Jose Mourinho to ruin Didier Drogba’s reunion with Chelsea?

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba's new side Galatasaray face his old club Chelsea this week

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba’s new side Galatasaray face his old club Chelsea this week

The final pair of first leg Champions League last 16 stage matches play this Wednesday night and while the Schalke v Real Madrid game promises plenty of action, I am drawn to the Galatasaray v Chelsea match as it sees the meeting of Chelsea legend Didier Drogba and the side that he captured Champions League glory with in his final game for the side. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was quoted as saying that he would love to be drawn against Galatasaray at this stage of the competition so that the Chelsea fans can show their appreciation for their former player at Stamford Bridge. If he can fire the Turkish side into a comfortable lead, what kind of reception will the Chelsea faithful provide him with in three weeks time?

Galatasaray v Chelsea Odds:

Galatasaray – 3.85

Draw – 3.15

Chelsea – 1.98

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Despite finishing their Champions League group with a goal difference of -6, mainly thanks to the 6-1 home drubbing and 4-1 away beating by Real Madrid, Galatasaray managed to get one over on Juventus in a re-arranged due to snowfall match to snatch the final place on what was a terrible pitch to play football. Either way, despite winning just two and drawing one of their six group stage matches the Turkish side, who have star players Emmanuel Eboué and Wesley Sneijder in a star studded lineup with Drogba, are into the last 16 of the Champions League and they bring a fine home record into the match. They are unbeaten in 16 on home soil, winning 15 and drawing one, and they have not conceded in six home matches so they will be certainly be confident, but will their star performers be up for the task of being able to beat a Jose Mourinho led Chelsea side?

Mourinho has already won the Champions League on two occasions with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010 and he is one of the best tactical managers currently plying his trade in Europe so he will fancy his chances at lifting the European Cup for a third time this season. He has already won six titles with Chelsea from his first time in charge and he has led them back to the top of the Premier League this season, so he and his charges will not be lacking in confidence (not that the Portuguese manager ever is!) for this game in Turkey. He was complaining this week about not having a striker fit for his side but ever the master tactician Mourinho will surely find a way for his side to score goals in this Champions League clash.

I feel that the odds on this match are correct in that it’ll be a tight game between these two sides, mainly thanks to the hosts having a fine defensive record on home soil and being sure to defend first and attack second in this first leg match. Chelsea will have difficulty in breaking them down, but, just like their odds suggest, they will grab a goal or two and they’ll take the advantage back to West London and Stamford Bridge.

Back Chelsea to beat Galatasaray in their Champions League Last 16 stage first leg match @ 1.98 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

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Can Chelsea do the double over Man City at the Etihad tonight?

 Fernando Torres celebrates scoring the winning goal in the 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge this season

Fernando Torres celebrates scoring the winning goal in the 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge this season

Although a horrible mistake by defender Matija Nastasic and ‘keeper Joe Hart right at the end of the 90 minutes in the Chelsea v Manchester City game at Stamford Bridge earlier this season gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory with Fernando Torres taking advantage, things are likely to be very different in this evening’s clash between the two sides at the Etihad Stadium.

Torres is out injured for Jose Mourinho’s side and much has changed for Manchester City in the three months since their last meeting with Chelsea. Will City gain revenge for that defeat in front of their own fans tonight? The GR88.com betting odds for this game certainly suggest so and they are as follows.

Manchester City v Chelsea Odds:

Man City – 1.86

Draw – 3.30

Chelsea – 4.00

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Chelsea will struggle in this match tonight as many have done at the Etihad Stadium as City have won 17 of their 18 home matches in all competitions this season. Only the champions of Germany, Europe and the World in Bayern Munich have managed to leave this stadium located in the blue half of Manchester with anything this season when the claimed a 3-1 win in the Champions League. Since then City have won 13 straight home matches in all competitions, as well as gaining revenge on Bayern in Munich, and have scored 56 goals in front of their own fans in these games at home.

