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Chelsea v Napoli: Blues have chance to qualify under Di Matteo

| 14.03.2012

The visit of Napoli presents Chelsea with an uphill task, as the London club aim to win at 8/11 to have any chance of Champions League progression.

Napoli have already travelled to England this season, drawing 1-1 in the group stage with Manchester City, and they are 7/2 to follow up their 3-1 success over Chelsea in Naples with another victory here.

Chelsea have failed to win in their past five Champions League knockout games at Stamford Bridge, drawing three times, and it is 11/4 about another stalemate here that would see Napoli through.

While succumbing to defeat in Italy in the first leg, Chelsea did in fact dominate for large periods of the game, and Napoli’s attacking formation should lead to plenty of opportunities for the Blues this week too.

They have played with a greater sense of liberty under the stewardship of Roberto Di Matteo, and many may wish to get behind a 2-0 home win that would see Chelsea qualify, which can be backed at 6/1.

Alternatively, a 3-1 Chelsea win would lead to extra-time at Stamford Bridge, and punters can get behind that outcome at 10/1.

It is also a big 13/8 for Chelsea to be ahead at half-time and also in the lead at the final whistle, and with Di Matteo desperate to stake a claim for the managerial role on a permanent basis, an emphatic home win in Europe would go a long way to impressing Roman Abramovich.

Didier Drogba hit the winner in Di Matteo’s first home game in charge at the weekend, and the powerful Ivorian is 4/1 favourite to score first again here, while Juan Mata, who notched the opener in Naples in the first leg, is 11/2.

Meanwhile, Napoli striker Edinson Cavani has smashed five Champions League goals already this term, including one in the first leg against Chelsea, and he is 6/1 to break the deadlock.



John Klee