Chelsea 2/1 To Qualify for the final in Munich!
Barcelona v Chelsea
Champions League Semi-final
19:45 - live on Sky Sports 1
Match betting: Barcelona 2/7 Draw 9/2 Chelsea 9/1
A 0-0 draw at the Emirates would have done little to dent the confidence of Di Matteo's squad ahead of their biggest game of the season to date. In fact it appeared that the Chelsea of old had returned. The manager had the luxury of being able to rotate his squad in what was a must not lose tie as the battle for a top four spot in the Premier League tightens even further. They now trail Newcastle United by four points, however, The Blues take on The Magpies on May 2nd at Stamford Bridge and will therefore feel that their destiny is still in their own hands.
In contrast Pep Guardiola and co. all but conceded La Liga title to arch rivals Real Madrid after a well deserved 2-1 victory by Los Merengues in El Clasico at Camp Nou. In Spain all the talk is of the end of an era, with recent results proving that Barcelona are on the slide whilst Madrid under the guidance of 'The Special One' are coming back to the glory days. Like Chelsea, Real were able to shut out Lionel Messi and impose their physical dominance upon their opponents. Gamesmanship certainly played a part, with Jose Mourinho's players, as well as medical staff, taking every opportunity to slow down the play and break up Barcelona's possession.
The Catalans will be smarting following a tough week however Chelsea will feel that this is their best ever chance at gaining revenge for the 2009 semi-final at Stamford Bridge. For the likes of Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech this could well be their final attempt to add the Champions League winner's medal to their trophy cabinet and thanks to Roberto Di Matteo they are in a position to do so. Andre-Villas Boas had envisioned a 'different' Chelsea side tasting glory at the elite level, however Di Matteo's faith in what Jose Mourinho had created at Stamford Bridge is paying dividends.
We are 9/1 about Chelsea emulating what Real Madrid achieved on Saturday Night and in the opinion of many supporters the only way to leave Camp Nou victorious is to try and win the game in 90 minutes. Time and time again we see teams in La Liga sit back and try and defend against a group of the World's most creative players and they get beaten week in week out. Much like Mourinho's Madrid side, Chelsea's mentality must be right: They must accept that Barcelona will have the Lion's share of the ball and will without doubt create chances. However they must keep in mind that on the counter attack Barcelona are susceptible and have conceded consistently this season against lesser sides. Di Matteo's men have a huge size advantage and must make use of that at set pieces and corners, an away goal on Tuesday night could well be the deciding factor and with this in mind the 19/20 about Both Teams To Score looks an interesting market.
With so many markets to bet on it's hard to know where to stake your hard earned cash. Lionel Messi will be desperate to not complete a hat-trick of games without scoring. The world's best player is 1/4 to score anytime and 7/4 for the first in the Catalan capital. Didier Drogba grabbed the only goal at the Bridge and he is 10/1 to get on the scoresheet first and a tempting 7/2 about anytime scorer.
For the Match Winner William Hill has gone all out on The Blues. Originally 7/4, if Chelsea qualify for the Final in Munich, whether it be by a resounding victory or squeaking through on the away goals rule, Hills are prepared to pay out at outstanding odds of 2/1. Bearing in mind the events of the week and the 1-0 advantage already on the table this looks like an offer too good to turn down and is one to keep you interested for the full 90 minutes.