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Michael Taylor 10th Mar 2009 - 14:00

Tinkerman must pray for Chelsea stinker

Once again England is proving great in the Champions League and there is no better proof that the Premier League is in fact Europe's premier league than the position Claudio Ranieri's mighty Juventus find themselves in this Tuesday night.

La Vecchia Signora or the Old Lady of Italian football are considered one of the greatest teams not only in Europe but also world football, yet such is the strength of the Premier League's big four that Juve are massive 12/5 shots to overcome the 1-0 first leg deficit.

Perhaps the price would be slightly shorter if I bianconeri were playing at their intimidating Stadio Delle Alpi, but the 27,500 capacity Stadio Olipico di Torino is hardly likely to put fear into the minds of Chelsea's rejuvenated players.

Guus Hiddink's arrival at Stamford Bridge has brought instant results with the Blues currently on a six game winning streak since Big Phil Scolari was given a big contract termination settlement.

The experienced Dutch manager hasn't just impressed disgruntled Chelsea fans with his fluent English but also with the fluent style of football he has brought to the table.

Didier Drogba once again rules the roost and looks somewhere back to his imperious best - something Juve centre backs Nicola Legrottaglie and Giorgio Chiellini are no doubt quite peeved about.

The big Ivorian is a 6/1 shot to score the first goal of the game, which does look a bit of value, but given the role he is likely to play, as a lone striker, it could be wiser to back one of his supporting cast.

Frank Lampard always seems to pop up in the big games and 8/1 about him scoring first could be very interesting, while 12/1 about a renewed Michael Ballack is a good outside chance.

The first leg did hint that the Italians' have a small reason for optimism as Alessandro Del Piero in particular was defied by a piece of Petr Cech's best work (Scolari will have wondered where it came from) and I do fancy the home side to get on the score sheet at this attempt.

Del Piero could play into his fifties and would probably still carry a potent goal threat but I would ignore the 7/4 about him scoring anytime in favour of backing their other star veteran Pavel Nedved at 7/2.

The Czech, former European player of the year looked dangerous in the first leg and you wouldn't put it beyond him to turn back the years and bring a little bit of joy on a night that promises to end in failure.

It is almost impossible to see a goal fest in a game between a top Serie A side and a solid Premier League team but I think there was enough at Stamford Bridge to suggest the 11/8 about more than 2 total match goals could pay out.

And with Drogba looking lively and the excitement in the dressing room surrounding Michael Essien's return I can see Chelsea taking the tie 2-1, priced at 9/1, and progressing through to another Champions League quarter final.

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