They have also won each of the last four meetings with Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium, scoring seven goals and conceding just two, but Chelsea will take confidence from the fact that no other side has matched the amount of wins (ten) that they have taken on the road against City and that they are missing their top scorer in Sergio Aguero through injury for this match.

Chelsea have won all three away games in the Premier League and FA Cup in 2014 without conceding a goal with Southampton and Hull seen off in the league and Derby beaten in the cup. They are, in fact, without conceding a goal in four away games following a 0-0 draw at the Emirates at the end of December and they will believe that their defensive abilities will be able to overcome the overwhelming firepower of City.

I, on the other hand, feel that City are more than good enough to win this match and move to the top of the Premier League ahead of Arsenal with another victory at home this evening. I also feel that City offer great value and I am backing the home win at the Etihad Stadium tonight.

I am backing Manchester City to take all three points at home tonight by beating Chelsea @ 1.86 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Chelsea Favoured to Win the Big Game this Super Sunday!

Juan Mata celebrates the winner at Old Trafford as Chelsea won 1-0 last season.

Juan Mata celebrates the winner at Old Trafford as Chelsea won 1-0 last season.

The big game in the 22nd round of Premier League football comes from Stamford Bridge as Chelsea welcome the defending champions Manchester United. This season has been a massive change for both teams with the return of Jose Mourinho at the London based side seeing them become realistic title challengers again, while United are in freefall as they sit seventh in the table and 11 points behind the league leaders before the weekend’s action has begun.

Chelsea are the favourites to win this home clash with the champions thanks to a home record that has seen them win nine and draw one of their last ten matches in a run that has seen them unbeaten in domestic action and lose only once to FC Basel in the Champions League. The match odds for this Chelsea v Manchester United match from GR88.com make the hosts the odds on favourites, but can they live up to this favourites billing and go a sixth game unbeaten against David Moyes’ men?

Chelsea v Manchester United Match Odds:

Home Victory – 1.70

Draw – 3.50

Away Victory – 4.80

(Odds provided by GR88.com are current as of today but subject to change.)

Last summer Jose Mourinho had his heart set on taking over the hot seat at Old Trafford following the announcement of Sir Alex Ferguson that he was taking his retirement from the sport, but the Portuguese manager who has won everything possible in football was overlooked for David Moyes by the Manchester United board. You can be sure that Mourinho will want to show these people what they missed out on by having his boys in blue put in one of their best performances of the season to pile more pressure on Moyes and the Red Devils.

United have struggled against Chelsea recently and are without a win since October 2012 when a controversial goal from Javier Hernandez saw them snatch a 3-2 victory at Stamford Bridge and with Chelsea’s form in front of their own fans this season being massively impressive United will need to work hard if they are to upset the odds this weekend. As well as having won 11 of their 13 home matches this season Chelsea are unbeaten in 70 matches at Stamford Bridge when Mourinho has been in charge of the team so they will confident of victory this weekend and with United’s recent performances I am confident of Chelsea winning this match as well.

United may have ended their three match losing streak last weekend as they claimed revenge against Swansea with a 2-0 win in the Premier League following their defeat in the FA Cup at Old Trafford by the same opponents. However, United very hit and miss this season and with them missing both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney this weekend I cannot see them getting anything at Stamford Bridge like so many other sides this season. As a result, my pick of the day from this Chelsea v Manchester United match is back the home win.

Back the home win in this Chelsea v Manchester United match at Stamford Bridge @ 1.70 at GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Luis Suarez to Bite Back at Stamford Bridge Today?

 

Luis Suarez levels the match on Liverpool's last visit to Stamford Bridge.

Luis Suarez levels the match on Liverpool’s last visit to Stamford Bridge.

The eyes of the world will be eagerly tuned on Stamford Bridge this afternoon as Liverpool, and Luis Suarez especially, return to the home of Chelsea Football Club for the first time since the infamous biting incident that saw Suarez banned for ten matches. That bite happened in the 2-2 draw at Anfield last season and was missed by the officials so Suarez stayed on the pitch to score a 90th minute equaliser for the home team and with these two sides sitting third and fourth in the Premier League table before kick off this match is sure to have a charged atmosphere as both teams look to build their title winning chances.

