly down to their scoring woes, with a huge overreliance on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as shown in their toothless FA Cup loss at the Bridge last month.

United’s real success this season has been in the cups, with the League Cup won by Mourinho once again. He’s hoping to add a Europa League winners medal to their haul this term, and the Portuguese admitted that European silverware is more important than their push for fourth. He’s basically going to have to ape one of his great rivals this term, or fail completely. Does he take Arsene Wenger’s fourth place trophy, or follow in Rafa Benitez’s footsteps by leading an English giant to a second rate European trophy? It sounds like Mourinho’s nightmare.

Manchester United v Chelsea Head to Head

Before the recent Conte v Mourinho clashes, things were pretty even between these two sides. They drew both meetings last term, both of which came after Mourinho was dismissed from the Stamford Bridge dugout. The last meeting between these sides at Old Trafford was almost 16 months ago, and it’s safe to say the Blues’ fortunes have changed since then.

  • Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United, Mar 2017
  • Chelsea 4-0 Manchester United, Oct 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United, Feb 2016
  • Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea, Dec 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United, Apr 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea draw no bet – 19/20 with Coral
  • Eden Hazard to score any time – 2/1 with SkyBet

This game is incredibly even according to the bookies, who can’t seem to settle on a clear favourite. Manchester United are just out in front in the betting, with Betfair making them 17/10 to take maximum points at home. However, Chelsea aren’t far behind at 9/5 with BetVictor. Meanwhile, you can back the draw at 11/5 with Bet365. Clearly there’s little between the two sides, and with United focusing elsewhere, they could well come up short at home to the leaders. We can’t see much value in the match betting, so we suggest looking elsewhere for a punt on this game.

We do like the look of Chelsea on the draw no bet market, seeing as United could be left running on empty. The Red Devils don’t have the biggest squad at their disposal right now, thanks to their injury list. That doesn’t give Mourinho a lot of options to change things between Thursday and Sunday, so we could see the leaders pulling off a result. By backing it on the draw no bet market, there’s a definite safety net. United have drawn nine of their last 13 at home in the league, so we’re backing the visitors draw no bet at 19/20 with Coral.

If anyone can inspire Chelsea to the victory, it’s Eden Hazard. Just as he did in 2015, the Belgian is picking up the slack from Diego Costa in the back half of the campaign. Once again, the Spaniard has seen his goals dry up after the turn of the year, but Hazard has scored three in his last two, all of them crucial goals. In a massive meeting with Manchester United, we expect the Belgian to make the difference. We’re backing him to score any time at 2/1 with SkyBet.

Bournemouth v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 8th April 2017

Chelsea got their title challenge back on track following a 2-1 win over Manchester City in midweek. Can the Premier League leaders build on that when they travel to Bournemouth? Antonio Conte has demanded that his team hit the 90 point mark this season, which would mathematically seal the title for them. Tottenham are showing no signs of choking as yet, so the Blues need to take their challenge seriously for now. However, Spurs have a history of bottling things and a much tougher run in, so they’re likely to ultimately fall short of glory once again.

The Blues will be counting on all their experience in the final eight games of the campaign, starting at the Vitality Stadium. While it seems like a straightforward affair, it’s a potentially tricky one. Bournemouth are just coming back in to form after a poor run of results, and they’re likely to trouble the Blues defence here, given their strong scoring record at home. This is another potential banana skin for Conte and his team, and they’ll all be out to avoid another slip up this weekend.

Team News: Conte needs right-wing reshuffle

Chelsea haven’t had to deal with many injury problems all season, but something was always going to hit their stability eventually. Who’d have thought that the absence of Victor Moses would prove to be a huge issue? The right wing-back has no real replacement, with Pedro struggling there against Palace. Cesar Azpilicueta played there for 45 minutes against City, but he was moved centrally once Kurt Zouma came off. Conte is hoping that the Nigerian can recover in time for this trip, but if he doesn’t it’s likely that Azpilicueta will be moved once again. Pedro’s struggles from the start against Palace should keep him further up the pitch.

Bournemouth are without the suspended Tyrone Mings, while forward Callum Wilson is injured ahead of this game. Aside from that, the hosts are set to have their strongest side out, as they look to push into the top half of the table. The Cherries have been lining up in a 4-4-2 of late, which they occasionally switch to a 4-4-1-1. The Blues’ back three should have enough to deal with that attack, and it leaves the two sides evenly matched in midfield.

