Stoke v Chelsea: Pressure on Blues to establish Christmas lead

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On Saturday 29 November Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side were unbeaten and enjoyed a nine-point lead over rivals Manchester City who were then third in the Premier League table.

Fast forward three weeks and the Blues find themselves level on points with the current champions having also lost their ‘invincible’ tag following defeat at Newcastle.

Based on that recent reversal in fortunes you might think that the usually raucous Britannia Stadium is the last place Chelsea would want to go.

The visitors are 4/7 to open up a clear Christmas lead while the draw is offered at odds of 3/1 and a Stoke victory is priced at 5/1 with Ladbrokes.

But away from the traditional match markets William Geldart has come up with three best bets.

Eden Hazard to score first @ 11/2

Midfielder Eden Hazard is in fine form in front of goal at the moment having scored three goals in his last four appearances in all competitions.

The Belgian international netted first against Derby in midweek and looks a decent bet to repeat the trick at the Britannia.

Peter Crouch to score anytime @ 16/5

Fancy the hosts to breach the Chelsea defence? Stoke frontman Peter Crouch certainly stands out amongst their potential goalscorers.

The former England man opened the scoring in last term’s 3-2 win over the Blues in the corresponding.

Crouch has also bagged two goals in his previous two outings, making the 16/5 about him to net anytime here a potential steal.

Away Team Goal Bands: Chelsea to score 2-3 goals @ 11/10

And finally, if you fancy Chelsea to feature prominently on the scoresheet then this last bet is certainly one to bear I mind.

With the Blues scoring between 2-3 goals in three of their last five visits to the Potteries the odds for them to do so again offer plenty of value.

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

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William Geldart

William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.