This time next week Chelsea’s players (or at least those who aren’t injured or suspended) will be preparing for the biggest game of their careers as they get set to face Bayern Munich for the right to be crowned champions of Europe.
This week, then, Roberto Di Matteo could be forgiven for giving some of his fringe players a chance to impress against already-relegated Blackburn at Stamford Bridge.
A similar ploy failed to pay dividends at Anfield on Tuesday as Liverpool crushed an under-strength Blues side 4-1, but Chelsea’s youngsters are unlikely to face such stern resistance from Steve Kean’s beleaguered Blackburn Rovers.
While suspended Champions League quartet John Terry, Raul Meireles, Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires could all be given the chance to play their final game of the season, expect to see rare appearances for the likes for Romelu Lukaku, Oriol Romeu, Ryan Bertrand and Ross Turnbull as the rest of Chelsea’s stars could be wrapped in cotton wool ahead of next Saturday’s big game.
With seven defeats from Blackburn’s last eight games when it really mattered, you genuinely fear for what could happen to them now that it doesn’t.
A weakened Chelsea team sheet might have been greeted with delight by the visitors had they managed to beat Wigan on Monday night, but as it is their furious fans will probably not give two hoots who is playing, nor indeed what the score ends up being, as they prepare for one final 90 minutes of Venky’s-bashing before they are consigned to the Championship.
With such a circus off the field and with their fate already sealed on it, Blackburn’s players will be counting down the seconds until they can jet off on their summer breaks, some surely never to return to the Lancashire town, and with seven defeats from their last eight games when it really mattered, you genuinely fear for what could happen to them now that it doesn’t.
Chelsea are overwhelming favourites – priced at 7/25 with bwin – to pick up all three points and finish their worst league campaign for years on a high.
Blackburn are out at 33/4 to claim a surprising yet meaningless scalp, while the draw is on offer at 9/2.
Even with such short odds, I would question the sanity of anybody who doesn’t lump everything on a home win in this one. In order to increase your potential winnings it should pay to back Chelsea to be winning at both half time and full time, which is priced at 18/25.
New customers who sign up to bwin online qualify for a free £25 bet, and staking that on Chelsea at halftime/fulltime at 18/25 will return £43 if successful.
It might not be the biggest return you’ll ever see, but it’s almost as good as printing free money.
Recommended Bet: Chelsea win at halftime / fulltime @ 18/25
New customers can register here to claim their free £25 bet or click here to see all our Premier League odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting