Chelsea vs Portsmouth: Fright awaits underperforming hosts
This is far more than just a repeat of the 2010 Final for Chelsea, as given their recent form, the FA Cup looks like their only route to domestic silverware this season…
Neither club have had much to celebrate since they parted ways at Wembley 20 months ago, with Chelsea fading from double winners to also-rans in the Premier League title race, and Portsmouth down in the bottom half of the Championship.
However, while Pompey are gradually bouncing back, losing only one of their last seven under new boss Michael Appleton – who worked under Chelsea assistant Roberto Di Matteo at West Brom – their hosts continue to underwhelm.
Yes, they were just about victorious last time out at Wolves, yet that was their first win in five, and alarmingly their record at Stamford Bridge, so often their saving grace before, is pretty dire under Andre Villas-Boas.
The Blues have triumphed in a mere two of their last seven domestic home games and worryingly it isn’t only the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool causing them problems but teams such as Fulham and Aston Villa too.
Despite all that, they are 2/9 to brush aside Portsmouth, who are 10/1 to prevail and 11/2 to draw, though there are several opportunities elsewhere on Ladbrokes for those unconvinced by Chelsea yet unwilling to back the visitors.
Chelsea have produced some dominant victories in this competition in recent years but have won by more than one goal in just three of their last 17 fixtures, and haven’t given any impression in that time that someone is overdue a thrashing off them.
Portsmouth have been regularly beaten in west London of late, yet are rarely humbled there, losing by one goal on three of their last four trips. Odds of 11/8 on them with a +2 handicap therefore appeal, as does 7/2 on Chelsea winning by one goal.