Chelsea will be eager to ensure a stress-free passage through to this year’s Champions League quarter-finals when they entertain Galatasaray in their last 16 second-leg at Stamford Bridge.
Goal-hungry midfielder Eden Hazard could be key in unlocking the visitor’s defence with Ladbrokes offering a great enhancement on the price of the Belgian to score first.
Hazard is now 6/1 from 5/1 to net the opener against Gala, an offer well worth snapping up when you examine the 24-year-old’s form in front of goal so far this term.
The Blues talisman has already scored 15 goals in 2013-2014, including two strikes in European competition, and he can make his mark on the biggest stage here.
Having drawn the away leg 1-1 in Istanbul, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho knows his side can’t afford to allow their opponents a foothold in this reverse fixture.
And Hazard will no doubt be tasked with utilising all of his pace and trickery to put Roberto Mancini’s outfit under pressure in the opening stages.
In three of the last five games where the former Lille man has netted he’s been the first name on the scoresheet, with a repeat of that outcome an appealing prospect thanks to Ladbrokes’ latest enhancement.
Chelsea will go into battle as the heavy 2/5 favourites for victory in the 90 minutes and even longer odds of 2/11 to qualify, while Galatasaray are the 7/1 outsiders to win in normal time and 7/2 to make the last eight at the Pensioners’ expense.
Having failed to keep a clean sheet in their previous 12 games in Europe the visitors could well struggle to repel a home team who will be still smarting from their damaging 1-0 defeat away at Aston Villa.
With that added motivation and little margin for error in the tie, Hazard and Chelsea should be primed to tear into their opponents from the first whistle.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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