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Tugby's Tips: Chelsea

13 December 2013

Former bookmaker and Palace Programme editor Luke Tugby talks us through his tips ahead of this weekend's clash with Chelsea. 

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Crystal Palace travel to west London as huge underdogs ahead of their match against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. The Eagles are as big as 14/1 with SkyBet to achieve something that no visiting team has done in almost 70 Premier League attempts – win at Stamford Bridge. 

The hosts are massively odds-on to take all three points at 1/6, while the draw is available at 6/1. 

And that’s a price that shouldn’t be sniffed at. West Bromwich Albion came away from the Bridge with a 2-2 draw last month, and Southampton gave the Blues a real scare with a goal inside the first 15 seconds at the start of December.

With Palace fourth in the form table and having only conceded one goal in their past five games, Tony Pulis’ side will certainly be full of confidence. The 5/4 on offer on the handicap betting for Palace to win with a +2 goal head start looks a pretty solid bet to me.  

The odds on both teams to score are usually well below even money, but with SkyBet going 5/4 on this match, that also looks like value. It’s 8/15 that there will be more than 2.5 goals in the game – as there have been in each of Chelsea’s last five Premier League games. 

If Palace can nick the first goal, that is sure to frustrate the home faithful and make the game very interesting indeed. Marouane Chamakh and Cameron Jerome have struck up a good partnership since Tony Pulis’ arrival and both strikers scored in the 2-0 win over Cardiff City last weekend. The pair are 16/1 and 20/1 respectively to open the scoring against the Blues.

For Chelsea, Eden Hazard and Oscar look the best bets at 11/2, with striker Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba all struggling for goals of late. 

Whoever gets the goals and whatever the final score is, I don’t think this game will be as cut and dried as a lot of pundits suggest. Julian Speroni may find himself busy early on, but with Palace’s back five in confident mood, I think they’ll do a good job of frustrating the Blues. The 13/8 on a half time draw could prove profitable, while it’s 10/1 on a 1-1 half time scoreline. 

Tugby’s Tip of the Day: The first half to end in a draw at 13/8.

Value of the Day: Cameron Jerome to repeat his feat against Cardiff score first – 20/1 is great value considering the form he’s in. 

Long Shot of the Day: Palace haven’t scored more than once in any away game so far this season. They are 33/1 to score two or more goals in the first half at Stamford Bridge. 

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