Chelsea could come unstuck against The Toffees
After all but conceding that the title is beyond them this season Chelsea embark on a massive week in two competitions they still have ambitions to win - first the FA Cup replay against Everton before they travel to face FC Copenhagen on Tuesday in the competition the club most covet, The Champions League.
The obsession with which the London club hold winning their first ever Champions League trophy could prove the key to betting on this game. Will Chelsea have one eye on Copenhagen and allow Everton to progress?
Despite the record signing of Fernando Torres the Blues have failed to fire in recent weeks, losing to Liverpool and only avoiding a defeat at local rivals Fulham due to a last minute penalty miss from Clint Dempsey.
Chelsea are 6/10 to win this game and 2/9 to qualify for the next round. Both those prices seem particulary short to me based soley on current form. When you add in the European factor they are just too short to back.
One positive for Chelsea fans and backers is that the hold the edge over Everton in this competition. The Londoners have won on six of the eight occasions where Chelsea have met Everton in the FA Cup.
Everton have played at The Bridge already this season and came away with a point thanks to a late Darren Beckford goal. The draw looks good value again at 11/4. Five of the last seven meetings between the Blues and the Toffees have ended in draws.
Beckford, the scorer that day, is not always sure to start but at 10/1 he looks a good price if he does make the starting eleven. As always if your first goalscorer selection does not play your stake is returned.
Everton have been inconsistent recently and that will give cause for concern for anyone backing them at odds of 5/1 to win in 90 minutes. They are traditionally a good Cup team though, they're 25/1 to the lift the trophy this season, a price that is sure to tumble if they can get through this one.
For Chelsea, Fernando Torres is ineligible so Didier Drogba should return after being dropped for the Fulham game. He is sure to be fired up by that and is 3/1 to score first. Didier Drogba has scored seven goals in 10 Premier League appearances against Everton and also netted in the 2009 FA cup final against the Toffees so Everton will need to be on their guard.
Phil Dowd is the referee and he always likes to get his face on TV. It's 3/1 that a penalty is awarded which could be worthy an interest bet.
Neither of these two teams are particularly expansive in terms of wing play so if you can't pick a match winner in this but want something to watch why not have a bet on our corner markets? It's 11/8 that there are less than ten in the match.
I fancy Everton to be more up for it than their hosts and that could prove the difference, I would back Everton or draw after 90 minutes at 11/8 and Everton to qualify for the next round at 3/1. Leon Osman looks a lively outsider at 20/1 for the first goal and I would also back Arteta, who is always a danger from free-kicks at 14/1.
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