Bournemouth Form

Bournemouth come into this game on the back of a 2-2 draw at Liverpool on Wednesday night, claiming their fourth point against the Reds this season. They’ve drawn three of their last five matches, but that’s an improvement on their early 2017 run of form. Having recorded one draw and six defeats in seven, their recent unbeaten run has been a huge relief for manager Eddie Howe, moving the Cherries away from the drop zone.

Bournemouth have claimed wins over West Ham and Swansea in recent home games, which has helped them push up the table and move towards the top half. They troubled Arsenal in a home game late last year, going 3-0 up before slipping to a 3-3 draw. However, a 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester City shows that the Cherries can’t quite mix it with the best in current form. They’re mostly picking off sides below them as they push for survival.

Bournemouth v Chelsea Head to Head

There have been just three recent meetings between these two sides, and they didn’t get off to the best of starts for the Blues. A 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge was part of Jose Mourinho’s tough third season here. Guus Hiddink avenged that defeat by winning 4-1 in their only trip to the Vitality, before a 3-0 win earlier this season kept up the Blues’ brilliant winning run after their tactical switch. Can they record a third straight victory when they travel to the south coast this weekend?

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

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – 10/11 with Betfred
  • Chelsea to win & BTTS – 12/5 with Coral

Chelsea can be backed at 3/5 with Sky Bet ahead of the late game on Saturday. The hosts are 6/1 outsiders with Betfair, while BetVictor price the draw at 16/5. The league leaders are clearly expected to avoid a slip-up in consecutive weekends, but will they get over the line against the Cherries? Having conceded in both meetings last term, it’s easy to see Thibaut Courtois being troubling in the Blues net once again, given how exposed he has been in recent weeks. All of a sudden, the defenders in front of him are looking a little unreliable.

Obviously there’s a possible selection worry at the back for Antonio Conte, but the problems date back much further than Moses’ injury. It’s now eight straight league games without a clean sheet for the leaders, which is a worrying run of form. They take on a Bournemouth side who scored twice at Anfield on Wednesday, one who score 1.73 goals per game at home this season. They’ve found the net in 80% of their home league outings, and we expect another goal for the Cherries. We’re backing both teams to score for the ninth straight occasion for the Blues in the Premier League, and that’s priced at 10/11 with Betfred.

While the Blues are likely to concede again, we can’t see that stopping them from taking maximum points. They can’t afford to slip up with Tottenham in hot pursuit of top spot, and their manager has demanded six wins from the final eight games of the season. We’re backing the visitors to win and concede in this game, something they’ve made a habit of after their recent poor showings at the back. The Blues haven’t won a league game to nil since January, so we’re backing Chelsea to win and both teams to score, which is 12/5 with Coral.

Chelsea v Manchester City Betting Tips (Premier League) – 5th April 2017

Chelsea’s hopes of winning the Premier League suffered a blow in a 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace at the weekend. The Blues were given plenty of time to claw back that disadvantage, but they failed to break through Sam Allardyce’s well organised side. They have a quick opportunity to bounce back, and this time they aren’t up against what would be described as an organised defence. Manchester City, fresh from drawing 2-2 at Arsenal on Sunday, are the visitors to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. Will they make it back to back defeats for Antonio Conte?

These are two sides who aren’t exactly keen on each other, as shown by the scenes towards the end of their first encounter this season. There’s still a chance that Chelsea could meet City in the FA Cup final, so this might not be their final clash of the campaign. However, this match is crucial for Conte and his team, they can’t allow Tottenham to move within four points of top spot. Can the Blues complete a double over City?

Team News: Will Conte ring the changes after Palace shock?

The slip up against Palace has probably raised quite a few questions for Conte ahead of this game. The Italian said he thought his side deserved a draw, but even that wouldn’t be enough to keep the former Juve boss happy. He’ll have demanded answers, and he could make a few changes after keeping a mostly settled side this term. Victor Moses should recover to reclaim his spot at right wing-back. One of N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas should drop out, with the Serbian seriously underperforming against Palace.

