Cardiff v Chelsea – Betting Preview & Tips
Chelsea travel to already-relegated Cardiff hoping to take advantage of a possible Liverpool slip-up and nick second spot. Jaymes Monte previews.
Chelsea’s slim lingering title hopes were put to bed by last weekend’s disappointing goalless draw with Norwich at Stamford Bridge. Despite dominating possession and chances The Blues looked like a tired and uninspired side with very little left in the locker; unable to unlock a Norwich defence that had shipped three and four goals in games against Liverpool and Manchester United previously.
Jose Mourinho’s men have won only one of their last five matches – the much-criticised 2-0 victory at Anfield – and have scored only four goals in that time.
Dropped points at Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, West Brom, Stoke and Newcastle are what have ultimately cost Chelsea the title this season.
Cardiff’s fate was also confirmed last weekend as a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle consigned the Bluebirds to Championship football for next season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have conceded 20 goals in their last eight Premier League games and only Fulham have conceded more Premier League goals this season.
There are problems at the other end of the pitch too, with only two goals – one of which being from the penalty spot – being scored in their last five matches.
Ramires serves the third game of a four-match ban picked up, retrospectively, for an incident involving Sebastian Larsson in the game against Sunderland. Mourinho may be tempted to use the full depths of his squad and give some youngsters a run out. It’s certainly unlikely that anyone with niggling injuries, particularly those potentially involved in the World Cup, would be risked.
Likewise, Cardiff could field a few fringe players for the final game of the season. Craig Noone and Mark Hudson are definitely out, however, with respective abdominal and hamstring injuries.
Chelsea were convincing 4-1 winners at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season with Eden Hazard scoring twice and Samuel Eto’o and Oscar each getting one. Jordan Mutch had given Cardiff the lead after just 10 minutes of the game.
The Blues also won 4-1 in the only other head-to-head in the 21st century, when the two clubs met in the fifth round of the 2009/10 FA Cup. Daniel Sturridge was amongst the Chelsea scorers on the day.
Despite Chelsea’s troubles away from home against teams in the bottom half of the table, it’s difficult to see them not picking up all three points here at odds of 4/11. Although in a game where neither side needs a result I wouldn’t want to be betting at such short odds.
Cardiff penalty taker Peter Whittingham is worth a couple of quid in the first goalscorer market at odds of 18/1, while an open game should be expected so 13/8 about Chelsea to win AND both teams to score is also a good bet.