The biggest favorite for this weekend's Premier League action will be Chelsea. The Blues are listed at roughly -400 to win outright, which obviously means Stoke City is a massive underdog in the sports betting odds. They can be backed at a wide range (+900 to +1500), while a draw's at +500 or so.
Only a matter of days after a shock loss to Crystal Palace in the league, Chelsea was unable to recover any pride in Paris during the week.
In a fantastic spectacle of a quarter-final in the Champions League, the Blues were outmatched in the first leg, losing 3-1.
Chelsea went down early in the third minute, but settled in just fine and got their reward through a converted penalty from Eden Hazard. However, Mourinho's gang saw David Luiz give up an own goal in the second half and then were left shell-shocked when Javier Pastore dribbled through their defense to score in stoppage time. That third goal could prove to be the killer blow in this tie.
It's therefore going to be mighty tough for Chelsea to advance on to the semi-finals now, but at least they'll be back at home, where they've been able to pull off some great results in recent years.
The Blues will get a warmup for that occasion here against Stoke City, with three points practically a necessity given the tight race in the Premier League. Liverpool and Manchester City are looking strong as ever and don't look like they're going to be dropping points this weekend.
One of the most in-form teams in the Premier League? That would be Stoke City.
The Potters, if you can believe it, have gone unbeaten in five straight matches, beating Arsenal, West Ham, Aston Villa and Hull City and drawing with Norwich City away from home.
Last weekend Stoke survived to beat the Tigers 1-0, with Peter Odemwingie's goal in the second half making the difference. Odemwingie has been a revelation since joining up with the Potters, with his recent goal his fourth in a matter of three matches.
Will the streak survive through the weekend? No doubt it's going to be an immense challenge against a Chelsea outfit that's wounded and ready to attack, especially since Stoke won 3-2 in the first head-to-head meeting earlier this season.
The Potters have been playing better away from home recently, but overall they've been a mess. They've lost 10 out of 16 matches outright (only two victories) and have conceded twice as many goals (30) as they've scored (15). Stoke really needs to be disciplined in the back for this trip to London, there's no denying it.
Premier League Pick
In no way do we expect a third consecutive defeat for Chelsea. This side is far too talented to stay down too long.
Back in the comfortable confines of Stamford Bridge, the Blues should control the tempo of this match against the scrappy Potters and we expect a win by at least two goals or more. Stoke is sure to set up even more defensively than normal, and their recent form has been inspiring, but Chelsea should be able to find their way through.
As a result, with our soccer picks we'll be recommending a Blues win.
Soccer Pick: Chelsea 2 Stoke City 0