Chelsea v Benfica: bouncing Blues to beat demoralised foes
At first glance Chelsea are turning conventional wisdom about stability breeding success on its head, with the Blues soon to appoint their 10th manager in 10 years, but whilst gaffers may come and go, the core of the squad hasn’t altered since the early days of Jose Mourinho and they’re a confident 7/5 pick to gain one of the few major trophies to have eluded them in the Roman Abramovich era inside the 90 minutes.
Revered generals Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard are all in line to start in Amsterdam and their combined experience will be of great benefit to the Blues as they try to exploit the new-found frailties of a Benfica side who up until recently had forgotten how to lose.
Before the Eagles’ Europa League semi first leg defeat to Fenerbahce they’d gone undefeated since a loss to Spartak Moscow at Luzhniki in October, but that result seems to have been the harbinger of a levelling out of form that has seen them win just twice in their last five games.
Chelsea are in far better nick, winning six of their last eight games with the other two outings drawn.
When at the height of their mid-season brilliance the Lisbon club recorded eight clean sheets in an 11-game period, but of late they’re less rigorous at the back, conceding in eight of their last 10 matches. Chelsea have been breached in nine of their last 12 outings and it’s 7/10 that both teams register goals here.
Rafa Benitez’s men may have been allowing their opposition goals more often than not, but such is the dizzying array of attacking talent within their squad that they’ve been able to keep they’re impressive run of results going by outscoring the opposition. Chelsea have plundered two or more goals in seven of their last eight games and can be backed to notch over 1.5 goals at 6/5.
With the Blues in superior form to adversaries who may find it hard to pick themselves up after being robbed of the Liga Sagres title by an injury time goal last time out, the 18/5 double on the Chelsea win and both teams to score looks the ideal wager.