Barton to put the boot in Lamps
Man Utd may have won the title by the time Chelsea host Newcastle on Sunday. It has been a season of disappointment for the Blues and they failed to win a single trophy. It was Sir Alex's season and his United side could go on to win the double this season, if they can beat Barcelona in Europe.
The Blues will be looking to end their season on a high against Newcastle at the Bridge and it may be Ancelotti's last game as manager of the club. John Terry has voiced his support for the gaffer this week and there are few signs of in-fighting at the club but Abramovich may want a change of personnel.
For some Chelsea players, this could be their last game at the Bridge and they will want to leave the club in-style. Chelsea are short at 1/4 for a home win, the draw is 4/1 and the away win is 14/1.
One Chelsea player who will really want to make an impression is Torres. Ancelotti has stated on the Chelsea website that he will start the Spaniard against Newcastle. He is 10/11 to score anytime and 7/2 to bag the first goal.
He was dropped for Sunday's defeat at Man Utd and the word 'flop' probably best sums up his time at Chelsea. Chelsea are at full strength and he will have the ammunition to find the net against a Newcastle side that could spend much of the game on the back-foot.
I would not back Chelsea at 1/4 because they are only playing for pride. However, if you like short-price favourites, Newcastle will start up-front with the light-weight Lovenkrands and Ameobi. They are missing the impressive Nolan and they look weak in attacking terms. They will struggle in-front of goal!
Chelsea only to score looks a decent bet at 11/10, Newcastle will have the in-experienced reserve shot-stopper Krul in goal and he could be busy.
An interesting punt could be over 6 cards shown at 7/1. There is little love lost between Chelsea's Lampard and Newcastle's Barton.
Barton has been critical of Lampard in the past and the relationship between the pair is non-existent. Chelsea also may be frustrated by their lack of trophies and Newcastle have players in Coloccini, Tiote and Gutierrez that will get stuck in for the club.
It is 9/2 for the first card to be shown in the 1st to 15th minute and you would not be surprised if there are plenty of cards at the Bridge. Drogba is a notoriously sore loser and if he leaves the club in the summer, it could be under a cloud of controversy.
A penalty awarded and missed is 11/1. After Torres' dire season, it is easy to envisage Lampard handing the ball to Torres by the spot and the Spaniard blasting the ball over the net.
Newcastle can look back on this season proud, a top half finish looks likely and Pardew has worked wonders with little resources.
As for Chelsea, some of the old guard could be sacrificed for fresh faces and with next season will come new adventures.