Bobby’s Bets

Chelsea v Arsenal Preview
PLUS: Fantastic Four – Classic Encounters from the Past

Chelsea  v  Arsenal, Stamford Bridge, Saturday March 22nd  2014 – Live on BT Sport 12.45 KO

CHELSEA  10/11   DRAW   5/2   ARSENAL   3/1

We’re all set for a massive game that could have a major say in who becomes champions this season. Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing result at Villa Park last week which dented their title challenge somewhat as their rivals picked up maximum points.

The Gunners need to be wary; last week was Chelsea’s first defeat since September but they are still unbeaten at home in the league and secured their passage into the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday by disposing of Galatasaray.

Arsenal will be looking to give Arsene Wenger a big reason to smile in his 1,000th match in charge of the club this weekend. Confidence should be high after their win over rivals Tottenham in their last game. Despite a less than convincing performance they secured the three points courtesy of a fine Tomas Rosicky strike and a good defensive effort to keep in touch at the top of the table.

Wenger

Wenger: “Where did the time go..?”

Arsenal currently lay in third spot, just four points behind Chelsea at the top with a game in hand, so a win here would hand them some control over their own destiny in the title race.

As far as the significance of his landmark match in charge Wenger told Arsenal’s official website: “It makes you feel ‘where did the time go?’ It looks to me like I started yesterday, I can’t believe it is such a long time.

“Why? Because you’re always focused on looking forward to the next game and when you look back you think I made quite a distance there.

“Despite that, your only interest is the next game, our drug is the next game, the hope for the next game, the desire to win the next one.”

Whether Wenger will be high as a kite or struggling through cold turkey come 2.30pm on Saturday will very much depend on him finally getting a sniff of success against Mourinho, something he has failed to do in ten previous attempts.

On the injury front, Chelsea should welcome back former Arsenal defender Ashley Cole who has been recovering from a lateral knee ligament injury, though Cole is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench with the defensively impressive Cesar Azpilicueta preferred ahead of him. In Brazilian news; David Luiz  could return to the starting lineup after making the bench midweek but Willian and Ramires are both suspended following their dismissals against Villa.

Arsenal’s injury list is more substantial. Mesut Ozil is out until the middle of next month with a hamstring problem and Jack Wilshere is ruled out of the game with a broken foot. Aaron Ramsey’s recovery from a thigh problem appears to have had a setback whilst both Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby are recovering from long term knee injuries.

Selected Bets

Anytime Goalscorer: Hazard 15/8, Lampard 12/5, Giroud 13/5, Rosicky 8/1

Correct Score: Che 1-0 Ars 6/1, Che 1-1 Ars 11/2, Che 1-2 Ars 13/1

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY: Scorecast – Chelsea to win 1-0 with Eto’o to score first at 22/1

odds courtesy of PaddyPower

 

FANTASTIC FOUR – CLASSIC PAST ENCOUNTERS

Arsenal 2-4 Chelsea – March 1964

There was turmoil at The Bridge when Tommy Docherty took charge of Chelsea after Ted Drake was dismissed following a series of mid-table finishes and a woeful start to the 61-62 campaign, but he was unable to turn things around and at the end of the season Chelsea were relegated. But they bounced straight back with a side built around Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris, Terry Venables, and their young captain Bobby Tambling.

Their first season back with the big guns was magnificent for such a young team – the standout result being a 4-2 win at Highbury.

The Arsenal team was built around the attacking talents of George Eastham, Joe Baker and George Armstrong, and they still held faint hopes of maintaining a title challenge. But they were found wanting as Bobby Tambling scored all four Chelsea goals on a mudbath, capitalising on three mistakes by Ian Ure, the other a delightful lob.

Chelsea finished in fifth, three places ahead of Arsenal. Docherty’s side were anointed as one of the teams of the decade and went on to capture the League Cup a year later. Arsenal on the other hand descended into a dark period under Billy Wright, not only losing their way but also their white sleeves in the process.

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Bobby Tambling scored four times at a very muddy Highbury

Arsenal 5-2 Chelsea – April 1979

stapleton

Stapleton: Scored twice to help send Chelsea down

Both teams began the 70’s in fine style; Arsenal won the league and Cup Double in 1971, only to drift. Chelsea followed up their 1970 FA Cup win with the Cup Winners’ Cup a year later – and then decided to expand Stamford Bridge with a massive East Stand. Up went the stand, and down went Chelsea.

