Sports Betting Weekly

Newcastle United v Chelsea

When: Saturday, 06 December 2014 @ 18:45 (FINISHED)
Where: St James' Park
When you think of Chelsea and Jose Mourinho – particularly in their current all-conquering Premier League incarnation – you don’t tend to think of the Blues having any particular ‘bogey’ sides, but it may surprise you to learn that under the guidance of the ‘Special One’ the London club have never tasted victory at St James park.

It is a statistic that Mourinho and his charges will be all too aware of heading into Saturday’s lunchtime fixture against Newcastle, and having been stifled on their last visit to the North East of England in a 0-0 draw against resolute Sunderland, it will be one that they need to address if they are to maintain their lead over a Manchester City side beginning to hit their stride.

There are certainly several positives for the Blues going into the game, notably in the return of top scorer Diego Costa – who is available for selection following his one-match ban – and Mourinho’s overall record against opposite number, Alan Pardew, but with the away side priced at 1/2, it is likely punters will want to look elsewhere to get any value out of the fixture – and backing Newcastle at 15/4 in the Draw No Bet market could be a good way to hedge your bets given the recent form.

For their part, the hosts have won their last three games at St James’ Park and are unbeaten in five, so 11/2 on Newcastle taking all three points isn’t actually that outlandish; while if they choose to adopt the same defensive tactics as neighbours Sunderland, 8/1 on the game finishing 0-0 looks a fairly big price given Newcastle have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three games at home.

On the player betting front we’ve already mentioned the huge lift that Costa’s return will give the Blues, but it is arguably the improving form of teammate Eden Hazard that merits our attention. The Belgian is showing signs that he’s slowly getting back to his best, so 11/10 on him finding the net at any time is tempting, while with more goals than he has starts for the hosts, Papiss Cisse looks the man most likely to score first at 8/1.