Our Saturday football accumulator is an 11/2 treble that comes courtesy of selections from all…
Chelsea V Crystal Palace
Sunday 3rd May. 1:30PM. Sky Sports 1
This year’s Premier League title race has been an intense and exciting ride but Jose Mourinho’s men always looked like the favourites and the Blues are now just one win short of confirming their first league title in five years.
With four games still to play, Chelsea don’t have to win Sunday’s London derby against Alan Pardew’s Eagles but there is no doubt that the Blues would love to seal their title success at Stamford Bridge.
However, Crystal Palace have been one of the league’s in-form sides since Pardew’s arrival and will be more than up for the challenge as they look to delay Chelsea’s inevitable party. It should be an intriguing contest.
Boring, But Scoring, Blues Close To Finish Line[quote_center]Pick up a huge £200 in free bets when you get started with Bet365 today![/quote_center]Mourinho had insisted throughout 2013/14 that 2015 would be Chelsea’s and his prophesy has come true as Chelsea ease towards their first league title of Jose’s second coming.
The Blues have been tarnished with the boring tag at several stages of the campaign but, in truth, the league leaders have played the most consistent and effective football. Nobody would argue against their credentials, which were verified by the fact six players were named in this year’s PFA Team of the Year.
Chelsea are certainly capable of killing games off, or holding their biggest rivals to stalemates, but there is no question that their star-studded midfield possesses the ability and mental strength to overcome difficult hurdles – as was shown with the impressive response to falling a goal behind at Leicester in midweek.
Whilst every other team in the league has struggled when their star striker is missing, the Blues have comfortably coped with the absence of Diego Costa, which is another hallmark of champions. Chelsea still have four games to wrap up their title; however, pretty much everyone is expecting them to seal it on Sunday.
Can Pardew Voodoo Halt Chelsea’s Success?[quote_right]Palace have only won seven of their 30 Premier League London derbies away from home (W7 D8 L15).[/quote_right]Amazingly, Pardew has won four of his last six battles against Chelsea and remains the only Premier League manager to get the better of Mourinho this term following Newcastle’s 2-1 win over the champions elect at St James’ Park. Could he lead the Eagles to an improbable victory at the Bridge?
The Eagles have endured a minor dip in form, registering back-to-back defeats, but their overall form has been sensational since Pardew took the helm in January and the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Jason Puncheon, Yannick Bolasie and Glenn Murray can cause problems for the hosts.
Palace have scored an impressive 23 goals on the road this term, including four in the previous away match at Sunderland. The visitors won’t be scared and anything can happen in a derby so Chelsea must avoid complacency to grab the win.
The visitors have been completely dismissed during the build-up as all eyes are focused on the Blues. That could suit the Eagles just fine.
One way or another, this will be a memorable showdown at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea V Crystal Palace betting tips
Quite predictably, Chelsea are odds-on favourites to seal their Premier League crown and are priced 1/3 to get the win at Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace can be backed at 9/1 whilst the draw is available at 4/1.
Chelsea have been labelled boring on several occasions this term but only Manchester City have scored more frequently this term and Mourinho’s men could make a point here by crossing the finishing line with a flourish.
An early goal for the Blues would really settle the nerves and, after making hard work of Wednesday’s trip to Leicester, we think Chelsea will make no mistakes against Palace.
[quote_center]Chelsea to be leading at 30 minutes @ 7/5 with William Hill[/quote_center]
Assuming the Blues do take an early lead, it could pave the way for plenty more. Ordinarily, it’s difficult to bet on goals in a Chelsea game as Mourinho regularly settles for a comfortable 2-0 victory.
However, the ‘boring’ comments seem to have angered the Special One slightly and we suspect the Blues will look to get the title party up and running with a big Sunday scoreline. Moreover, if the visitors score then there’s a great chance this bet will return a refund at least.
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