Hiddink primed to save Chelsea’s season with cup double

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There is little left for Chelsea to fight for in the Premier League. They sit 20 points adrift of Leicester in defending the crown they won last season and are some 14 shy of Manchester City in fourth.

Their task in the division is a simple one: finish as high as humanly possible and use the outings to oil their form for a cup run.

For all the lost hope in the top flight, there remains a significant chance that the Blues could end this tumultuous season as double cup winners.

Still fighting in the FA Cup and Champions League, the Stamford Bridge club are growing in confidence under interim boss Guus Hiddink. Although two tough ties await them, they are becoming are a real threat in both competitions.

First comes Paris Saint-Germain in Europe, a side the Blues know only too well from recent encounters.

Ladbrokes make the Londoners 19/4 to win the first leg at the Parc des Princes and 22/1 for the tournament. The latter price makes them equal-fifth favourites to win a second Champions League title, although their recent form belies those odds.

The Blues haven’t lost a game under their returning Dutch coach, who has only ever been beaten once across two spells on the west London touchline.

Their recent 5-1 demolition of Newcastle was the latest example of Chelsea’s surging belief and with Diego Costa returning to his best, the Blues are a renewed threat for the rest of the season.

That bodes well for their FA Cup fifth round clash with Manchester City. The Citizens are not only focussing on their own European assault, but have the league title race and a Capital One Cup final cluttering their minds too.

It’s 23/20 that Chelsea knock the Etihad Stadium side out of the country’s most loved cup competition, upon which their 11/2 price to lift the trophy will significantly shorten.

Hiddink managed to win the FA Cup the last time he took over Chelsea on a temporary basis. If he repeats that feat and adds the Champions League as icing this time around, he’ll never buy a drink in Chelsea again.

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.