Chelsea head to Newcastle in the worst form of Carlo Ancelotti’s reign and on the back of consecutive defeats in the league for the first time in over four years.
Newcastle are 9/4 to replicate their win against the Blues in the Carling Cup earlier this season and there may never be a better time for them to face the reigning Premier League champions.
The Blues began the season as they ended last – not just beating teams but demolishing them. They scored 21 goals in their first five Premier League games and became odds on to retain their title.
However, things haven’t gone quite so well in recent weeks, with three defeats in their last four games allowing Manchester United to pull level with them at the top of the table.
If Chelsea have gone from good to bad, then Newcastle have gone from good to bad and back again several times over. There’s been nothing predictable about the Magpies this season – they’ve beaten Aston Villa 6-0 and Sunderland 5-1 but have lost 2-0 to Blackpool and, just last weekend, 5-1 to Bolton.
Both teams are missing key players, with John Terry, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien missing for Chelsea, while Chris Hughton will be without defenders Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini who begin three-match suspensions.
With neither team brimming with confidence following defeats last weekend, and with several players out, this promises to be a tight and tense affair. Backing the scores to be level at full-time could be well worth backing at 11/4.
A £10 bet on the game to finish 0-0 pays out £100. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.