Chelsea host Stoke in the FA Cup 4th Round Sunday 26 January 2014 in one of the few all Premier League ties. The match is being shown live on ITV at 15:30, which is nice, accept you have to listen to Andy Townsend.
There's history between the two sides this season, and unbelievably perhaps, they played out one of the most entertaining games of the season when in December they fought out a 3-2 at the Britannia.
Chelsea took the lead in that match, then got it back to two all before Stoke stunned them with an Assaidi stunner in the 90th minute to take all three points.
On paper a repeat would seem unlikely, but that’s the beauty of one offs like this. Over the course of the season Chelsea will be well clear, but in a one off as was shown in December, anything can happen. Let's not forget that Stoke reached the final as recently as 2011, but against the cup mastery of Chelsea that won't really count for much.
To get to this stage Chelsea eased their way past Derby 2-0 at Pride Park
and, in what was a much closer match, Stoke beat Leicester 2-1 at the Britannia
Whilst Chelsea approach this game in form, their last defeat in the league was against Stoke, Stoke themselves have been struggling. They have just one win in their last seven in the league and, after a good run through November and December, they find themselves looking over their shoulder towards the relegation zone.
If you’re looking for omens, Chelsea have won their last six at home to Stoke, with clean sheets in five of those matches. That said, Stoke only lost one of their last seven away FA Cup matches, so maybe there is life in this match.
Looking at the odds, Chelsea are best priced at 1/4 on at BetFair, while Stoke can be backed at 12/1, both with SkyBet.
Unsurprisingly given their Double Delight offer (more details below), PaddyPower aren’t offering the best odds in the First Goalscorer market. They aren’t too far off the mark though, and offer Samuel Eto’o at 3/1 instead of the best price of 10/3 at Bet365. Ba is 4/1 against a best price of 9/2, and Hazard can be backed at 9/2, or best priced at 6/1 with Bet365.
If you fancy Stoke to take the lead then Peter Crouch is available at 14/1 at Bet365.
There’s extra value to be had if you think the match has the potential for handbags, Ladbrokes are offering Red Card Redemption where losing in-play Correct Score and Next Goalscorer bets up to £25 will be refunded up to the moment of the red card.
And, as mentioned above, there’s extra value to be had from Paddy Power where if you back a winning First Goalscorer and that same player goes on to score another in the match, then they will pay out at DOUBLE the original odds.
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