Martin O’Neill might have said his players “don’t feel like they can be beaten” after Sunderland’s last league game but odds in bwin’s 3Way football betting market suggest the Black Cats could be heading for a defeat on Saturday.
The Mackems take on Champions League qualification-chasing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and the Blues are odds-on favourites at 21/50 to earn all three points.
This leaves a Sunderland win at 25/4, a draw at 17/5 and the Black Cats to avoid defeat at an eye-catching 7/4 in bwin’s double chance market.
O’Neill’s arrival has prompted a run of five wins and a draw in Sunderland’s last six games, with their only defeat coming away to Tottenham on December 18th.
As such, they are tempting prospects to secure a win or a draw, particularly as Chelsea’s last league game at Stamford Bridge ended in a shock 3-1 defeat to mid-table Aston Villa.
The Blues have also picked up just nine points from their last six league matches.
Only Manchester United have scored more goals than Sunderland in the final 15 minutes of league games this season.
However, without diminishing O’Neill’s achievements since he arrived in the north-east – well, not too much anyway – it is worth noting the calibre of opposition Sunderland have faced with their new manager in charge.
Blackburn, QPR, Everton and Wigan hardly represent the sternest of tests, while it should not be forgotten that, however impressive it may have been, a 1-0 win over Manchester City was achieved with a 31.3 per cent share of possession.
With this in mind, it is perhaps worth not getting too excited by Sunderland’s chances in an away game against high-quality opposition.
As such, a Chelsea win still appears the best bet in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, although at odds of 21/50 most punters will want to consider alternative options before placing a bet.
One bet which stands out as offering value is Sunderland to score last at 13/5.
The Black Cats have scored ten goals in the final 15 minutes of games this season and have made a particular habit of striking late under O’Neill.
Indeed, only Manchester United have scored more goals than Sunderland in the final 15 minutes of league games this season.
While Chelsea have scored almost as many as Sunderland late on in matches – they have nine in the last 15 minutes of games – they also have a worrying tendency to concede as the game draws to an end.
Only Wigan have let in more than Chelsea’s ten goals in the final 15 minutes of games this season and the Black Cats certainly look capable of exploiting this weakness.
A successful £25 free bet on Sunderland to score the last goal is set to return £90, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
However, Chelsea are not six places and 14 points above Sunderland for nothing and despite their recent wobble the Blues have still scored more goals at home than all bar the Manchester clubs in the Premier League.
They should therefore have enough firepower to come out on top even if Sunderland score late on.
And with nine out of ten games at Stamford Bridge featuring at least three goals, back Chelsea to win with over 2.5 goals at odds of 21/20.
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