Newcastle vs Chelsea: Villas-Boas to take a leaf from Mourinho’s book
Chelsea have a fine record against Newcastle in recent seasons and they can shade an intense victory at the Sports Direct Arena to ease some of the growing pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The pressure is firmly on Villas-Boas after five defeats in nine games in all competitions and although most managers would rather play at home, he will possibly be pleased to have an encounter away from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s odds are 1/1 to beat Newcastle and they are unbeaten in eight games against the opposition.
Newcastle have shortened slightly for victory in recent days from 3/1 to 11/4 and there is arguably good reason for this adjustment in prices.
The Toon have lost just once at home in the Premier League in the whole of 2011 and they are currently enjoying their best start to a top-flight season since 1997.
Both teams would probably accept a draw before kick off and this can be backed at 12/5.
Winning ugly is not something that has come that easily to Chelsea since the departure of Jose Mourinho, but Villas-Boas could take after his former boss to shade a tight encounter.
Only Manchester United have conceded fewer goals on their travels this season and Chelsea also have the benefit of welcoming back John Terry from suspension.
With Villas-Boas under pressure, the first thing he will want to do is keep things tight at the back, keep a clean sheet and then hopefully the attacking impetus will take care of itself.
Chelsea certainly have enough match winners in their ranks and 13/2 looks a decent price in the Premier League odds that they secure a 1-0 victory.
Alternatively, it is 9/4 that Chelsea win to nil and 6/4 that they return to London having kept a clean sheet.