Champions League: qualification at stake as Chelsea meet Valencia
The pressure is well and truly on Chelsea as they look to ensure advancement from Group E in the Champions League.
Under-fire Andres Villas-Boas will name as strong a side as possible, with his charges 8/11 to win the match and give themselves a chance of winning the group.
A goalless draw would also do for the Blues in terms of certifying their progression to the knockout phase, and a 0-0 scoreline is priced at 8/1, with the draw in itself 11/4.
Valencia would advance with a score draw, and a win would see the Spanish outfit afforded the opportunity to top the group depending on Bayer Leverkusen’s result.
They are 7/2 to achieve a famous victory at Stamford Bridge, but with the Champions League so close to Roman Abramovich’s heart, it seems a game that the London side wouldn’t dare lose.
Chelsea’s high line of defence has been a topic of much debate so far this year, and the lack of pace which is now plaguing John Terry, coupled with the erratic displays of David Luiz, makes Villas-Boas’ men look vulnerable.
Whilst the three-time Premier League champions should have too much class for their opposition, a side boasting Roberto Soldado is enough of a threat to make the 5/2 for a Chelsea win with both teams to score look a superb bet.
Similarly, score betting could be a good way to turn a profit on the match, with a 3-1 Chelsea win looking big at 16/1.
It is difficult to predict Chelsea’s starting line-up in this new regime, and a preference to alternate the side between European and domestic fixtures has been evident.
Daniel Sturridge has become somewhat of a regular though, and, with pace and trickery in abundance, odds of 5/1 for him to hit the first goal should be respected.
Juan Mata is 7/1 to notch first against his former employers, whilst 6/1 is the price attributed to Soldado, who has five in five in the Champions League.