Fresh from blowing any remaining chance they had of winning the Premier League with an historic home loss to Sunderland, Chelsea must dust themselves down quickly if they wish to overcome 18/5 odds and win at Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Diego Simeone’s side are 4/5 to win at home for the seventh successive match, with the draw at 12/5, but we’ve picked out three high-value wagers for your punting delectation ahead of what’s expected to be a bruising encounter.
Either team to win by a one-goal margin @ 5/4
Simeone’s side won their last La Liga fixture 2-0 at home to Elche, but the four previous matches at the Vicente Calderon finished 1-0 to the hosts, a correct score that can be backed at 9/2 against Chelsea.
The Blues have been susceptible to one-goal defeats of late, going down to such a margin away to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace since mid-March and last time out at home to the Black Cats – Mourinho’s first loss at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League as Chelsea boss.
Seven of the west Londoners’ ten defeats since the Portuguese’s return have been by a goal, which includes two of their last three away losses.
Demba Ba to score the last goal @ 9/1
The Senegalese is suddenly back in fashion after scoring four in his past seven Chelsea appearances, which includes a pair of crucial last goals away to Swansea and in the previous round of this competition at home to Paris Saint-Germain.
He looks sure to get on the pitch in Madrid, having played a part in all of Chelsea’s last three matches and with Samuel Eto’o set to miss this fixture through injury.
Miranda to score at any time @ 21/2
This Brazilian centre-half – who still has an outside chance of making Luiz Felipe Scolari’s World Cup squad – has two goals to his name in this competition already this term, making him Atleti’s fourth-highest scorer on the continent.
Miranda matched that tally for the season in La Liga with a headed opener against Elche and, at over 10/1 to score at some point in the 90, the gangly 29-year-old looks worth a punt.