Chelsea remain within touching distance of Manchester City and Liverpool, although Maurizio Sarri knows that it will be an enormous order to overhaul both of these teams.
Nevertheless, the Blues have home games against Crystal Palace and Everton before the international break and they’ll be strong favourites to claim a maximum haul in both encounters to keep up the pressure.
BetVictor go 2/7 about Chelsea winning on Sunday afternoon, with the London side winning seven and drawing three of their ten matches. Sarri will hope to have Eden Hazard returning to the team after a back injury and the Belgian is unsurprisingly the 16/5 favourite with William Hill to open the scoring.
Hazard is clearly someone who makes the Blues tick, although Chelsea were able to claim a 4-0 win at Turf Moor without their star player and that owed plenty to the performance of Ross Barkley who is finally enjoying a breakthrough season after originally being left out in the cold at Stamford Bridge.
The England midfielder ran the show against the Clarets and Paddy Power go 7/1 that he’s the first name on the team sheet against a Crystal Palace side who will be hoping to build on earning a point against Arsenal last weekend.
The Eagles acquitted themselves well against the Gunners and they will draw plenty of confidence from stopping that winning run against Unai Emery’s side, with Roy Hodgson hoping for some solid defending at Stamford Bridge.
William Hill offer 5/1 about this London derby ending all square and Chelsea certainly didn’t convince from a defensive point-of-view when drawing 2-2 with Manchester United in their previous game at Stamford Bridge.
Zaha May Cause Problems
The home defence will have to contend with the tricky Wilfried Zaha who was able to win two penalties against Arsenal and perhaps Luka Milivojevic could be worth a bet to score first. The Serbian is trading at 25/1 with Paddy Power and will be on spot-kick duty should a penalty be awarded.
Palace’s experiences on the road this season have been a mixed bag, although they have only conceded six times in their five matches and Ladbrokes offer 11/1 that they are able to find a way to win this clash and put a severe dent not only in Chelsea’s title dreams but also their aspirations of being a top-four side.
The correct score market is always a popular one and we think something along the lines of a 2-1 victory in favour of the Blues could be the way forward, with bet365 going 17/2 that this happens and the same bookmaker offer 11/1 that we see a 3-1 win occur for Sarri’s men.
Chelsea Win and BTTS Looks Good
We’re certainly happier to go down the route of a Chelsea win and both teams finding the net considering that Sarri likes to push his team forward and Marcos Alonso continues to desert his left-back position in order to support the team’s attack.
Ladbrokes chalk up 9/5 about the Blues triumphing and both sides finding the net in this encounter, with that man Alonso a constant menace down the left flank and you can get 12/1 with Paddy Power that the Spaniard scores the opening goal.