One of their stars of the 1960s Eddie McCreadie led Chelsea back up with a team built around Ray Wilkins. Boardroom unrest meant McCreadie was replaced by another star of the previous decade, Ken Shellito, before Danny Blanchflower was tasked with keeping the Blues in the top flight.

But in 1978-79, Chelsea won only five league games all season, the knockout blow being landed with a spectacular flourish by Arsenal. David O’Leary, Frank Stapleton (2), Alan Sunderland and David Price sent Chelsea down – with the west Londoners’ only relief coming from terrace favourites Clive Walker and Tommy Langley.

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal – February 1991

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal went unbeaten in their title triumph of 2003/04 of course. But that achievement could have been old news had Chelsea not beaten George Graham’s Gunners in February of 1991, 23 years earlier, which proved to be their only league defeat of the season as they clinched the title by seven points.

In a tight match, Chelsea seized control in the second half thanks to Graham Stuart’s header into an almost unguarded net after Winterburn’s mistake, and late on the Arsenal defence was in tatters as Kerry Dixon tapped in after being set up by Damien Matthew to send The Shed into raptures.

Alan Smith’s smart finish pulled one back, but it came so late the away fans could barely muster a cheer. Invincibility would have to wait…

Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal – October 1999

Nwankwo Kanu is a curious character, the embodiment of unfulfilled possibilities some would say. Despite his frustrating, languid style and unspectacular goal scoring record he is a cult figure to Arsenal fans everywhere – thanks largely to this game.

Chelsea seemed to have the game all sewn up shortly after half time when Dan Petrescu added to Tore Andre Flo’s 39th minute strike. But Arsenal’s Nigerian hero had other ideas, scoring an exquisite 15 minute hat-trick. His first two goals were all about his control and delicate touch, but it’s his 90th-minute winner that will really live long in the memory.

It looked like the chance had gone after he’d chased down Albert Ferrer’s stray clearance, but dribbling past a stranded Ed de Goey, Kanu whipped the ball over an array of Chelsea defenders into the far top corner from an impossible angle, sending Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler into a fits, screeching the famous line: “Can you believe it?!”

 

by Karl Hofer

Super Sunday Preview
Manchester United v Liverpool & Tottenham v Arsenal

Sunday March 16th

It’s crunch time again as four giants of the English game do battle, but the title favourites are not directly involved as Manchester City and Chelsea play the role of interested onlookers this Sunday when United face Liverpool and Arsenal travel to Spurs.

Liverpool have lost on eight of their last nine league visits to Old Trafford, but they do have the two highest scoring players in the Premier League in their squad in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.

David Moyes may have never beaten the Merseysiders at Anfield during his tenure as Toffees boss, but he did turn the tables on them at Goodison from time to time and United’s fans will want to see his side flex their muscle against one of the top teams if they are to be convinced of his credentials as a manager who can mix it with the big guns.

For that to happen he will nned a big game from United’s defenders as Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez – or SAS 2.0 if you will – have amassed 42 goals between them so far this league season, and that’s  just four less than the whole United side!

In fact Liverpool are the highest scorers in the Premier division having amassed 79 goals so far. They have scored 47 of those in the first half, more than Manchester United have managed in total.

Time perhaps for Rooney and Van Persie to step up – and the Dutchman has 6 in his last 7 against Liverpool so there’s hope there.

Meanwhile in North London; ‘Europe’ officially became a dirty word this week with Arsenal looking to bounce back from their midweek exit from the Champions League and Tim Sherwood and his charges have it all to do to turn around a 3-1 deficit against Benfica to stay in the Europa League.

Sherwood has promised fans that Tottenham will not capitulate again after their 4-0 thrashing away to Chelsea last weekend. Another inept display in the derby may spell the end of his tenure.

But what a difference three points makes; A win against the enemy on Sunday will pull them to within three points of Arsenal – and possibly Liverpool, depending on their result at Old Trafford – although both will have a game in hand.

Such a win would certainly reinvigorate a Spurs side that has recently looked devoid of all hope never mind soul.

In recent years the Gunners have come up trumps at the culmination of the league season to twice overtake their north-London rivals and secure fourth spot. Spurs now must do the same otherwise the investment of £100m last summer will be viewed as a total waste.

