Italian job too big for Blues

Chelsea have led in each of their seven European games this season

Roberto Di Matteo takes charge of Chelsea for the first time in the Champions League with his side facing Napoli in the second-leg of their last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge.

The hosts trail the Italians 3-1 from the first-leg and, to stand any chance of advancing to the quarter finals, Di Matteo must mastermind a third successive victory since replacing Andre Villas-Boas at the helm. He will be without the injured Jose Bosingwa and Raul Meireles is suspended. Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge and Michael Essien will all be hoping for a recall to Chelsea's starting line-up having been left out for the 1-0 win over Stoke City at the weekend.

Edinson Cavani will lead the attack for the visitors with support coming from the lively Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi. As was the case in the first-leg of the tie, Walter Mazzarri will watch from the stands as he serves the remainder of his two-match touchline ban.

Chelsea have led in each of their seven European games this season but have only gone on to win three. Blue Square offer 9/2 for Chelsea to score first and fail to win the game.

Napoli have scored 17 goals in the process of winning their last six games in all competitions and therefore a Chelsea clean sheet looks unlikely. The hosts will, however, be forced to attack and may leave gaps at the back in doing so. Blue Square offer odds of 4/6 for both teams to score and the same odds for over 2.5 goals to be scored during the game. Both bets look good value but the former is perhaps the safer of the two.

If Chelsea fail to qualify, the Champions League quarter-final draw will include no English teams for the first time in 16 years. The Blues can be backed at 12/5 with Sporting Bet to progress to the next round.

William Hill are offering 25/1 on the tie being decided on penalties. However, punters can easily beat that price by spreading their stake on both Napoli (at 70/1 with Paddy Power) and Chelsea (at 60/1) to win on penalties.

Chelsea will go into the game as favourites for the win but, even at odds as low as 4/11, Napoli are worth backing to qualify given their form and first-leg advantage.

Recommended Bets:

Back Napoli to Qualify @ 4/11 with Sky Bet

Back Both Teams to Score @ 4/6 with Blue Square

Written By:- Phil Haigh (About our Authors)
Posted on:- 14/03/2012 - 10:18 AM
Filed in:- Chelsea Betting News, Chelsea

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