Chelsea’s win over Manchester City has proved something of a false dawn, with two draws since the Blues’ success at Stamford Bridge removing them from the title race almost as soon as they had re-entered the picture.
Having said that, Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas remains confident that his side still has a chance of topping the table at the end of the season, although with the Blues now 11 points behind leaders Manchester City it will require a major wobble from the Citizens for Chelsea to be able to close the gap.
At least Chelsea look likely to return to winning ways on Monday, which would help them move closer to Man City should Roberto Mancini’s men drop points away to West Brom.
For Boxing Day sees the Blues take on Fulham, who are on a poor run away from home and suffered a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of defending champions Manchester United at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.
Fulham are 9/1 outsiders to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which is no surprise given they have only won once on their travels this season and have scored just four goals in their eight matches on the road.
Although Stamford Bridge is no longer the fortress it was under Villas-Boas’ former mentor Jose Mourinho, the Blues have won six of their eight home league games this season and should therefore have little trouble in seeing off near neighbours Fulham.
Chelsea are priced at 7/25 to pick up all three points in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, leaving a draw at 17/4.
Although Stamford Bridge is no longer the fortress it was under Villas-Boas’ former mentor Jose Mourinho, the Blues have won six of their eight home league games this season.
The only thing that could prevent events at Stamford Bridge turning into a Chelsea procession could be the fact the Blues will have had a day less to prepare for the fixture than Fulham.
The Blues played Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Thursday evening rather than on Wednesday, when Martin Jol’s men entertained United.
However, Villas-Boas believes three full days of recovery will be enough for his Chelsea team to play at their peak, suggesting there are no obstacles to a home victory.
Indeed, with Fulham scoring just once in the first half of their away games and Chelsea scoring more goals in the first 45 minutes of their home league games than any other team this season, the Blues look safe bets to be ahead at the interval and at the final whistle at odds of 3/4.
And with Fulham’s goalscoring record so poor on the road, a Chelsea win to nil looks another banker at 91/100.
For more attractive returns, bet on Chelsea to follow in United’s footsteps and win by at least three clear goals at 2/1.
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