DID YOU KNOW:

Emmanuel Adebayor is the highest scorer in the history of North-London derbies

Victory for Spurs will be their 50th league win over the Gunners

THE ODDS

Manchester United:  6/4   Draw:   23/10   Liverpool:   15/8

Tottenham Hotspur:   2/1   Draw:  23/10   Arsenal:  7/5

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY:

United & Liverpool to draw, Arsenal to win double: £10 returns £79.20

Odds courtesy of PaddyPower

 

Chelsea v Spurs Preview
PLUS: Fantastic Four – Classic Games Between The Two Rivals

ChelseaSpurs

Chelsea battle with Spurs in 1994 with The Shed in the background

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Sat March 8th, 5.30pm

The North London derby between Spurs and Arsenal has historically been the deciding factor in dominance of the Capital, but the emergence of Chelsea in recent years as a force, not just in England but in Europe, has meant a certain realignment in what is meant by the ‘Big’ London derby.

Although contests between Arsenal and Chelsea have generally had an impact on who wins silverware, the games between Spurs and the Blues have carried a significant amount of extra spice about them – for numerous reasons.

Those reasons include; Abramovich supposedly choosing Chelsea ahead of Spurs as the club to lavish his millions on, Chelsea’s poaching of Frank Arnesen, trying to wrench Modric away from the Lane, the whole AVB thing, Chelsea’s marathon unbeaten run in the fixture, Mata’s ‘phantom’ goal in the semi-final at Wembley, the victory over Bayern that ousted Spurs from the following season’s Champion League tournament despite finishing 4th and, most recently, Willian’s snubbing of Spurs to join the Blues instead – all of which has ensured there is no shortage of animosity between the pair.

Chelsea have dominated in the modern era; of their 43 Premeir League encounters Spurs have been on the wrong end 23 times and won a mere 3, all of which were at White Hart Lane.

Not since Gary Lineker headed home Nayim’s cross at the far post on February 10, 1990, have Tottenham beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – a full two years before Christian Eriksen was born. Sinead O’Connor was number one at the time with ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’  – it was that long ago…

THE ODDS

CHELSEA  3/5    DRAW  11/4    TOTTENHAM  5/1

Correct Score:

Willian is 10/1 to score first against the team he snubbed

Willian is 10/1 to score first against the team he snubbed

Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham  6/1
Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham  7/1
Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham  11/1
Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham  7/1
Chelsea 3-1 Tottenham  12/1
Chelsea 3-2 Tottenham  22/1

Draws- 0-0: 10/1, 1-1: 13/2, 2-2: 14/1, 3-3:  60/1

Chelsea 0-1 Tottenham  16/1
Chelsea 0-2 Tottenham  35/1
Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham  17/1
Chelsea 1-3 Tottenham  55/1
Chelsea 2-3 Tottenham  50/1

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY – Chelsea to come from behind to win: 8/1

First Goalscorer –

Eto’o 9/2
Torres 5/1
Schurle 11/2
Hazard 6/1
Lampard 13/2
Willian 10/1
Terry 25/1

Soldado 8/1
Adebayor 8/1
Townsend 12/1
Eriksen 14/1
Lennon 18/1
Pauinho 18/1

Odds courtesy of PaddyPower.

 

THE FANTASTIC FOUR

There have been many memorable games in this derby, but here BOBBY takes a look back at four classic encounters between Chelsea and Tottenham…

1. Chelsea  4-3  Tottenham Hotspur  – February 27th 1994

Chelsea, then managed by former Tottenham hero Glenn Hoddle, went behind to two goals in a minute from Steve Sedgley and Jason Dozzell, but in a half of two halves the Blues, thanks to Mal Donaghy, Mark Stein and a belter from John Spencer, were leading 3-2 after 40 minutes, with Hoddle ecstatically high-fiving his players on the touchline.

The second half was all about penalties; Andy Gray’s spot-kick drew Ossie Ardiles’ side level on 72 minutes and he had the chance to repeat the feat from the spot again a few moments later, but Russian stopper Dimitri Kharine saved. Into injury time and a rash challenge from Dean Austin on Gavin Peacock gave Stein the opportunity to win the game and he made no mistake with his penalty to make it 4-3 at Stamford Bridge, which was being redeveloped at the time. It was the seventh straight league defeat for Spurs, who finished one place and six points behind Chelsea in 15th place at the end of the season.

