That’s the thing with writing football betting tips – subsequent events and the benefit of hindsight can sometimes make you look a little on the foolish side.
Take a piece I wrote about Chelsea ahead of their Champions League trip to Valencia. I may have hinted (ok then, explicitly stated) that manager Andre Villas-Boas had correctly decided that Frank Lampard, after a couple of admittedly below-par performances, no longer merited a place in his new-look first eleven.
Well, I don’t mind admitting I was wrong. Lampard netted in the Mestalla in the Blues’ 1-1 draw and has been at his goalscoring best ever since, bagging five Premier League goals to make him Chelsea’s top scorer, and he looks a smashing bet at 6/1 to score first against struggling Blackburn on Saturday.
Arsenal brutally exposed Chelsea’s defensive frailties last weekend, but Villas-Boas’ men are still a potent attacking force and Lampard will be licking his lips ahead of a trip to Ewood Park.
If Blackburn’s defensive statistics aren’t bad enough – only Bolton (27) have conceded more goals than Rovers’ 23 – Lampard’s record against the Lancastrians must have the under-fire Steve Kean in a cold sweat.
He has scored nine times against Blackburn for Chelsea (the most he’s scored against an individual club) and with the England international in such good nick, take the 3/2 he scores anytime as well as the nicely priced 6/1 he opens the scoring.
Another Chelsea player with a phenomenal record against Blackburn is Nicolas Anelka. The Frenchman has 12 goals in 16 Premier League games against Rovers, including five in six for Chelsea.
On the face of it, these sound like the sort of stats punters dream of, but the reality is that Anelka looks like he couldn’t score against the Dog and Duck on a Sunday morning at the moment, never mind in a top-flight match.
I’ll leave you to decide if you think Blackburn are better than the Dog and Duck before taking the 5/1 he scores first (6/5 anytime).
Finally, Branislav Ivanovic scored in both fixtures last season – he is 28/1 to score first and 7/1 to notch at any time.
Where Blackburn are concerned, it is difficult to know where to start. Manager Kean is desperate for a win to get the protesting supporters off his case, but it is hard to imagine it will happen on Saturday and the prices for Blackburn goalscorers reflect that.
Rovers will take heart from Chelsea’s capitulation last week – which was symptomatic of their defensive problems – but I doubt Blackburn are good enough to take full advantage of any lack of confidence in the Blues’ ranks.
Rovers have scored just six goals at home in the league, four of which came in that crazy 4-3 win against Arsenal (two were own goals, remember), and they just don’t look like they have enough goals in them.
Yakubu plays when he can be bothered (which has been less and less often as the years have passed) but he is Blackburn’s focal point and 8/1 to score first (9/4 to score at any time) is just about acceptable, though definitely not something to lump on.
A preference would be for Junior Hoilett, who has been Blackburn’s star performer this term and is their best bet to score first at 11/1 (3/1 anytime).
A bag of tricks with great pace, he is the sort of player Chelsea’s aging back-line are struggling against this term, and with a couple of goals to his name this season, he’s worth a small play.
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