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Nic Ladds 27th Sep 2010 - 15:08

Blunted Chelsea still too sharp for Marseille

Chelsea are without two of their biggest goal-scoring threats as reigning French champions Marseille visit Stamford Bridge as Frank Lampard is still out with a hernia and Didier Drogba sits out the last of his two-match ban.

Even without these two heavyweights, Chelsea should still have enough attacking prowess to see off Olympique Marseille who haven't started their domestic defence off too brightly with just 11 points from their first 7 matches.

Chelsea (1/3) are in a poor run of form by their own high standards, crashing out of the Carling Cup after losing 3-4 at home to Newcastle and then suffering their first league defeat of the season with a 1-0 away defeat at Manchester City.

Marseille (10/1) come in to this match on the back of two domestic wins on the bounce but did lose their first match in this competition after a disappointing 0-1 home defeat to Spartak Moskow.

Chelsea have to rely on the mindset of Nicolas Anelka to be sure of winning this match. The Frenchman will lead the line alone and after his turbulent time at the World Cup, playing against a team from his homeland that is also live on TV could affect him.

He could go out there with plenty to prove to the watching masses from France and play out of his skin and he is more than capable of bagging a goal or two. 7/2 is available on him to score first and I would recommend a little flutter on the 4/1 for him to score 2 or more at any time.

I am also a big fan of backing Florent Malouda to score, especially when Chelsea play at home. In this match he will be playing as an advanced forward and as he has six goals to his name already this season I have no hesitation in recommending him to score first at 5/1 and anytime at 5/4.

To get a bit more value on Chelsea I think the -1 handicap is a great price at 21/20, to get odds against on Chelsea winning by just two clear goals seems very backable when you consider, other than a small blip, how strong Chelsea are at the back and how freely they have been scoring.

Marseille's main scoring threat will be André-Pierre Gignac who transferred from Toulouse in the summer for a reported €17m. He scores freely in Ligue 1 and the big centre-forward is the most likely man to pose a threat and can be backed at 11/1 first or 4/1 anytime.

Chelsea will have captain John Terry available for the clash which should provide a massive boost, just another reason why a home win is a likely result.

In terms of a scoreline, Marseille are no mugs so I can't really envisage a rout but I think a 2-0 or 3-1 scoreline is feasible and they can be backed at 13/2 and 10/1 respectively.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti managed his opposite number Didier Deschamps at Juventus so he knows the sort of opponent he is up against and I think all three points will be staying in London here.



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