Chelsea
Kharine, Donaghy, Johnsen, Clarke, Kjeldberg, Burley, Peacock, Wise, Newton, Stein, Spencer
Manager: Glenn Hoddle

Tottenham Hotspur
Walker, Sedgley, Scott, Austin, Mabbutt, Nethercott, Edinburgh, Samways, Anderton, Dozzell, Rosenthal
Manager: Ossie Ardiles

Att: 19,398

2. Tottenham  Hotspur  1-6  Chelsea  – December 6th 1997

Chelsea fans, not surprisingly, still like to remind their rivals of this demolition-derby from 1997 in the Premier League, where Chelsea recorded their biggest away win ever against London opposition. That wasn’t on the cards though at half-time with the score at one apiece, after Chelsea’s Tore-Andre Flo and Tottenham’s Ramon Vega had scored in quick succession, but after the break the Blues ran rings around their hosts, whose lack of spirit was perhaps best demonstrated by the fact not one Spurs player made it into the referee’s book all game.

Roberto Di Matteo, Dan Petrescu and Mark Nicholls all scored, while Flo completed his hat-trick to ensure that “We won 6-1, we won 6-1, we won 6-1 at the Lane!” will forever be heard when these two meet.

Tottehnam Hotspur
Walker, Carr, Scales, Vega, Calderwood, Wilson, Ginola, Fox, Nielsen, Sinton, Ferdinand
Subs:Edinburgh for Sinton, Anderton for Nielsen, Allen for Scales
Manager: Christian Gross

Chelsea
De Goey, Leboeuf, Sinclair, Duberry, Petrescu, Le Saux, Babayaro, Di Matteo, Wise, Flo, Zola
Sub: Nicholls for Babayaro
Manager: Ruud Gullit

Att: 28,476

OK, we all know that – a couple of recent exceptions aside – Spurs wins over Chelsea have been as rare as rocking-horse shit this last quarter of a century, so we’ve had to dig deep to unearth a couple for you in the interests of fair play, but they are good ones;

3. Chelsea  2-3  Tottenham Hotspur  – March 6th 1982

A pulsating FA Cup Sixth round tie saw Tottenham produce some quality play on a bumpy Stamford Bridge pitch on their way to Wembley back in ’82. Chelsea took the lead through a fine Mike Fillery free-kick just before half-time, but second half strikes by Archibald, Hoddle and Hazard in a ten minute spell proved decisive. Alan Mayes puled one back towards the end, but Tottenham, with Hoddle at his imperious best, held on to send the travelling fans home happy  – after dodging a hail of bottles and bricks back to the tube station.

Chelsea
Francis, Locke, Nutton, Chivers, Pates, Hutchings, Walker, Bumstead, Fillery,  Mayes, Rhoades-Brown
Manager: John Neal

Tottenham Hotspur
Clemence , Miller, Perryman, Price, Hughton , Galvin, Hoddle, Ardiles, Hazard, Crooks, Archibald
Manager: Keith Burkinshaw

Att: 42,557

4. Chelsea  1-2  Tottenham Hotspur  – FA Cup Final, May 20th 1967

After 95 years this was, surprisingly, the first ever all-London FA Cup final.  Spurs were favourites, and the match went according to form, as they effectively controlled the whole game from the very start.

Spurs went in front when Alan Mullery unleashed a shot from outside of the box that struck Ron Harris and fell perfectly for Jimmy Robertson, who fired his shot past Bonetti. Spurs doubled their advantage as goalscorer turned provider when Jimmy Robertson fed Frank Saul, who turned swiftly to score.

Chelsea pulled one back with four minutes remaining through Tambling, but it was too little too late and the 2-1 scoreline ultimately flattered Chelsea as the Cup headed back to White Hart Lane for a third time in the decade.

Chelsea
Bonetti, Harris, McCreadie, Hollins, Hinton, Harris, Cooke, Hateley, Baldwin, Tambling, Boyle.
Manager: Tommy Docherty

Tottenham Hotspur
Jennings, Kinnear, Knowles, Mullery, England, Mackay, Venables, Robertson, Gilzean, Greaves, Saul.
Manager: Bill Nicholson

Att: 100,000

 

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Osgood scores a penalty for Chelsea past Pat Jennings of Spurs

Sunderland v Man City Preview
PLUS The Greatest Cup Final Upset: The Story of ’73

MANCHESTER CITY  3/10    DRAW  9/2    SUNDERLAND  9/1

The odds, unsurprisingly, heavily favour a City victory on Sunday. For some the question is not can they win but can Gus Poyet and his boys keep it respectable.

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has his work cut out to stop a rampant Man City

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has his work cut out to stop a rampant Man City

That perhaps does The Black Cats a disservice. They’ve become a solid outfit under the Uruguayan and will make it tough in the early going. The key here could be an early goal. If City strike quickly it would be hard to see Sunderland getting back into it, and if they start to take risks as they chase the game the they could play into City’s hands and be picked off.

