12/5/2011 1:37:00 PM
It’s do-or-die time for Chelsea and Valencia on Tuesday night with hopes of qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League hanging in the balance. Lets review the soccer odds available at the sportsbooks and decide how to play.
Chelsea were just
minutes away from guaranteed qualification before a late winner gave Bayer
Leverkusen a 2-1 victory in Germany two weeks ago. It was in the final minute
that Manuel Friedrich headed in to leave Chelsea needing a (goalless) draw or a
win against Valencia on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge to progress beyond Group E.
The Group E table
has Chelsea sitting second to Bayer Leverkusen, by a single point however that
counts for very little as their final (group stage) opponents, Valencia have an
equal number of points and face Chelsea next. Soccer odds list Chelsea at 4/9 to qualify, while
Valencia are 13/8 and Bayern are already through (either as winners or as
Chelsea will still be guaranteed at least Europe League football
as they can't finish lower than last place Genk, who have managed just two
points in the group stage. Yet Genk can still do Chelsea a favour, if they draw
with Bayern (at 10/3) or even beat the Germans (at 11/2) and Chelsea beat
Valencia (at 8/11), the Blues will go through as Group winners. Don’t forget
the soccer betting odds on Bayern going through at the top of Group E are 1/3, while Chelsea
winning the group are 3/1 (and Valencia are at 8/1). If Chelsea draw with
Valencia (at 11/4) Bayern will be the Group Winners.
A win, a win, my
financial oil-based empire for a win…
Any win would put
Chelsea into the last 16, similarly a goalless draw (available at 10/1) would
see the Blues level with Valencia on points but progress due to an away goal in
the reverse fixture (which ended drawn 1-1, on September 28th). That score
(available at 11/2) would see Valencia through.
Valencia are just one goal away
from recording their 150th strike in the European Cup/Champions League over the
years, and it really couldn’t come at a better time. The Liga side have won
their last two Champions League matches (however both were at home) with a 3-1
success against Bayer Leverkusen and a 7-0 thumping of Genk. Either (unlikely) score
would see them through, a soccer pick of 3-1 is at 40/1 (maybe worth a cheeky bet) while 7-0 (not
worth a bet) is at 200/1.
who opened the scoring for Chelsea on Saturday against Newcastle (and is 5/1 to
do the same against Valencia) insists he is relishing the challenge of such a
crucially important match. "It's these type of games you just love as a
player. When I was a kid I used to watch huge matches like this, dreaming that
I would one day play in them. It's going to be very exciting. Yes, the pressure
is on us, we normally don't have too many problems in the group stages but this
is why people love football.”
currently sit third behind Chelsea, but a score-draw or any win will see them through
to the knock-out stages and the sportsbooks have Valencia at 4/1 to beat
Chelsea. Chelsea’s Florent Malouda insists Chelsea are not distracted (or intimidated)
by thoughts of failure. "We made a big mistake in Germany against
Leverkusen and we have to correct that at home in front of our fans," the
Frenchman said, and I, for one believe him. Don’t bet on a draw as if Chelsea
are starring at a score draw (and therefore exit from the Champions League)
they will go all out for a winner, and either get it or be left lacking in
defence and concede another. While it’s squeaky
bum time for all concerned as long as the game remains goaless!
to Chelsea at 7/2.