Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten home record in the Premier League now stands at 73 matches and the outspoken Portuguese’s Chelsea side are expected to extend that sequence as they entertain Everton in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
The league leaders are just 4/7 with BetVictor to get the better of the Toffees, who are an 11/2 chance at bet365 to end Mourinho’s remarkable run and Stan James post 3/1 against it finishing all-square.
No team has shared the spoils in more matches on the road than Roberto Martinez’s men so bet365’s 9/2 about a score draw and Ladbrokes’s 15/2 for it to finish 1-1 might attract cash.
However, the Blues have won 11 from 13 at Stamford Bridge, only dropping points to West Brom and West Ham curiously and as Everton have appeared a touch short of cutting edge of late, it’s difficult to overlook the hosts.
Nevertheless, the Toffees’ modest four defeats this term are testament to their resilience and they should be able to keep it close.
Skybet’s 5/2 about a home win by a one-goal margin stands out then and, more accurately, a case can be made for the Blues to grab the only goal at 13/2 courtesy of Winner.com while in attack, the intelligence and craft of Eden Hazard, an 11/2 chance (Stan James) to net first, could be required to break down the stubborn visitors.
The other three teams involved in the race for the championship, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool, all face relatively straightforward home fixtures.
The Gunners are Paddy Power’s 3/10 favourites as they welcome Sunderland to north London and despite the Black Cats’ recent revival, Arsene Wenger’s team should be too strong.
City are even skinnier at 1/6 via betway to get the better of Stoke but are more appealing at 1/2 in Stan James’s handicaps when kicking off a goal behind the Potters.
And at Anfield, buoyant Liverpool are a safe-looking 1/3 (Ladbrokes) to get the better of Swansea, who aren’t the most convincing travellers. Alternatively, a treble on that trio of title-challengers comes in at even money with BetVictor.
In Saturday’s evening kick-off, rejuvenated Crystal Palace will fancy their chances of racking up a fourth consecutive home win as they tackle Manchester United but bookies unanimously lean towards the visitors, BetVictor quoting them at 3/5 to keep their slender top four hopes alive and bet365 rating the Eagles at 5/1.
Winner.com go 3/1 the draw at Selhurst Park, which isn’t without appeal and with David Moyes’s charges less than convincing, bet365’s 6/4 for Palace to avoid defeat is more than tempting.
Elsewhere, the pressure is mounting on Norwich boss Chris Hughton and that’s set to intensify on Sunday at Carrow Road, where Tottenham are 21/20 via BetVictor to plunder all three points while a couple of hours earlier, Aston Villa are overpriced at 13/5 (Stan James) ahead of the trip to beleaguered Newcastle.
Finally, at the Hawthorns, William Hill post 8/11 against West Brom defeating rock-bottom Fulham, it’s 9/4 with Winner.com to finish all-square as Cardiff host Hull and Southampton are Ladbrokes’s 6/4 jollies prior to their West Ham excursion.
The Six Nations returns tomorrow (Friday) as Wales entertain France and Stan James make the hosts odds-on at 4/6 to prevail in Cardiff.
Les Bleus are 13/10 (bet365) to make it three wins from three and they stand out in BetVictor’s handicaps, at 10/11, aided by a three-point start.
Saturday’s clash between Italy and Scotland looks like the battle to avoid the Wooden Spoon and the home side get the nod in Rome at 4/6 (Stan James) while at Twickenham, Paddy Power post 4/7 against an England success at Ireland’s expense and it’s 10/11 via William Hill for Stuart Lancaster’s side to cover the visitors’ four-point advantage in the handicaps.
In Super League, BetVictor rate Leeds at 2/5 to get the better of Warrington in the big televised clash at Headingley.
The Rhinos are 5/6 in Stan James’s handicaps, when kicking off six points in arrears and bet365 quote the hosts’ prolific winger Ryan Hall at 6/1 to cross for the game’s first try.
Finally, in the World Club Challenge, Australian champions Sydney Roosters are just 1/6 (BetVictor) to get the better of Wigan, Stan James’s 11/2 outsiders, at the Allianz Stadium.
The home side should dominate the contest Down Under and bet365 make them 10/11 to cover the Warriors’ 14-point cushion in the handicaps.
Bet of the week: Treble on Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool – evens (BetVictor).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com