An upset would almost certainly have to mirror the performance of 41 years ago, namely; score first and be lucky!

A 1-0 scoreline in favour of the outsiders is a whopping 30/1.

If you think free-scoring City can match the record margin of victory (set last year by Swansea over Bradford) then you can get 25/1 on 5-0.

Good value can be found in a City comeback; with a HT/FT bet on Sunderland/Man City coming in at 20/1 whilst City to Come From Behind & Win is at 7/1.

Former City player Adam Johnson is 14/1 to open the scoring, while you can get 5/2 on Aguero, 3/1 on Negredo and 9/1 on Nasri.

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY: A man for the big game, we’ve gone for Yaya Toure to score first at 11/2.

Odds courtesy of PaddyPower.

SPORT Remember 2

The Greatest Shock of All: The Story of Sunderland in ’73

Leeds were an effective and efficient machine, battle-hardened and bold, under manager Don Revie they had won titles and cups domestically and competed with the best in European competition. A team with ten international players, they came to Wembley as the Cup holders, for their third Final in four years.

Sunderland were in the Second Division, and when their new manager Bob Stokoe took over during the season, they were languishing third from bottom.

No Second Division side had won the Cup for over 40 years and none of the experts – in fact hardly anyone outside of Sunderland – gave them anything but the faintest hope of winning. Yet, at Wembley, that all counted for nothing as Sunderland won by a single goal.

 Kick-Off

The game began in heavy rain and this seemed to have an affect on the favourites as it was the Leeds passes that went astray. Sunderland, with Horswill and Porterfield taking an early grip in midfield, were continually first to the ball. Even the great Billy Bremner, captain of Leeds, was hurried out of his stride.

As the game wore on though Leeds, prompted by the accurate passes of Giles, started to open up the Second Division side.

However Sunderland proved themselves to be no pushovers as the commanding figure of Watson at the heart of their defence thwarted the striking prowess of Jones, Clarke and Lorimer.

Leeds had to look elsewhere for inspiration. Despite pre-match predictions to the contrary, the skilful Gray would fail to cut Sunderland’s right flank to pieces. Kerr, the Sunderland skipper, was dropped back to snuff that threat out and Gray was eventually replaced by Yorath.

For all that, Leeds had their chances. Clarke had the best of them and Leeds might have been ahead before Sunderland scored but for another timely intervention from Watson.

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The underdogs celebrate their great victory

Sunderland looked for a pacey counter with ‘Triple H’. Hughes and Halom chased everything and behind them Horswill probed relentlessly, trying shots at every opportunity.

Sunderland were not behaving like underdogs, and on the half-hour they struck.

Leeds keeper David Harvey pushed a long shot from Kerr over the bar. From the resulting corner Hughes, with Halom and Watson in the box occupying the defenders, found Ian Porterfield.

The Scot was calmness personified as he killed the ball on his left thigh and swung to hit it powerfully home with his right foot.

Fightback

As you’d expect, Revie’s men fought back with a determined assault just before half-time and with continued to turn the screws through the second half.

In the 70th minute it seemed Leeds would at last get their reward.

A Paul Reaney cross was met by Trevor Cherry with a diving header across goal. The Sunderland keeper Jimmy Montgomery flew to reach it with his left hand and manged to palm it away – straight into the path of Peter Lorimer, who possessed one of the most powerful and accurate shots in the game.

Lorimer hit it fiercely towards what appeared to be the empty goalmouth – but, miraculously, Montgomery twisted, changed direction and diverted the ball on to the underside of the bar. It bounced to safety.

It was, more so than Porterfield’s goal, the moment of the match.

There were anxious moments for Sunderland as Montgomery made further saves from Bremner, Yorath and Cherry.  A penalty appeal was also waved away before Clarke was again denied when he might have scored.

But Sunderland held firm. In fact in the last minute they could have doubled their lead. Only a supreme effort from Harvey in the Leeds goal tipped away a Halom shot bound for the angle of bar and post.

1973 FA Cup: Sunderland Homecoming

Days after lifting the cup Sunderland fans pronounced Don Revie’s all-conquering Leeds United side “dead” with a mock coffin placed on the pitch during the Wearside club’s celebratory ‘homecoming’ at Roker Park.

