Sports Betting Weekly

Chelsea v Southampton

When: Sunday, 15 March 2015 @ 18:30 (FINISHED)
Where: Stamford Bridge
While it was very much a case of “as you were” at the top of the Barclays Premier League table during the last round of fixtures, something will have to give this weekend as league leaders Chelsea take on seventh-placed Southampton at Stamford Bridge in a crucial game at the top.

The Blues form has been imperious in the league so far, especially at home, where they have not lost a game all season and have only failed to take maximum points on two occasions – with both of those results coming within the last few weeks against Manchester City and Burnley respectively.

Southampton, however, have hit something of a sticky patch of form in recent weeks – and although they did get back to winning ways against Crystal Palace in the last round of games, a run of three losses and just two goals in their last six has seen the Saints slip out of the European places entirely.

Given the disparity in recent results for the two teams, it should hardly come as a surprise that Chelsea are again massive 8/15 favourites for the clash, with the draw at 10/3 and Southampton out as far as 7/1 with some bookmakers to record what would be their first win away to Chelsea since the 2001/2002 season. To put that wait into context, consider that James Beattie scored two that day.

True, such long odds on a team with the undoubted quality of Southampton may look tempting to some, but the real problem when mounting a convincing case for the visitors is quite simply that they don’t look like scoring goals right now. Indeed, the Saints have been indebted to midfielder, Saido Mane, for scoring late winners in both of their last victories, with the well-documented goal-drought of striker, Graziano Pelle, now stretching to a shocking 11 games in the league and counting.

The goals also seem to have dried up slightly for Chelsea of late, with the Blues scoring just once in each of their last three games, meaning the 11/4 on offer on there being under 1.5 goals actually represents fairly solid value here. Similarly, with Chelsea conceding just seven times in their last 21 games at Stamford Bridge, the 7/5 available on Jose Mourinho’s men winning to nil is well worth snapping up, as is the evens currently on offer for them keeping their 14th clean sheet of the season.

In terms of picking a scoreline for the match, 1-0 to Chelsea is the bookmakers’ favourite and – with Chelsea’s last two victories coming by such a margin – this could be the way to go at 23/4, while a more handsome 2-0 for the Blues is available at 13/2. As far as picking a first goalscorer goes, midfielder Eden Hazard and defender Branislav Ivanovic are far and away the men in form and you can get 6/1 on the former netting first and 17/1 on the latter, who is also 7/1 to score at any point.