Magpies may cause a Hazard on Stamford Bridge
Chelsea v Newcastle
English Premier League
Saturday 17:30 - live on ESPN
The European champions finished behind Alan Pardew's Newcastle last season and the hosts will go into Saturday's fixture at Stamford Bridge with some trepidation. Roberto Di Matteo has galvanised a squad that was lacking in so much confidence under the guidance of old manager AVB, but the collective spirit being shown at Newcastle United at present is hard to compete with.
The Geordies enjoyed an opening day victory over Tottenham after last season's star man Demba Ba rediscovered his scoring boots to slot a looping side footed curler past the hapless Brad Freidel. Spurs were unable to compete with the Magpies' desire, let alone the qualities of Ba, Cisse and Cheick Tiote. Newcastle will be hopeful that they can repeat last season's antics at Stamford Bridge that can only be remembered for Didier Drogba's reaction to the Papiss Cisse wonder goal. The Senegalese striker is 15/2 to score first on Saturday and is also part of our enhanced wincast offer. 8/1 for Cisse to score in a Newcastle win represents good value so early in the season.
The Londoners will also be happy with their start to the 2012/13 campaign. Victories over Wigan and Reading may have highlighted some defensive frailties, however the team is scoring freely and playing with a swagger that one might expect from the newly crowned champions of Europe. Odds of 1/2 for the Match Betting don't seem to offer the punter much incentive, however, Stamford Bridge has been a fortress in the recent past and it wouldn't be a shock for the Blues to pick up all three points.
New signing Eden Hazard has been a massive positive for Di Matteo. The 21-year-old Belgium international has slotted into the Chelsea set-up with ease and improvement is the only possible outcome for the creative midfielder. We are offering 6/1 for Eden Hazard to score the first and 7/4 about he being an anytime goalscorer.
Chelsea number 9, Fernando Torres, also looks to have turned a corner in his career and most expect the Spanish international to have a much improved season. He is the focus of our enhanced wincast offer for the hosts and can be backed at 6/4 to score in a Chelsea victory.
With so many on-form attacking players for both sides it would be nice to thinks that we could enjoy a high scoring affair on Saturday's late kick-off. Over 2.5 goals will return at 8/13 whilst over 3.5 looks more tempting at 13/8. Both teams to score can be backed at 8/11.
The value in this game though has to side with the visitors. Chelsea may be distracted by their upcoming UEFA Super Cup encounter with Atletico Madrid on the 31st, something that they were guilty of last season when the importance of the Champions League games distracted from their Premier League form. 11/2 on an in-form Newcastle side are cracking odds and seem somewhat inflated, and better still, the 18/1 about Newcastle to come from behind and win are too big to miss out on.