The FA Cup Final
May 5th 1973, Wembley Stadium

Sunderland 1-0 Leeds United

Sunderland: Montgomery; Malone, Guthrie; Horswill, Watson, Pitt; Kerr (c), Hughes, Halom, Porterfield, Tueart
Sub not used: Young
Goal: Porterfield (31)

Leeds United: Harvey; Reaney, Cherry; Bremner, Madeley, Hunter; Lorimer, Clarke, Jones, Giles, Gray (Yorath, 75)

Referee: Mr K Burns

Attendance: 100,000

Europe’s Elite Return to Battle
But Where is the Betting Value to be Had..?

It's been a while since you could get as much as 5/1 on Puyol and his boys to lift the European Cup.

it’s been a while since you could get as much as 5/1 on Puyol and his boys to lift the European Cup.

Bayern Munich are 9/4 favourites to retain the Champions League.

The bookies are therefore confident the Germans will roll over Arsenal.

But it would be foolish to write off the Gunners, so a massive 40-1 for Arsenal to win the Champions League is surely worth a fiver punt.

And while Barcelona face a fascinating test against Man City (12-1 to win old big ears), it’s not often in recent years the Catalan giants are quoted at 5-1 going into the knockout stage.

Chelsea are 12-1 to win, Man United 14-1.

To Win Champions League: Bayern Munich 9/4, Real Madrid 9/2, Barcelona 5/1, Man City 12/1, Chelsea 12/1, PSG 14/1, Atletico Madrid 14/1, Man Utd 16/1, Borussia Dortmund 16/1, Arsenal 40/1, AC Milan 66/1, Bayer Leverkusen 150/1, Galatasaray 200/1, Schalke 250/1, Zenit St Petersburg 250/1, Olympiakos 300/1

The patriotic among you may be tempted by the 14/1 on offer for all four English sides to advance from this round, although that’s perhaps a little stingy given the opposition for both Arsenal and City. An English wipe-out is priced at 40/1, but that would need Olympiakos and Galatasaray to cause major upsets against United and Chelsea respectively.

Wayne Rooney (3)

Rooney will fancy his chances to rattle in a few against Olympiakos over two legs.

Perhaps better value can be found in the odds for top scorer, where Wayne Rooney is a 33/1 outsider. That could be tempting given United’s easy draw this round and the fact they will be putting all their energy into the Champions League from now on with no title to contest this season.

Competition Top Scorer: Ronaldo 1/2, Z.Ibrahimovic 3/1, L.Messi 9/2, S.Aguero 14/1, D.Costa 20/1, R.Lewandowski 28/1, T.Muller 28/1, A.Negredo 28/1, G.Bale 33/1, W.Rooney 33/1, E.Cavani 33/1, Neymar 40/1, A.Robben 40/1, F. Ribery 40/1, M.Mandzukic 50/1, K.Benzema 50/1, F.Torres 66/1, M.Reus 66/1

Odds courtesy of Coral.

 

 

FA Cup 2014: BOBBY Sensing Scouse Success

Everton-v-West-Brom-Roberto-Martinez_2992704

Martinez will face one of his former sides as Everton entertain Swansea

The FA Cup has received a huge shot in the arm given the draw the for the fifth round, which means at least two super powers will be knocked out.

The two diamond draws see Manchester City play Chelsea while Arsenal are at home to Liverpool.

There is a twist of romance with Everton boss Roberto Martinez facing one of his former clubs, Swansea.

Martinez of course won the competition with Wigan last season. And Everton, who were a clever money shot at the start of the tournament at 10-1 and a BOBBY’S BETS tip to go all the way, are now 6-1 third favourites behind Man City (10/3) and Arsenal (9/2) according to Coral.

There is still value to get on Everton now.

But given the schedule Arsenal face, Liverpool could well win at the Emirates so 6-1 on them right now is worth a punt.

The Gunners are now scheduled to play Liverpool and Manchester United in the league, Liverpool again in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich in the Champions League in the space of 12 days.

Second-placed Manchester City’s game with Chelsea, who are third, will take place either within four days of hosting Barcelona in the Champions League.

Given Sunderland’s relegation worries and the fact they have made the Capital One Cup final, Southampton look a good bet to win at the Stadium of Light and are 10-1 to lift the Cup.

Draw for the Fifth Round :

Manchester City v Chelsea
Sheffield United v Nottingham Forest
Arsenal v Liverpool
Brighton & Hove Albion v Hull City
Cardiff City v Wigan Athletic
Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton Athletic
Sunderland v Southampton
Everton v Swansea City

The games will be played on the weekend of 15-16 February

 

City v Chelsea: The Oil Firm Derby PLUS: Stunning Bell Volley Earns Draw at The Bridge in ’70

gallery-colin-bell

Colin Bell; scored a belter at The Bridge in 1970

Although Arsenal have led the table for most of the way, Monday’s clash between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Ethiad feels like the Big Title Showdown Game of the campaign so far.

