Jose Mourinho steered Chelsea to FA Cup glory in his last full season at Stamford Bridge back in 2007 and the Blues boss is a 5/1 shot at William Hill to lift the trophy again this term, in his second spell at the club.
The competition reaches the fourth-round stage this weekend and for Chelsea that means the visit of Stoke in the only all-Premier League tie.
However, despite facing top-flight opposition, the Blues are still emphatic favourites, Stan James chalking them up at 1/4 to progress to the last 16 at the first attempt.
Mark Hughes’s troops are 12/1 at BetVictor to cause an upset and 5/1 (William Hill) to earn a replay but it’s hard to see past the hosts, especially after their impressive 3-1 victory against Manchester United on Sunday and an easy home win gets the nod in this one.
Ladbrokes chalk Chelsea up at 7/10 in the handicaps, where they start a goal behind, Winner.com offer 10/1 about a 3-1 Blues success and for punters fancying Mourinho’s men to prevail ‘to nil’ (11/10, betway), BetVictor mark 6/1 against the Blues netting twice without reply.
In attack, Samuel Eto’o is a 7/2 chance at bet365 to follow his weekend hat trick with the opener in this one and Demba Ba, who could now be given more game time in light of Fernando Torres’s injury, is 9/2 (bet365) to break the deadlock.
That’s the last televised encounter of the weekend, with the first coming at the Emirates Stadium on Friday as Arsenal entertain Coventry.
The Sky Blues are enjoying a decent season in League One but they shouldn’t have enough to trouble the Gunners, hence the visitors are Paddy Power’s 25/1 outsiders and Arsene Wenger’s team are just 1/10 with Stan James.
The hosts are 19/20 when kicking-off two goals in arrears in Winner.com’s handicaps and BetVictor quote them at 13/2 to card a 3-0 triumph.
At Dean Court, Bournemouth are Skybet’s 8/1 shots ahead of the lunchtime visit of Liverpool, Paddy Power’s 4/11 favourites and although the Reds weren’t at their best against Aston Villa last time out, they’re hard to oppose; bet365 go 11/4 about an away victory by one and also make Daniel Sturridge 10/3 to net first.
The Reds’ neighbours Everton are also in front of the cameras, this time on Saturday evening and Paddy Power mark 1/3 against them easing past Stevenage at Broadhall Way, where a 2-1 scoreline in favour of the Toffees comes in at 17/2 with BetVictor.
Flying the flag for non-league teams are Kidderminster but Skrill Premier outfit’s run should come to an end at Sunderland, even though the Premier League strugglers will make changes. The Black Cats are a safe-looking 1/4 courtesy of Stan James while Man City (1/10, betway) are also a home banker against Watford and Hull (8/11, Stan James) should do the business at Southend.
Those seeking upsets might consider Sheffield United, who saw off Villa in the third round and are 9/5 (Ladbrokes) to dish out the same treatment to Fulham. Alternatively, Rochdale are 12/5 at BetVictor to follow their success against Leeds by disposing of Sheffield Wednesday at Spotland and bet365 rate Birmingham at 11/4 to overcome faltering Swansea.
Hot on the heels of their Ashes humbling at the hands of Australia, England have now lost the ODI series, Sunday’s defeat in Sydney giving the hosts an unassailable 3-0 lead with two matches remaining.
Winner.com chalk the Baggy Greens up at 10/11 to win the remaining two games to match the 5-0 Test whitewash in the limited overs format and it’s 11/8 (Ladbrokes) for the tourists to register a victory in one of the two remaining clashes to ‘only’ lose 4-1.
The pair meet again in the early hours of Friday in Perth, where the Aussies are Stan James’s 1/2 favourites and Alistair Cook’s beleaguered team are 15/8 via BetVictor to finally manage a victory.
Bet of the week: Birmingham to beat Swansea – 11/4 (bet365).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com