Pep Guardiola is making odd team selections a routine these days. His choice of Jesus Navas at right-back must be something Blues fans are desperate to see repeated. Eden Hazard going up against Navas would certainly be entertaining. City lined up with an impressive front four at the Emirates, with David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane in support of Sergio Aguero. That attack would certainly cause problems for the Chelsea back three.

Manchester City Form

Manchester City find themselves fourth in the table, certainly not where they expected to be under Pep Guardiola. They come into this game having won just one of their last five, which was an FA Cup win over Middlesbrough. In that time they crashed out of the Champions League, while the Citizens have slipped up in crucial games against their rivals for a spot in the top four. Will this be another tough game for them against a top side?

City have managed just one victory from their last nine matches against sides in the top seven of the Premier League. While they beat Arsenal at home in December, their five matches since against top sides have seen them claim just three points. That’s hardly the kind of record City would have expected when they splashed out on Guardiola, and when they basically gave him a blank cheque to remodel the squad.

While he has long term ambitions, it’s those kinds of matches which really test his abilities as a manager. Going into this meeting with the best side in the Premier League, there’s little hope for them turning around that rotten run of form any time soon. To make matters worse, this is their penultimate meeting with one of the top sides in England this season in the league.

Chelsea v Manchester City Head to Head

Chelsea struck a huge blow to Pep Guardiola’s side in a fiery 3-1 victory at the Etihad. That was a key moment in the Blues’ brilliant run of form earlier in the season, while City clearly cracked in that loss. They had two players sent off late on in that defeat, just how is that going to affect them ahead of this trip to the Bridge?

  • Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea, Dec 2016
  • Chelsea 0-3 Manchester City, Apr 2016
  • Chelsea 5-1 Manchester City, Feb 2016
  • Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea, Aug 2015
  • Chelsea 1-1 Manchester City, Jan 2015

Betting Tips

  • Diego Costa to score – evens with Coral
  • Chelsea to win – 7/5 with BetVictor

Chelsea will surely take confidence from City’s awful record in big games, with Guardiola’s side clearly lacking something to get them over the line. It wasn’t too long ago when people were saying that Conte’s side were unable to claim big results. Their win at City changed all that, and Chelsea will be hoping to see off the Citizens once again and get their season back on track. After all, the Blues have won 86% of their home matches in the league so far.

City are going to be relying on Sergio Aguero here, a man who has suddenly hit form, but the Blues have their own leading man up front. Diego Costa has been in excellent shape all season, and he will be aiming to add to his strike against the Citizens at the Etihad earlier this season. When you look at the problems City have been having at the back, it’s hard to see the Spanish forward not getting a chance to add to his goal tally for the season. Despite that, Costa is priced at evens with Coral to score any time, which seems like great value.

Given City’s poor record in big games, we’re siding with the leaders to bounce back this weekend. Barring last season, Chelsea have always been a team who can bounce back after a shocking defeat like that. It’s a quality which helped them to numerous trophies in the past, and it might just seal the Premier League title if they can see off City. Given their excellent home record, and the fact that City have one point from their last four away to top seven sides, we like the look of a home win at 7/5 with BetVictor.

Chelsea v Crystal Palace Betting Tips (Premier League) – 1st April 2017

Chelsea return to action following the international break and they’ll be eager to get another win under their belt as they seek to win the title as soon as possible. The Premier League leaders take on Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, with the Eagles just hitting form.

While the Blues have been lucky to avoid injuries all season, they are going to have to deal with a number of players returning from all corners of the globe with varying levels of fatigue. Can Antonio Conte deal with that, and lead his men to another crucial league victory? They’ll be hoping to extend their 10 point lead at the summit of the table.

Palace have seen their results pick up under Sam Allardyce, which makes this a tricky game for Conte and co. On the bright side, they do have a 13 game winning run at their own ground to back them up. That’s a run of victories which has taken them top of the table and into an FA Cup semi-final. With the sides below them facing some tough matches this weekend, this is a must win clash for Chelsea. Can they claim some revenge for their loss to the Eagles in their last visit to this ground?