City, all goals and cool, seem to have overcome their early season fallibility on the road. There has become an effortless grace about them which stems from the demeanour of manager Manuel Pelligrini.

Chelsea have become a Jose Mourinho team again. Steely concentration with the bite of cobras.

Even if City have an owner even richer than Chelsea’s and consequently a bigger wage bill, Chelsea have spent far more in this transfer window in a clear statement they won’t be blown out of water just yet.

Money can’t buy success, eh? Oligarch Abramovich and Oil monarch Mansour have reshaped the football landscape with their billions.

It’s far from a two horse race yet… but these two clubs are now setting down a new power base.

Things can still go in cycles but the sheer sums of money would seem to protect these clubs from spiraling into decay rather like, well, Manchester City and Chelsea did by the end of the Seventies.

At the start of that decade the two clubs seemed poised to dominate for some time.

When Man City visited Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in October 1970, City were holders of the European Cup winner’s Cup and Chelsea had just won the FA Cup, both hugely glamorous trophies back then for two very glamorous teams.

That particular game ended 1-1 and was most notable for a stunning long range volley by Colin Bell that is a reminder that those boys knew a thing or two about technique back then too.

THE ODDS

No doubt Chelsea would settle for a similar result.

Man City go into their clash with Chelsea as favourites with Coral at 5/6. The draw is 13/5 with a Chelsea win 7/2.

Despite City’s free goalscoring this season a 0-0 at 12/1 would not surprise – City are 15/2 to win 1-0; Chelsea 14/1.

 

FA Cup: BOBBY Sensing Scouse Success

Everton-v-West-Brom-Roberto-Martinez_2992704

Martinez will face one of his former sides as Everton entertain Swansea

The FA Cup has received a huge shot in the arm given the draw the for the fifth round, which means at least two super powers will be knocked out.

The two diamond draws see Manchester City play Chelsea while Arsenal are at home to Liverpool.

There is a twist of romance with Everton boss Roberto Martinez facing one of his former clubs, Swansea.

Martinez of course won the competition with Wigan last season. And Everton, who were a clever money shot at the start of the tournament at 10-1 and a BOBBY’S BETS tip to go all the way, are now 6-1 third favourites behind Man City (10/3) and Arsenal (9/2) according to Coral.

There is still value to get on Everton now.

But given the schedule Arsenal face, Liverpool could well win at the Emirates so 6-1 on them right now is worth a punt.

The Gunners are now scheduled to play Liverpool and Manchester United in the league, Liverpool again in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich in the Champions League in the space of 12 days.

Second-placed Manchester City’s game with Chelsea, who are third, will take place either within four days of hosting Barcelona in the Champions League.

Given Sunderland’s relegation worries and the fact they have made the Capital One Cup final, Southampton look a good bet to win at the Stadium of Light and are 10-1 to lift the Cup.

Draw for the Fifth Round :

Manchester City v Chelsea
Sheffield United v Nottingham Forest
Arsenal v Liverpool
Brighton & Hove Albion v Hull City
Cardiff City v Wigan Athletic
Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton Athletic
Sunderland v Southampton
Everton v Swansea City

The games will be played on the weekend of 15-16 February

 

Chelsea v Stoke Odds
PLUS: Potters Triumph of ’72 Ended Chelsea’s Seventies Swagger

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Stoke skipper Peter Dobing shakes hands with Ron Harris

It was a game that proved the end of that fabled – and it should be remembered relatively short – period when Chelsea were the rock ‘n’ roll team of English football at the start of the Seventies.

Having won the FA Cup in 1970, then defeated Real Madrid to lift the European Cup Winners Cup the following year, Chelsea made it three Cup Finals in a row when the faced Stoke at Wembley for the League Cup Final of 1972.

Stoke had beaten West Ham in an epic semi-final that after two legs went to two replays and were considered underdogs, even more so as they had lost their previous seven against The Blues.

But although Peter Osgood equalised a Terry Conroy opening goal, veteran George Eastham hit the winner. It remains Stoke’s only major trophy in their history having been beaten by Manchester City three years ago in their only final since.

The below clip gives you the story through the eyes of some of Stoke’s heroes from that day;

TeamsheetStkChe

That defeat by Stoke saw Dave Sexton’s exciting side break up and the club go into a long period of decay.

