TOMORROW – 3.00PM ITV
CHELSEA have really come to the fore over the past few weeks and thoroughly deserve their first title in four years. They were immense against Wigan at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and the 8-0 victory meant we made two decent spread betting profits on the game. It’s always difficult to find decent fixed odds bets when there is such a clear favourite, but I expect things to be slightly different at Wembley tomorrow.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are a best priced 1/5 to win this game, with Portsmouth 16/1 and the draw a massive 13/2 with William Hill. Avram Grant will be hoping to put one over on his former club and he will surely set his stall out to try to frustrate Chelsea, just as they did against Tottenham in the semi-final. Pompey lost 5-0 against the Champions at Fratton Park back in March, but their fate was already sealed and this could be their last shot at a big club for quite some time.
Sporting Index have total goals at 3.1-3.3 and although it’s been a very dangerous pursuit this season, I think selling at 3.1 could be the answer. In the past 15 finals only one has produced more than three match goals and 11 have seen two or fewer. Some will argue this is because a number of those contests were between sides of a similar quality, but Man United only beat League One Millwall 3-0 in 2004, Arsenal defeated Southampton 1-0 a year earlier and Pompey won by the same scoreline against Cardiff two years ago.
The FA Cup Final just doesn’t seem to lend itself to high scoring, thrilling encounters – obviously not including Liverpool and West Ham’s 3-3 battle in 2006 – and there has only been one winning margin of four or more goals since 1903.
The title was the big one for Chelsea and there’s every chance they might come into this game with a bit of a hangover after Sunday’s celebrations. John Terry has had injury problems this week and with practically all of their squad heading to South Africa in a couple of weeks time, they might not be flying into the challenges that they normally would.
Chelsea have an incredibly strong recent record against Pompey, winning 13 and drawing the other of 14 Premier League meetings since 2003. Put simply, I can’t see the West London side do anything other than win this game, but I just think it will be tighter than most expect.
In three of the past five finals the teams have been level at the break and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see this goalless at half-time. I therefore like the look of the draw HT / Chelsea FT market at around 7/2 on Betdaq. Ancelotti’s side should have too much firepower in the second period and I can see them winning 2-0 in the end.
Draw HT / Chelsea FT at 7/2 on Betdaq
Chelsea to win 2-0 at 11/2 on Betdaq
Sell total match goals at 3.1 with Sporting Index