Team News: Conte faces selection worries after international break

Eden Hazard is Chelsea’s only absentee at the minute, as the winger missed the international break through injury. He was unable to meet up with the Belgium squad, facing a couple of weeks on the side-lines. That was after Hazard missed the Blues’ last match against Stoke. In addition to the Belgian, Conte is going to have concerns over a couple of his international stars. Diego Costa and Pedro were both away with Spain, while Willian linked up with Brazil. Keeping a stable team has been key to Conte’s side this term, but they may have a few stars coming in to this game struggling for fitness.

Palace are without a few players ahead of this trip to Stamford Bridge. Loic Remy, on loan at Selhurst Park from Chelsea, is unavailable for this clash. Mathieu Flamini, Connor Wickham and Pape Souare are all set to miss out. The Eagles set up with a 4-2-3-1 against Watford last time out. Despite winning that clash, Palace were dominated in possession. They can expect a similar sort of game away to the best side in the division, so that formation might just cause problems this weekend.

Crystal Palace Form

Crystal Palace have moved out of the bottom three after a strong run of form. They’ve won three straight games under Sam Allardyce, moving them up to 16th in the table. The Eagles are now four points clear of the drop, with the former England boss set to complete another remarkable turnaround. They claimed back to back home wins over Middlesbrough and Watford, two sides who were in awful form coming in to clashes with the Eagles. Those were two straightforward games, although they did claim three points away to West Brom in their last trip.

That win was impressive for Palace, and it showed signs of much needed improvement from Allardyce’s team. However, travelling to Stamford Bridge is a huge step up for them to face. Wins against struggling, out of form sides isn’t going to prep them for a clash with top of the table Chelsea. Having won just two of their last 11 trips, including losing at Arsenal and Tottenham, Palace can’t hold out much hope for a result on Saturday.

Chelsea v Crystal Palace Head to Head

The Blues have a solid record against Palace, barring their home defeat in 2015. That was part of their awful title defence, which allowed plenty of sides to pull off a result at Stamford Bridge. The meeting between these two earlier this season was a real battle, with a goal from Diego Costa settling things. That clash came during the Alan Pardew reign at Selhurst Park, which ended very poorly for the Eagles. They’ve seen an improvement under Allardyce, but can that lead to another shock win?

  • Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea, 17th Dec 2016
  • Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea, 3rd Jan 2016
  • Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace, 29th Aug 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace, 3rd May 2015
  • Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea, 18th October 2014

Betting Tips

  • Willian to score any time – 7/4 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win and both teams to score – 12/5 with Coral

Chelsea come into this game as the 3/10 favourites with Betfred, so clearly the bookies aren’t predicting another win for the visitors at Stamford Bridge. The visitors are 10/1 with Ladbrokes to repeat their win here from 2015, while a draw is priced at 4/1 with Bet365. We aren’t going to back the leaders on the win market, we’re looking elsewhere for value on this clash.

While the Blues have concerns over Eden Hazard’s fitness, their trip to Stoke proved that they can survive without the Belgian. That 2-1 win at the Bet365 saw Willian score from a free kick, something which hasn’t been as common this term. The Brazilian lost his place in the team earlier in the campaign, but with Hazard missing he should get a rare start at the Bridge. Having found the net last time out, we think it’s worth backing Willian to chip in with another goal. The winger is priced at 7/4 with BetVictor to score any time this weekend.

Given the results Palace have been picking up of late, they should be confident ahead of this trip. The Eagles will be hoping to take advantage of the Blues’ poor defensive record, which has seen them concede in their last six league outings. That poor run hasn’t cost them points, as Conte’s men have enough quality to fight back after conceding. The leaders score close to three goals per game at Stamford Bridge, so we’re backing a home win and both teams to score at 12/5 with Coral.

Stoke v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 18th March 2017

Can Chelsea build on their FA Cup quarter final victory over Manchester United when they face Stoke at the weekend? They make the trip to the Potteries on Saturday, as they aim to continue their push for the Premier League title. After their win over the Red Devils on Monday night, there’s a very real possibility that Antonio Conte’s men can end the season with a league and cup double. However, they need to keep their focus in the remaining weeks, with a queue of top sides lining up behind them.

With Liverpool facing Manchester City, another one of the top four is guaranteed to drop points this weekend. That can boost the Blues’ position at the top of the table, as long as they can see off Stoke this weekend. This will be a brand new test for Conte, but he’s built a side which should be able to withstand any challenge they face at the Bet365 Stadium. This trip is their final match of the month, can they round off an impressive run in March by winning against the Potters?

