What a match it promises to be at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Chelsea host Tottenham Hotspur in a potentially season-defining clash as the race for the Champions League places reaches a pivotal stage.
An upturn in results under Roberto Di Matteo has hauled Chelsea back into contention both home and abroad and they will move within two points of Tottenham with a victory over their bitter London rivals, which would put the Blues well and truly back in the hunt for the top four.
Quite how it has come to this for Tottenham, I’m not quite sure. Harry Redknapp will no doubt be feeling the same: from being ten points ahead of Arsenal a few weeks ago and with their eyes on the Premier League’s top two, a horrific run of results has left Spurs in fourth, one point behind the Gunners and looking over their shoulder at Saturday’s opponents.
Champions League qualification had looked signed, sealed and delivered for Tottenham but in truth, it probably will be if they win at Stamford Bridge and open up an eight-point gap to fifth place. But with just one point from the last four games, I wouldn’t be too confident of that happening.
The mercurial Spaniard has ten goals for Chelsea in all competitions this year – a fine return in a debut season in England. Encouragingly, six of those ten strikes have been the first goal and I like the 13/2 that Mata breaks the deadlock again tomorrow.
What I am confident about is that there will be a few goals at the Bridge on Saturday lunchtime. Chelsea are back among the goals under Di Matteo, scoring 13 in the five games he has taken charge of, compared to five goals in the last five games of Andre Villas Boas’ short-lived reign, and the Blues can take advantage of a Tottenham defence that has lost its previous solidity.
Redknapp’s men have let in 11 goals in the last five games and don’t look capable of keeping a clean sheet against free-scoring Chelsea. As such, I’m taking a Chelsea man to open the scoring and at the prices I like the look of Juan Mata at 13/2 (9/5 to net any time).
The mercurial Spaniard has ten goals for Chelsea in all competitions this year – a fine return in a debut season in England – and even when the team were struggling badly under AVB, Mata always looked the most likely attacking threat for the Blues.
Encouragingly, six of those ten strikes have been the first goal and I like the 13/2 that Mata breaks the deadlock again tomorrow.
New customers can receive a free £25 bet for joining bwin.com and placing it on Mata to score first would return a cool £187.50 if the former Valencia flier does indeed open the scoring.
As for Spurs, despite their recent poor run, they are obviously not without hope as they still have fantastic players who can give any team trouble.
Both teams have scored in five of the last seven meetings and I fancy that to happen again, with Gareth Bale a good bet at 9/1 to open the scoring and 5/2 to score at any time.
The Welsh wonder has ten Premier League goals – his best ever tally – as well as a further three for Wales and is a constant threat. At those odds, he certainly represents value.
Recommended bet: Juan Mata to score first goal @ 13/2
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