Meireles strike would give first scorer punters a refunded stake

Chelsea will welcome the break from Premier League competition this weekend, when they meet Birmingham in an FA Cup clash at Stamford Bridge, a game which Raul Meireles is priced 3/1 to score at any time in.

The midfielder’s only goal of the campaign so far came away from league competition, and the Portuguese midfielder should be assured a starting slot as Andre Villas-Boas looks to stem a run of poor domestic results.

His 12/1 odds to score the first goal of the game look too big, and Meireles’s hammer-like shot, coupled with his knack of arriving late in the box, make him a good candidate to notch.

Alternatively, Fernando Torres could be given the chance to end his barren spell in front of goal, and away from the pressures of the Premier League he is 7/2 to score first.

Didier Drogba is 11/4 to get over his African Nations heartache with the opener, whilst Adam Rooney, the visitor’s main attacking threat, is 12/1 to break the deadlock.