Team News: Changes unlikely after cup success

It’s hard to see Antonio Conte making too many changes for this game. He kept his full strength side for the clash with Manchester United, bringing in Willian for Pedro and Nemanja Matic for Cesc Fabregas. Those two switches helped them to victory over a top six rival, and they should help them through a difficult away trip. The combination of Matic and N’Golo Kante in midfield is a bruising partnership, while Willian offers more tracking back. That leaves more room for Eden Hazard, who’ll play in support of Diego Costa. Conte isn’t going to feel the need to change from that, especially with no club game for another two weeks.

Mark Hughes doesn’t have the same injury free squad as Conte. They’re missing first choice goalkeeper Jack Butland, while Xherdan Shaqiri is also out for the Potters. They’ve been lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation of late, which sees Peter Crouch as their main focal point in attack. The forward has caused plenty of problems for Chelsea in the past, including a goal at Stamford Bridge earlier this season. However, just how will that setup fare at home to the 3-4-3 system employed by the league leaders?

Stoke Form

Stoke come into this game in patchy form, following a 0-0 draw with Manchester City. That point was a solid result, but the Potters had their backs to the wall at the Etihad. While that was a hard earned point, they have still won just two of their last seven matches. An early exit in the FA Cup was a serious blow to their campaign. They lost 2-0 at home to Championship side Wolves, who Chelsea then dumped out a couple of rounds later.

Stoke are currently ninth in the Premier League, which would represent a good finish to the campaign, after a poor start. Hughes was under pressure at the Bet365 earlier this season, but he’s managed to straighten things out for the Potters. They’ve been in pretty mixed form at this ground so far, winning six of their 14 home league matches. Unlike in previous years, most of those victories have been against weaker sides, with no big scalps of note. Heavy defeats to Tottenham home and away have shown that Stoke have fallen slightly, after once possessing a fortress like home record.

Stoke v Chelsea Head to Head

Recent meetings between these two sides have been very mixed, including a couple of poor results for the Blues away to Stoke in the past. A league defeat and a penalty shootout loss here in 2015 didn’t do much for Jose Mourinho’s hopes of holding on to his job. The Blues did claim a victory in their last meeting, which proved more difficult for the league leaders than they’d imagined.

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

Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score – evens with Betfred
  • Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals – 31/20 with Coral

Chelsea come into this match as 8/13 favourites with Sky Bet, despite travelling to the Bet365 Stadium. While this tends to be a tough place to go, Stoke are priced at 11/2 with BetVictor to get a result here. Meanwhile, Betfair are offering 3/1 on the draw. It’s telling that the Blues are such heavy favourites in this kind of difficult fixture. While trips to Stoke aren’t as difficult as they once were. Can the Blues take full advantage of some patchy Stoke form and continue their push towards the Premier League title?

Chelsea should be worried about their defensive record of late, after conceding in their last five Premier League matches. They struggled against Stoke’s attack in their previous meeting, despite coming out 4-2 winners. Hughes’ men found a way around an excellent Blues defence, and they’ll be confident of scoring against a side who have looked more open in recent weeks. The leaders should be able to find the net in this game, after scoring in 86% of their league matches. That’s why we’re backing both teams to score, which is priced at evens with Betfred.

Chelsea should still take the points, despite their problems at the back. Stoke are a side who look vulnerable, especially against those at the top of the table. While we see Stoke getting a goal, their recent form against Tottenham, two 4-0 defeats this term, makes us think that Conte’s men will be able to hit a few goals. After all, 63% of their league matches this term have seen over 2.5 goals. That’s why we’re backing an away win and over 2.5 goals, which is priced at 31/20 with Coral.

Chelsea v Manchester United Betting Tips (FA Cup) – 13th March 2017

A second consecutive Monday night clash for Chelsea sees them welcome back Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge. The former Blues boss will be looking to improve on his last visit here, which ended in a demoralising 4-0 defeat. There’s considerably more on the line this time around, as the Red Devils come here aiming to book a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. This tie pits the Premier League leaders against the League Cup winners, but which will move closer to the FA Cup final?

