Andre Villas-Boas needs a run of victories to quell the anxiousness that is growing among Chelsea fans, but Newcastle seem way overpriced at 3/1 to be the latest club to pile the pressure on the Portuguese manager.
Villas-Boas is under alarming pressure at Chelsea, with the Carling Cup defeat at home to Liverpool marking their fifth reverse in nine games in all competitions.
Meanwhile, they have fallen out of the top four in the Premier League standings and a ten-point gap has also formed between them and table-toppers Manchester City.
Realistically this gap cannot be allowed to grow any further and with Manchester City not looking like a team to surrender points easily, the onus is on Chelsea to take advantage of any slip ups when they materialise.
Up next for the Blues is a trip to St James’ Park to face fourth-placed Newcastle and this is certainly not the type of game that Villas-Boas would pick in an ideal world.
Chelsea may not have lost against Newcastle in the Premier League since 2006, but Alan Pardew’s men approach the fixture still unbeaten at home in the top-flight this season and on the back of a fine draw at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Newcastle have also faced Manchester City recently and it is playing against the two leaders in the title race that have given the squad confidence that they can compete with the best in the league.
In terms of value, taking the 3/1 that an in-form Newcastle beat a Chelsea team in disarray certainly appeals far more than backing a clueless Aston Villa at 4/1 to beat Manchester United.
Although Chelsea without doubt have the better squad, it is difficult to find reasons to expect them to beat Newcastle at St James’ Park, particularly at football odds of 10/11.