Despite Chelsea having failed to win at home to Liverpool since 2009 and are four games without victory against the Merseysiders at Stamford Bridge, they are favoured by GR88.com to take all three points today. They will be certainly motivated to do so after being on the receiving end of the poor decisions at Anfield in the last meeting of these two teams, but can they overcome the impressive Suarez to live up to their pre-match favourites billing?

Chelsea v Liverpool Match Odds:

Home Win – 2.12

Level at Full Time – 3.15

Away Win – 3.25

(Odds provided by GR88.com are current as of today but subject to change.)

Although Chelsea have not managed to defeat Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in more than four years, with, Liverpool taking three wins and a 1-1 draw last season in that time, they have been impressive in front of the home faithful this season as they have won eight and drawn one of their nine Premier League matches at home this season. They have played 12 matches at Stamford Bridge in all competitions and only Swiss side FC Basel have managed to win here and the hosts have taken ten wins in the other 11 games. However, despite this fine record on home soil they have just five clean sheets in these 12 games and just one in their last five games, so with Suarez having found the net on 19 occasions in 12 matches this season will Chelsea be able to keep the visitors out and claim all three points?

Suarez will believe not and as he was prevented from scoring at Manchester City on Boxing Day, as well as the fact that he will want to show that he can legitimately be a match winner against Chelsea, he will be highly motivated to score goals today. I am certainly confident that the Uruguayan will find the net today, but with Liverpool having beaten only Tottenham Hotspur in their last five away matches and missing both Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge for this game will they have the confidence as a side to win this match?

Losses at Arsenal, Hull and Man City as well as drawing 3-3 away at their big city rivals Everton in their last five away games would suggest not for Liverpool, but if Suarez hits the heights that he has done in games like against Norwich, where he scored four, and Tottenham, where he scored two and created another, then I certainly see Liverpool extending their unbeaten run away at Chelsea to five games. With the frustration of not scoring in the 2-1 loss to Man City on Thursday I feel that Suarez will bring his A game today and he will have more than enough to help Liverpool to at least a point against a combination of an aging and inexperienced defensive line.

Back Liverpool/Draw Double Chance @ 1.70 in this Chelsea v Liverpool match with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

It’s Time for a Champion to Emerge from the Premier League Contenders

Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are all in contention

(Clockwise from top-left) Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are all in contention

It has been a strange season so far. The aura of invincibility that has emanated from Old Trafford for over twenty years hasn’t so much been lost but decimated by a number of embarrassing home defeats. The fallibilities that Manchester United have had for a number of years have been exposed repeatedly leaving them needing a remarkable resurgence if they are to have any hope of defending their title.

So with the holders currently suffering because of their own ineptitude; who from this year’s pack of contenders can emerge as winners?

Premier League Title Betting Odds:

Manchester City – 2.20

Chelsea – 4.50

Arsenal – 5.00

Liverpool – 7.00

Manchester United – 21.00

Everton – 34.00

(All odds posted by Intertops Sportsbook are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Manchester City seems the likely option right now. Their away form has been largely dreadful however their record at home is rather terrifying. At the Etihad, City score goals for fun and have torn apart several of their rivals this year, most recently Arsenal on Saturday. However now that talisman Sergio Aguero faces a spell on the sidelines, and with no proof that their away form blues have been completely cured (they have recorded just two wins in eight away games), City still have a lot to prove if they want to be champions.

The result of last weekend came at White Hart Lane where Liverpool humiliated Spurs and saw off manager Andre Villas-Boas in the process. I liked AVB (mainly for our mutual loathing of the Daily Mail) but results and performances have been very poor this season; while he probably deserved more time, the manner of defeat last weekend sealed his fate.

As for Liverpool, with the form that Luis Suarez is in this season anything will seem possible. They don’t have the squad to match their rivals but they do have the best player in the league right now. Ending that long title hoodoo would be a brilliant achievement but finishing in the top four seems much more realistic right now.

Another team close to the top right now is Everton, who are playing vibrant football with several talented youngsters lighting up the league. Roberto Martinez is proving himself to be a very good manager indeed which leaves us facing the rather chilling realisation that perhaps Dave Whelan was right all along.

