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Chelsea to go down fighting as they bow out of Europe

| 14.03.2012

Overturning a two-goal deficit looks a tall order for Chelsea and though the evening will ultimately turn sour for the hosts, it’s worth backing Chelsea to win the first half at 10/11.

Six of the seven Champions League goals Napoli have conceded this season were scored before the interval. And six of Chelsea’s ten European goals at Stamford Bridge also arrived in the first half.

What’s more, the Blues have conceded just once before the break in their Champions League campaign this term.

In their last crunch European tie at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea were two goals to the good against Valencia inside 22 minutes. The home side are 13/8 to win the first half to nil.

That however is perhaps as good as it’s likely to get for Roberto Di Matteo, as Chelsea have lead in all seven of their European fixtures but have surrendered the advantage on four occasions.

It’s a similar story in the Premier League, where Chelsea have dropped points from winning positions in three of their last six league fixtures at Stamford Bridge.

And it was of course Chelsea, through Juan Mata, who took the lead in Naples, before eventually succumbing to a comprehensive 3-1 defeat.

Napoli are 7/1 to come from behind to draw, and it’s 16/5 for Chelsea to score the first goal with Napoli netting the last.

It’s unlikely however that the visitors will complete the turnaround at 14/1.

Napoli won just one of three of their group stage contests on their travels, while in recent weeks, only twice have they triumphed away from home in domestic football.

Meanwhile, in Serie A, Napoli have won just five of 13 league fixtures away from the Stadio San Paolo.

So while they won’t win on the night, they remain a safe bet at 3/10 to qualify. Napoli haven’t lost away from home by a two-goal margin since February last year.

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Author

Richard Anderson