BLACKPOOL v CHELSEA
Football: England: Premier League
Monday 7th March 2011 – Kickoff 8pm
Blackpool and Chelsea meet on Monday night at Bloomfield Road with both sides needing three points to alleviate their respective positions in the league; Blackpool to pull away from the relegation mire, Chelsea to close a seemingly formidable gap on leaders Manchester United.
Blackpool will be desperately doing everything in their power to retain their Premiership status following all of their hard work during the season – their home record could be improved upon which currently stands at 4-3-6 22/24, but unlike Birmingham and Wigan, they don’t tend to get stage fright on home soil and play open, attacking football.
This is certainly evident when you look at the number of goals scored at Bloomfield Road; The Seasiders possess an incredible over/under ratio of 12:1 in over 2.5 goals per match, and this style of play is probably their best chance of upsetting this Chelsea side.
In terms of firepower, striker DJ Campbell (9 goals) heads the goal charts, but is joined by highly rated midfielder Charlie Adam (7 goals, 6 assists), Luke Varney (5 goals, 3 assists) and Gary Taylor-Fletcher (4 goals, 2 assists). Youngster Matt Phillips (1 goal, 3 assists) is also one for the future.
Following three defeats on the trot to Sunderland, Manchester United and West Ham, The Seasiders are unbeaten in their last two; 1-1 v Aston Villa and 3-1 over Tottenham. Another statistic which suggests goals from the home side is that Blackpool have scored in every home match so far this season.
Visitors Chelsea will be looking to build upon their 2-1 win over leaders Manchester United in midweek with another victory at Blackpool.
The Blues are unbeaten in their last three on the road with wins at Bolton Wanderers 4-0, Sunderland 4-2 and shared the points at Fulham in a 0-0 draw. Their over/under 2.5 goals ratio away from home stands at a more modest 6:8, but you’d be pretty confident of them hitting the back of the net against a Blackpool defence who have shipped 24 goals at home, second only to Wigan Athletic (30 goals).
Chelsea’s away record stands at an indifferent 5-4-5 22/14, but again goals are in evidence as they are only behind Arsenal (27 goals) and Manchester United (23 goals). Their firepower is well celebrated and comes from every area of the team; obviously Drogba (9 goals, 8 assists), Anelka (6 goals, 2 assists), Malouda (9 goals, 3 assists), Kalou (7 goals, 2 assists) are the obvious threats, but then add in Frank Lampard who’s had a pretty quiet season so far by his standards and a certain Fernando Torres yet to open his account, and you have every reason to believe that they too will score.
The Verdict: Both sides will be going for it make no mistake, and Chelsea in particular can’t afford to sit back and wait for things to happen. I really couldn’t predict a scoreline, but I’m confident both sides will score on Monday night.
Main Pick: Both teams to score @ 1.83 with bet365