So that brings us to Chelsea and to this weekend when Jose Mourinho’s side travel to Arsenal. The previously ‘Happy One’ hasn’t been too full of festive cheer recently. When he hasn’t been picking a fight with his best player, he’s been pulling his hair out at his strikers’ inability to do their job and actually score. He has lost twice to Basel this season and has only clung on to his unbeaten home league record by the skin of his teeth and some extremely generous refereeing.

The common consensus is that Chelsea have been very below-par this season and yet they are just two points off the top spot. While Chelsea have been lambasted, Arsenal have been lauded; and yet the Blues can overtake their London rivals with a win on Monday night. Arsenal have been great this year but now they are in a mini-slump which could reverse their earlier impressive work. They were blown away by City last week with old defensive concerns becoming prominent once again.

This is not the Chelsea of old that would routinely swat Arsenal aside. They lack the physical threat they once had, their strikers are about as lethal as your average butterfly, and their defence looks vulnerable. Arsenal can take heart from all this as well as from their own good home form. They will fancy their chances against a side that is very much for the taking.

I do not expect another high scoring game though. Mourinho is aware of his side’s weaknesses and will set up accordingly. It is game where both sides may be a little scared of losing; a low scoring draw may be the most likely result.

Betting Instinct Tip: Less than 2.5 goals is 2.05 with AllYouBet.ag

Chelsea and Man City Favourites to Progress in the Capital One Cup Quarter Finals

We'll be losing two sides from the Capital One Cup Quarter Finals tonight, but which two?

We’ll be losing two sides from the Capital One Cup Quarter Finals tonight, but which two?

There are two matches being played in the Capital One Cup Quarter Finals this evening in Sunderland v Chelsea and Leicester v Man City. My thoughts on both matches are as follows.

Sunderland v Chelsea:

This is the second meeting of these two teams at the Stadium of Light in less than two weeks after the thrilling 4-3 win for Chelsea that saw Edin Hazard steal the show with two goals, an assist and a man of the match performance that made the difference between the two sides. While Jose Mourinho is likely to rest players for this match tonight due to him being more concerned with the away game at Arsenal that could see his side go top of the table for Christmas, if other results go his way, but he’ll still want to continue a winning run over Sunderland that sits at six games already.

GR88.com favour the away win this evening and their Sunderland v Chelsea betting odds reflect how they see this match going:

Sunderland to win – 5.30

Draw – 3.70

Chelsea to win – 1.52

Sunderland will too have their eye on the Premier League with them sat bottom of the table and five points away from safety so they are likely to rest players too with a vital match at home to Norwich coming up at the weekend. The difference between the sides is the strength in depth in the teams and I can see this being the thing that separates the teams on the night and with Chelsea having a much better array of talent I am backing the away side to win again and to do so with a few goals scored too.

Back Chelsea to win and +2.5 goals in this Capital One Cup Quarter Finals game @ 2.26 with GR88.com.

Leicester v Man City:

This match has a different feel about it as, just like both Sunderland and Chelsea, Premier League side Man City are likely to rest players for this Capital One Cup Quarter Finals match at the King Power Stadium but the home side will not and will fancy their chances at claiming an upset over one of the title favourites.

GR88.com disagree though and their Leicester v Man City betting odds are as below:

Leicester City to win – 7.40

Draw – 4.50

Manchester City to win – 1.34

City appear to have gotten a handle on their away form with the 3-2 win at the Allianz Arena last week against Bayern Munich one of the high points of the season that has seen them lose at Cardiff, Aston Villa and Sunderland this season. Leicester have impressed at home in front of their fans with just one loss in 12 matches at Championship level and I feel that they will challenge City this evening. City should win the match, but with them resting players and being away from home I cannot see this being a comfortable victory for the visitors this evening.

Back both Leicester and Man City to score in this Capital One Cup Quarter Finals match @ 1.70 in the GR88 Sportsbook!

All odds provided by GR88.com are current as of today but subject to change.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.