Stoke v Chelsea – Britannia Stadium at 17:30 live on Sky Sports 1
Chelsea travel to Stoke tomorrow evening hoping to avoid a third successive league defeat and their 7th loss of the season. Jose Mourinho has never lost 7 matches in a single campaign as a manager and I’m backing them to come away from the Britannia with all 3 points.
The ‘Special One’ received a lot of support from fans after their 2-1 midweek UCL win over Dynamo Kiev but due to a stadium ban, he won’t at the Britannia on Saturday.
The win over Kiev showed some character the Blues have been lacking this season. Having taken the lead, Dynamo equalised before Willian’s 25-yard free kick (see it here) to seal the win and make it 6 home Champions League matches without a loss. It was a good win and will no doubt boost morale, however it wasn’t the most assuring of performances
Chelsea’s defence still looked weak, allowing Kiev 14 chances on goal. They have conceded the 2nd most shot on goal in the Premier League this season (63), a far cry from last year when their back line was the strongest in the league.
They have conceded 22 goals in 11 matches this term, in 2004/05, Mourinho’s first Premier League title, they conceded just 15 in throughout the whole season.
Chelsea’s record against Stoke is very good, winning 14 of their last 17 meetings, losing just once. The Blues kept 11 clean sheets in that period and with Stoke only finding the back of the net 9 times in 11 this season, Mourinho could see this as a real opportunity to register a win to nil.
The Potters, like Chelsea have underachieved so far, lying in 14th position after 2 consecutive top 10 finishes, I expected more. Things are starting to improve however, with just 1 loss in there last 8 in all competitions.
Mark Hughes’ men held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in the Capital One cup last week before progressing on penalties and will come into the match confident of coming away with at least a point. You can back them +0.5 on the Asian Handicap betting market at 1.88 but I make that a little short.
The Blues had 59% of the ball and created twice as many chances in their cup tie than Stoke. They have lacked a clinical finish but against bottom half teams, they have won 2, drawn 2 and score 9 in those 4.
Despite Chelsea’s recent poor form, this is the best opportunity for them to get back on track and keep a clean sheet and at 2.10 they are the value bet. I don’t think it will be convincing, or pretty, but a low scoring away win, after only 2 in their last 10, could be the turning point in their miserable season.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Chelsea -0.5 at 2.10
Prices correct at time of writing.
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