Now New Chelsea, who have won the Cup four times in the past nine seasons, are aiming to win the trophy for the eighth time in their history.

It’s difficult to see Stoke, managed by former Chelsea striker Mark Hughes and holder of four FA Cup medals (Ashley Cole has a record seven), stopping their progress to the fifth round. But they won when the two sides last met and they will take heart from that.

THE ODDS

Chelsea v Stoke City, FA Cup 4th Round, Sun Jan 26th, 3.30pm. Live on ITV1

That 3-2 win for Stoke back in December is their only victory over Chelsea since the turn of the century, the Blues having won 10 and drawn 2 of those 13 meetings.

CHELSEA:  2/9   DRAW:  5/1    STOKE CITY:   9/1

Selected Bets:

Chelsea to win;  1-0: 15/2, 2-0: 6/1,  3-0: 13/2,  3-1: 10/1, 4-1: 14/1

Draw; 0-0: 16/1,  1-1: 11/1, 2-2: 25/1, 3-3: 80/1

Stoke to win; 0-1: 25/1, 0-2: 66/1, 1-2: 28/1,  2-3: 66/1

First Goalscorer; Eto’o: 3/1, Hazard: 9/2, Oscar: 5/1, Lampard: 11/2, Ramires: 9/1, Crouch 11/1, Arnautovic: 14/1, Adam: 16/1, Walters: 16/1, Ireland: 20/1

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY – Eto’o to score first and Chelsea to win: 4/1

Odds courtesy of William Hill.

 

MNF: West Brom v Everton
Preview & Odds PLUS ’68 Cup Final Memories

West Bromich Albion v Everton, Premier League, Monday 20th January, 8pm. Live on SkySports1

THE ODDS

WBA:   23/10   DRAW:  23/10    EVERTON:   5/4

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD:

WBA wins: 58   Draws:  35   Everton wins: 65

Selected Bets:

Both Teams to Score:   YES:  4/6   NO:   11/10

Everton to come from behind and win:  10/1

West Brom to win:  1-0:  9/1, 2-0: 17/1,  2-1: 10/1,  3-1: 25/1, 3-2: 30/1

Draw:  0-0: 9/1, 1-1: 11/2, 2-2: 12/1, 3-3: 50/1

Everton to win:  1-0:  7/1, 2-0: 10/1, 2-1: 8/1, 3-1: 16/1, 3-2: 25/1

First Goalscorer: Lukaku: 9/2, Anelka: 7/1, Mirallas: 7/1, Baines: 12/1

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY – Anytime Goalscorer; Baines: 4/1

Odds courtesy of PaddyPower

Jeff-Astle-and-Bobby-Hope-001

Jeff Astle and Bobby Hope hold the cup aloft in 1968

Astle’s Finest Hour

Perhaps it wasn’t the greatest of matches, but the 1968 Cup Final was a remarkable one for a number of reasons;

*The 1968 Cup final was the first final to be televised live in colour.

*West Brom won with a Jeff Astle goal three minutes into extra time. The goal meant that Astle had scored in every round of that season’s competition.

*Dennis Clarke became the first substitute to be used in an FA Cup final when he came on for West Bromwich Albion.

*Both teams wore away strips, Everton wearing bright amber shirts and blue shorts and West Bromwich Albion in white shirts and shorts with red socks.

This was Albion’s tenth final and they won the cup for the fifth time and in doing so qualified for the 1968–69 European Cup Winners’ Cup. They haven’t appeared in a final since.

Did You Know: Legend has it that on the evening of the 1968 FA Cup Final triumph the words “ASTLE IS THE KING” appeared in large white letters on the brickwork of Primrose Bridge in the heart of the Black Country. The bridge quickly became known locally as “the Astle Bridge”. When the council removed the letters, they re-appeared a few days later.

A campaign was launched to have the bridge officially named in his honour following Astle’s death in 2002, but this has so far been rejected over fears of vandal attacks by supporters of rival teams, as the area also has a high percentage of Aston Villa and Wolves fans.

FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, May 18th, 1968

EVERTON: Gordon West, Ray Wilson, Brian Labone, Tommy Wright, John Hurst, Alan Ball, Colin Harvey, Howard Kendall, John Morrissey, Joe Royle, Jimmy Husband

WBA: John Osborne, Doug Fraser, Graham Williams, Tony Brown, John Talbut, John Kaye, Graham Lovett, Ian Collard, Jeff Astle, Bobby Hope, Clive Clark

Att: 99,665