Leaders Chelsea should have too much for Saints

Kettering-born Sean Dyche leads his Burnley team against champions Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend
Kettering-born Sean Dyche leads his Burnley team against champions Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend

Southampton caused Chelsea plenty of problems when the pair shared the spoils in a 1-1 stalemate at St Mary’s just after Christmas.

But it should be a far more straightforward afternoon for the Premier League leaders as the teams renew hostilities at Stamford Bridge.

Saints have just gone off the boil of late, falling off the pace in the race for a Champions League place and the Blues are so strong at home they’re simply impossible to oppose.

Accordingly, it’s easy to see why Jose Mourinho’s charges are Stan James’ 8/15 favourites while the visitors will kick-off priced at 13/2 with BetVictor to do what nobody else has done this term and defeat Chelsea on their own patch.

Goals have dried up for Ronald Koeman’s team of late so Skybet’s 11/8 for the Blues to prevail ‘to nil’ catches the eye and bolder punters might like the look of bet365’s about the hosts notching twice without reply.

Alternatively, Winner.com post 27/20 against the Blues holding a lead when the teams go in at the end of each half and in terms of goals, Eden Hazard levelled for Mourinho’s side in the reverse fixture and also fired the only goal in Chelsea’s last league match, at West Ham, so he gets the nod at 6/1 (Paddy Power) to break the deadlock.

Manchester United have toiled a touch of late and were eliminated from the FA Cup by Arsenal on Monday evening yet they’re odds-on at 9/10 via BetVictor to overcome Tottenham in a contest crucial to the Champions League aspirations of both sides.

Betway make Spurs 7/2 to draw level on points with United in the race for fourth by securing a victory at Old Trafford, Stan James offer 14/5 about the north London outfit grabbing a share of the spoils and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they gleaned something at the expense of the wobbling hosts.

They’re 9/10 (betway) to avoid defeat and Skybet mark 9/4 against Mauricio Pochettino’s charges in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market.

Burnley have really struggled of late and the relegation-threatened Clarets look up against it as they take on Manchester City.

The champions are just 9/20 (Ladbrokes) to heap more misery on Sean Dyche’s troops, bet365’s 6/1 underdogs and BetVictor mark 13/8 against City combing victory with a clean sheet.

Now without Europa League distractions, Liverpool are 21/20 at Stan James to defeat boss Brendan Rodgers’s former club Swansea.

It should be close though at the Liberty Stadium, where Ladbrokes go 29/10 about a Reds triumph by one and bet365 chalk a 2-1 away win up at 17/2.

Buoyed by their FA Cup success at Manchester United, meanwhile, Arsenal look a safe bet at 4/9 (William Hill) as they entertain West Ham and they combine with Liverpool and Manchester City in a treble at 31/10 with BetVictor.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace are 4/5 with Stan James to defeat QPR, also at the bottom Paddy Power rate the six-pointer between Sunderland and Aston Villa at 11/5 to prove inconclusive and the spoils are 12/5 (bet365) to be shared as Leicester entertain Hull.

Finally, Tony Pulis is 11/8 via Ladbrokes to guide his West Brom team to victory over his old employers Stoke and Stan James offer 5/6 about under-fire Everton beating Newcastle at Goodison Park.

There won’t be a dry eye in the house if AP McCoy signs off with a Gold Cup success in his last ever Cheltenham Festival.

He rides Carlingford Lough and is definitely in with a chance at 11/1 (Hills) according to connections of one of his main rivals.

Racing manager at the Gigginstown Stud, whose Road To Riches is 9/1 at Skybet, Eddie O’Leary insists that he’d be “all over” JP McManus’s charge if he was having a flutter and although he might be playing down the chances of his own runner, Carlingford Lough has plenty going for him at 10/1 with Hills.

Nevertheless, Paul Nicholls’s market leader Silviniaco Conti can’t be ruled out at 10/3 via Paddy Power.

In the Six Nations Championship, Ireland are just 5/6 at Stan James to edge closer to the title by getting the better of Wales (6/5, bet365) in Cardiff and penalised by two-points in BetVictor’s handicaps, the visitors are 10/11.

At Twickenham, England should win the Calcutta Cup against Scotland and they’re 10/11 (Skybet) to prevail by more than 16 points.

Meanwhile, Winner.com make France 10/11 to cover Italy’s seven-point cushion in Rome.

Bet of the week: Arsenal, Manchester City & Liverpool treble – 31/10 (BetVictor).

Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com