Antonio Conte will be aiming to complete a league and cup double, reminiscent of Carlo Ancelotti’s first season in charge. After their win at West Ham last week, the Blues seem to be uncatchable at the summit of the Premier League. United certainly can’t get near them, something even the belligerent Mourinho has admitted. He has tried some mind games, suggesting that the Blues have already won the league, allowing them to completely focus on this huge game. For United, this is sandwiched in between two Europa League games against Russian side Rostov.

Team News: Conte to end cup rotation while United plug striking gap

Antonio Conte has made quite a few changes to his team in the FA Cup so far, but the line-ups he’s named have become gradually stronger as the rounds went on. As we predicted ahead of the Wolves tie, this is likely to be the time when the first team turns up in the cup. This a huge tie between two big contenders for the competition, and Conte has no reason to rest players here. Rotating would cancel out their big advantage over Mourinho’s side, as the Blues have a fully fit squad once again. It’s likely we’ll see a similar team to the one which hammered United last time the sides met.

Mourinho has a couple of things to juggle in this game. While he’d prefer to win another FA Cup than the Europa League, the Champions League place on offer in the later makes it United’s priority. With two tricky Europa League games either side of this match, expect the Red Devils to make a few changes for this tie. They have one major enforced change to worry about, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic starting a three game domestic ban. He’s been key to their season so far, so the Swede will be a massive miss for the visitors.

Manchester United Form

Manchester United come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth in their last domestic outing. That result was a big blow to their Champions League hopes, which suits Chelsea even more. United slipped three points off Liverpool, and they could be as many as six points off fourth by the time this one kicks off. That heightens the importance of the Europa League to them, devaluing this competition. Their main priority has to be their two methods of returning to the Champions League, and their form of late hasn’t been good enough to secure that.

United’s recent big wins, over Saint Etienne in the Europa League and Southampton in the EFL Cup final, came via brilliance from Ibrahimovic. The Swede scored six in his last five matches. Without him, you have to ask how Mourinho’s side will fare. He’s scored 38% of their league goals this term, while he hit the winner at Blackburn in the last round. While they’ve been getting results of late, this is going to be a very different side.

Chelsea v Manchester United Head to Head

That win over United in October is the obvious stand out in their recent encounters. Aside from that, the other clashes between these sides have been fairly tight. Neither of the meetings between these two last term came with Mourinho in charge, the 0-0 at Old Trafford was around a week after his dismissal.

  • Chelsea 4-0 Man United, Oct 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Man United, Feb 2016
  • Man United 0-0 Chelsea, Dec 2015
  • Chelsea 1-0 Man United, Apr 2015
  • Man United 1-1 Chelsea, Nov 2014

Betting Tips

  • Over 1.5 Chelsea goals – 11/10 with Betfair
  • Diego Costa to score any time – 11/10 with Sky Bet

BetVictor are pricing the Blues as the 5/6 favourites for this game, no doubt in part to United’s other commitments. The lack of Zlatan Ibrahimovic should make a major difference, that’s seen United drift out to 7/2 with Coral to win at the Bridge. This game would go to extra time if drawn, after the FA scrapped quarter final replays, and Bet365 make it 13/5 for this clash to be level after 90 minutes. Neither side would want the extra hassle of that, but they’ll both be desperate to book a place in the last four. The bookies seem to believe that Conte’s men are going to progress, but we’re looking elsewhere for value on this clash.

Following Chelsea’s hammering of United here last time out, the Blues have been in excellent scoring form at home. They hit eight in two home FA Cup ties, while they’ve scored two or more in their last seven outings at Stamford Bridge. Since that win over the Red Devils in October, they’ve scored three or more in 70% of matches at this ground. We can see the travel weary United conceding another couple here, so we’re backing over 1.5 goals for the hosts, which is very well priced at 11/10 with Betfair.

We’re also backing Diego Costa to score one of those goals, following his strike at the London Stadium. You have to wonder just how much louder the outcry would have been if was Costa and not Ibrahimovic elbowing for revenge last weekend. However, the Spaniard is a changed man, and he’s in lethal scoring form. We can see him putting United to the sword, and getting one over Mourinho. He’s priced at 11/10 with Sky Bet to score in the match.