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Stoke City v Chelsea Betting Preview – Saturday, 2nd April 2011

Fri, Apr 1, 10:17am by Kevin Pitstock

This match features the FA Cup semi-finalists up against the Premier League title holders. Chelsea remain nine points behind leaders Manchester United, albeit with a game in hand and a match to play against the league leaders, while Stoke are in that situation of being mid-table and five points clear of the relegation zone in this concertina that is the Premier League. Manager Tony Pulis has talked about getting to 40 points, which is just one more win, but that might not be quite enough to keep them safe. This game is one of the clutch of 01:0 0 AST Sunday morning kick offs.

Stoke’s crushing of Newcastle ended a run of 4 league games without a win that was threatening to make their FA Cup semi-final a side issue to Premier League survival. It also saw a lively performance by the talented Ricardo Fuller. They’ll still be missing John Carew as they look to pick up a 9th home league win from their 16th game at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke don’t like the draw either, with just three at home. They also find Chelsea mighty difficult to crack. Since returning to the top division, Stoke have lost all six of their previous encounters with the Blues, – conceding 17 goals and a minimum of two in each game – while scoring just twice. If you look at half-time, full-time result bets, it’s important to know that more than three-quarters of Stoke’s goals come in the second half of matches.

Chelsea’s form this season might look a little like a graph the shape of a cup of tea – a flying start, a dip in the middle and then a move back upwards towards the end of the season. Despite their obvious mid-season problems, they have conceded the fewest goals and are tied for the most clean sheets with Manchester City. They also boast one of the better EPL away records, with 22 points, a total that ranks behind Arsenal. One thing that can affect Chelsea are international call ups, with players being scattered far and wide before returning ahead of what will be a physical test . One of those is Didier Drogba, who plays for the Ivory Coast. John Terry and Frank Lampard though, were given extra time off their England duty. Fernando Torres, meanwhile is on an eight game non-scoring streak spanning the end of his Liverpool and the beginning of his Chelsea career.

Chelsea have shown some good form and have a history of beign able to match Stoke’s physical game. We like a 2-0 win for Chelsea here, and they are worth a shot at Centrebet at $2.80 to overcome a one goal handicap. We rate this as a 3/5 bet.

Back Chelsea -1 goal at $2.80 with Centrebet!

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