Chelsea striker handed price boost to open scoring against Stoke

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Jose Mourinho welcomes Mark Hughes’ Stoke to Stamford Bridge for the final match in the FA Cup’s Fourth round schedule.

The Blues, who are on a six game winning streak, are 1/4 to win the game, with the draw priced at 5/1 and Stoke’s chances of breaking the victorious chain rated at a lengthy 10/1.

So, with little value available in the match betting market, Ladbrokes have taken the decision to offer a price boost on the first goalscorer, with Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o the recipient.

The Cameroonian forward piled on the misery for David Moyes in his last outing, scoring a hat trick in the 3-1 win, and is now boosted from 3/1 to 7/2 to ripple the net first at Stamford Bridge.

It’s well documented that none of Chelsea’s trio of strikers have set the world alight this season, with the former Inter Milan man level on eight goals in all competitions with Fernando Torres and Demba Ba managing just three.

However, it is Eto’o who is in arguably the better form with four goals in his last three games and with his Spanish strike partner out through injury, is likely to get the nod over the ailing Ba in the line-up.

That the game is at Stamford Bridge seriously enhances Eto’o’s chances of finding the net as well. Each of his eight goals since arriving in west London have come at his new home, as was one of his two goals for Anzhi before moving.

This won’t be the first time Eto’o will face the Potters this season either, having travelled to the Britannia Stadium for the 3-2 defeat in the Premier League at the start of December. Although he didn’t score in that match, he’ll greatly benefit from facing the likes of Ryan Shawcross and co already.

It’s therefore well worth a punt on the 32-year-old to score the first goal of this game, something the 112-capped international has managed three times already this season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.