The first west London derby of the top-flight term is upon us and Chelsea are once again elephantine favourites to claim three points at Queens Park Rangers’ expense.
Stamford Bridge’s finest are a slender 9/50 for the win, with the Super Hoops 29/2 for just a second success in their rivals’ backyard since 1986, while the draw is an 11/2 shot.
Yet for all their wildly differing fortunes – Chelsea lead the league, while only Burnley are insulating the R’s from the drafty basement floor – this could be a close one.
After all, the status quo has been much the same since the 2007/08 campaign and since then six of the west London adversaries’ seven derby duels have produced under 1.5 goals.
Their upcoming clash can be backed to follow suit at a hefty 4/1.
It may seem ridiculous that Harry Redknapp’s cellar dwellers can once again cheat a demolition job at the velvet-gloved hands of their hated foes.
Yet, having notched twice for two games on the bounce – in the highly-encouraging loss to Liverpool and in victory over Aston Villa – they’re arguably in far better nick than when they faced Chelsea in the 2012/13 season.
In September 2012 the R’s held their blue-booded rivals to a goalless draw at Loftus Road having warmed up for the derby with a 3-1 Old Trafford defeat.
The groundwork was worse still in the build up to their totally unforeseen 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge the following January, with three straight defeats worth of preparation in the formbook.
It’s a whopping 33/1 that Super Hoops can repeat the dose on their very next visit, while 7/1 says Chelsea prevail by the self-same scoreline.
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