Sports Betting Weekly

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur

When: Sunday, 01 March 2015 @ 22:00 (FINISHED)
Where: Wembley Stadium
The big game at Wembley this Sunday sees Premier League giants Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur given the chance to land their first piece of silverware of the season as the two London clubs battle it out in the final of the 2014/2015 Capital One Cup.

While both teams stumbled to home draws in the Premier League last weekend, it will undoubtedly be Spurs who were happier with their day’s work as they came back from 2-0 down to claim a late point against West Ham. Chelsea, on the other hand, will have been bitterly disappointed to have been held by Burnley and also suffered the added blow of having midfield anchor, Nemanja Matic, sent off.

Though the Blues successfully reduced the Serbian’s ban by one match, he will still miss their trip to Wembley – and the loss of arguably their most consistent player this season will come as a huge set-back for Jose Mourinho’s men, while also giving Tottenham even more belief that they can record another famous victory against their London rivals following their 5-3 win on New Year’s Day.

Even without the services of Matic in the game, the bookmakers certainly seem to fancy Chelsea to avenge that Premier League defeat and have priced the West London club at 8/11 to win the match in regular time and 4/11 to lift the trophy if extra time is needed. Tottenham, meanwhile, are as big as 4/1 to win the match and 2/1 to lift the trophy, which seems a generous price when you consider how ruthlessly they put Chelsea to the sword in the game at White Hart Lane in January.

Of course, any optimism surrounding Spurs’ chances will have to be tempered by the fact that Chelsea have never lost a domestic cup final under Mourinho’s stewardship – indeed, the Portuguese has lost just two of his 11 career finals for any club – and it looks unlikely that the Blues will defend as badly as they did that day, having kept five clean sheets in all competitions since then.

In fact, with a repeat of that scoreline weighing in at 750/1, it should be clear that the bookies are predicting this one to be a much tighter affair, with the odds of there being under 2.5 goals rated at evens and under 1.5 goals still only 3/1. Those numbers seem to be corroborated by the 11/10 available on only one team finding the net, with Chelsea also as short as 2/1 to win the game to nil.

Spurs, meanwhile, are a prohibitive 8/1 in the same market, with the shortest odds on any winning Tottenham scoreline coming in at 14/1 for a 1-0 victory. With 2-1 still something of a Tottenham hallmark this campaign, you might be better placed taking the 16/1 on such an outcome if you are to back them in this one, though Chelsea have conceded more than one goal just five times from their 40 games in all competitions this season, averaging 2.2 goals a game themselves over that period.

Nevertheless, 1-0 to Chelsea is the bookies’ favoured scoreline at 6/1, with 2-0 and 2-1 both coming in at the same price of 8/1. Interestingly, the aforementioned 14/1 on Spurs winning 1-0 is actually the same price on Chelsea triumphing 3-0, which really does speak volumes about just how un-fancied Mauricio Pochettino’s men are going into the game, with recent history perhaps a big factor.

Prior to the 5-3 victory at the Lane, Spurs had not beaten Chelsea in 10 league and cup appearances (L5, D5) and had accumulated a goal difference of -14 across those fixtures. The fact that clashes between the two London clubs over that run yielded an average of 3.2 goals per game might go some way to explaining why such a handsome winning margin for Chelsea is available at comparatively short odds, and it certainly accounts for why over 2.5 goals is an odds-on bet at 4/5.

When looking at other statistical trends that we might be able to exploit from previous meetings between the two teams, it’s fair to say that Chelsea’s Eden Hazard seems to enjoy playing Spurs. The Belgian midfielder has scored in all of his last three appearances against Tottenham – the 5-3 defeat included – but is still priced at 6/1 to grab the first goal of the game and 21/10 to score anytime.

Indeed, those anytime odds are only slightly shorter than the 3/1 on Diego Costa opening the scoring, and with Hazard also taking all of Chelsea’s penalties, it certainly looks a reasonable price. That being said, if you’re looking for stand-out value in the match, new Tottenham hero Harry Kane has scored in each of his last four starts for Spurs, yet remains an outside bet in the final at 6/1.

Given Kane bagged a brace the last time he faced Chelsea, those odds look way too long for a man currently bang in form and you can still get 12/5 on the young English striker finding the net anytime if you fancy someone else to open the scoring. In terms of the best of the rest in a Spurs shirt, Christian Eriksen was rested for the first half against West Ham last week and should be fresh and raring to go, while Nacer Chadli also only played for the last 15 minutes and completed the rout against Mourinho’s men the last time the two sides met in January. Both are available at 14/1 here.