European Hangover at the Bridge– Betting Preview
Chelsea (1/3) go into the derby with Fulham (11/1, Draw 4/1) in the unusual position of having lost their last home game.
The defeat against Basel in the Champions League this week was their first loss in a CL home group game under manager Jose Mourinho, though he has never lost a Premier League game at Stanford Bridge. Now would not be a good time to start. With only 7 points from 4 games, the lowest points tally since their Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, threw his money in, the pressure could already be building for 'the Special One'.
Fulham aren't faring much better, with only two wins in their last 8 matches. In matches against their West London rivals though, they have picked up a point in 4 of their last 5 matches.
Sanuel Eto'o is the favourite to score the first goal for Chelsea at 7/2, he's 3/1 to score the last and 9/4 to score at anytime . Scorer of Chelsea's solitary goal in the Basel defeat, Oscar, is expected to start and we have him at 8/1 to score the first goal, 15/2 to score the last goal and 9/4 to score at anytime with Fernando Torres and Demba Ba next in the betting, both at 9/2 for the first. Chelsea have been sharing the goal scoring efforts amongst the team this season; indeed if goals from strikers were excluded, Chelsea would be top of the table.
The last time that the teams met Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners after goals from David Luiz and a brace from John Terry at Craven Cottage. A repeat of that score line would pay 8/1 and 2 goals from John Terry we go 33/1.
Their last home defeat was against neighbours QPR on 2nd January but they've never lost in the League under their Portuguese manager. Mourinho holds the impressive record of 48 wins and just 14 draws at Stanford Bridge.
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Fulham have claimed more points away from home this calendar year than at Craven Cottage with 12 points won away from home compared to 11 won on their own turf. They have not got off to the best of starts either this season, with just four points from as many matches.
Martin Jol's main goal threat is likely to be Dimitar Berbatov. Their mercurial Bulgarian striker faces a late fitness test on a troublesome Hamstring, but if passed fit the 14/1 on offer to score the first goal of the match, is not to be sniffed at! Nor is the 4/1 to score at anytime during the match. Darren Bent's inclusion in the squad is a massive boost for the Cottagers. The England striker has been restricted to just two starts this campaign, but scored against Arsenal in the second. His 16/1 to score the first goal looks value, as does the 7/2 anytime.
Our Headline offer for Fulham is for Dimitar Berbatov to score at anytime during the match in a Fulham win. The price has been increased from 14/1 to 25/1.
The Fulham boss hasn't lost a Premier League match at Stanford Bridge whilst at the helm at Craven Cottage. When in charge at Tottenham he lost them both. As a man under pressure he would welcome that trend continuing, following the loss 8 from the last 12 Premier League matches. The big Dutchman received flak from his own set of supporters following the draw with bottom side West Bromwich Albion but insists that as the squad gels, results should start to improve.
The head to head between the sides doesn't make happy reading for Fulham fans.
Fulham have only beaten Chelsea once in 34 league and cup meetings, a run spanning 34 years. That solitary win was a 1-0 at Craven Cottage in March 2006, when Luis Boa Morte scored the only goal. Their previous win came way back in October 1979, when Fulham won 2-0 in the old Second Division courtesy of goals by Gordon Davies and John Beck, with their last victory in top tier football at Stanford Bridge back in March 1964. Their recent record is more encouraging, with 4 of the last 5 games ending in a draw.
Frank Lampard to score at anytime during the match in a Chelsea win - 5/2
Dimitar Berbatov to score at anytime during the match in a Fulham win. - 25/1
Fulham have conceded more corners than any other Barclays Premier League side so far this season.
13 or more corners taken in the match - 8/5
Worth a Punt
Double Result - Chelsea/Draw - 20/1
Over 65 booking points - 6/1