With Chelsea gearing up to take on Swansea, Chris Bryant welcomes Adrian Mitchell, who will be talking up AVB’s men, while John Fernandez will try to convince punters that there is some value in betting on them to put in a good showing. You can also read a full betting preview of the match here.
CB: A quick look at bwin’s 3Way football betting market for this one suggests there won’t be many people backing Swansea. Is that about right?
AM: Exactly. The last time Chelsea didn’t score at home against a side that went on to finish outside the top ten at the end of the season was in a scoreless draw against Hull back in Feb 2009 so unless you think Swansea will be making waves this season this will be a home banker for Chelsea. Only the top sides win at Stamford Bridge and the 1/5 odds on a home win represent this.
JF: Hang on a minute! Compared to last season Chelsea have started at a snail’s pace. I mean, OK, so Fernando Torres has scored now. Big deal. This is a game that Swansea will go into as clear underdogs and I think they will relish the opportunity. They grabbed their first win of the season last week and anybody who watched that one will know that 3-0 was flattering to a West Brom defence who will be having nightmares about Scott Sinclair for months. Swansea are away from home, though, so the optimism can only go so far. While a win at 12/1 might be beyond them, they keep the ball well and should have a decent amount of possession even against such tough opposition, so I would say a draw is worth a small bet at odds of 21/4.
CB: That’s the spirit, John! You mention Sinclair, who will of course be taking on his former employers, just like boss Brendan Rodgers. Do you think he will trouble the Chelsea rearguard?
JF: Absolutely. Chelsea starved him of the opportunities that he deserved and it’s obvious that he will be fired up for this game. His pace should cause John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic some serious problems and that’s why I fancy him to get the opener at great odds of 10/1. He may only have a goal to his name this season, but after opening his account last weekend he will be desperate to double his tally.
AM: Sinclair would never have made it with Chelsea, but I’m glad he’s doing well for himself now. As for who I think will be in the limelight on Saturday, it’s got to be Torres, hasn’t it? Although much has been made of that miss last Sunday at Old Trafford it can’t be overlooked that he was the team’s main beneficiary of chances with as many shots (6) against Manchester United as his other four league games this season put together. And that’s before you even mention his deft lob over David de Gea. Against weaker opposition he will no doubt have the opportunity to put right last week’s wrong and he’s my favourite at 11/4 to score the first goal of the game.
CB: It wouldn’t be a surprise to see either of those players score. With such a mismatch in terms of the 3Way odds, we should mention the handicap markets here. Anything interest you?
AM: The evidence is already stacking up that Chelsea will get goals this year. Only the two Manchester clubs have scored more in the Premier League so the 7/5 on Chelsea to overcome a 2-0 handicap is worth a look.
JF: It’s the same market for me, but with a different angle! Swansea are underdogs, but they play some fantastic football and at times look quality. They also have committed defenders in the form of Ashley Williams and Angel Rangel who should, if things go to plan, keep the Chelsea frontline quiet. I’m not expecting a miracle, but betting on a Swansea win with a two-goal headstart is at 7/5 as well and with a good stake could provide some sizeable winnings.
AM: I’m not sure about that. While commendable, Swansea’s style of play means they are the only Premier League side this season not to create an effort on goal from an indirect free-kick and they only got their first goals of the league campaign last week against bottom side West Brom. An overdue clean sheet for Chelsea is at odds of 4/5 and I think that’s a much safer punt.
CB: Do you think the goals will be flowing at the Bridge, or will it be a much closer contest?
JF: I just can’t see Chelsea scoring in the first half. Michel Vorm has been outstanding this season and Swansea have only let in one early goal in the league. Chelsea have only bagged two goals in the first 45 minutes of their matches, compared to six in the second, proving that if Chelsea are going to score it will probably be later on. That’s why I think odds of 3/1 on a 0-0 stalemate at half-time are a very attractive prospect.
AM: That’s probably fair enough, Chelsea have definitely started slowly in their home matches this season. The only chance I see Swansea having is if they score early and hold on for dear life as 75% of Chelsea’s league goals have come in the second half this season. Expect a glut of goals and action in a strong second-half push from the Blues, with over 2.5 goals after the interval at 12/5 and Chelsea 2/5 to score the first goal in the second half both looking to be good options.
CB: Thanks for your observations guys, that’s all we’ve got time for today. Until next time.
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