Take a punt on Luiz

Our Andy Schooler feels Chelsea are worthy favourites for Wednesday night's Premier League clash with Tottenham.

Last Updated: 08/05/13 at 19:01 Post Comment

David Luiz: Will have plenty of attention on him v Spurs

David Luiz: Will have plenty of attention on him v Spurs

Chelsea head into the televised clash knowing victory will book their place in next season's Champions League but Spurs also have the carrot of a berth in the continent's leading tournament.

However, our man is steering clear of the outright market and delving into the man of the match betting. Here's his full preview:

Chelsea v Tottenham (1945 BST)

Chelsea head into Wednesday night's Premier League clash with Tottenham knowing victory will book their spot in next season's Champions League.

Three points ahead and with a vastly superior goal difference to fifth-placed Spurs, the Blues have things in their own hands going in the Stamford Bridge showdown.

It's a been a real struggle for the hosts to nail down a top-four spot but, after putting together some decent results of late, they can do it with two games to spare.

Spurs, of course, need victory themselves. The outsiders of three for a top-four spot (Arsenal being the other contenders), Andre Villas-Boas' men will pile the pressure of their two London rivals if they pull off an upset.

It would appear unlikely though.


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As mentioned, Chelsea have momentum. Rafa Benitez has had his critics but his squad rotation appears to have been well judged for the Blues have not run out of steam as many, including myself, thought they would with such a heavy fixture schedule.

Instead, in recent weeks, their Euorpa League participation has actually helped keep the ball rolling and they head into this contest having won their last four. It would have been six but for Luis Suarez's last-kick equaliser at Anfield last month.

Spurs, on the other hand, have been huffing and puffing of late. To their credit they've still managed to win plenty of games but they failed to convince and my suspicion here is that the extra quality of Chelsea will prove too good for them.

Not for the first time, a fine Gareth Bale goal got them out of trouble on Saturday at home to Southampton, while before that they needed a last-minute own goal to draw at Wigan and a late, admittedly impressive, comeback to beat Manchester City.

Goals - not something Chelsea are short of - have been hard to keep out with Wigan, Basel (twice), Everton, Inter Milan and Liverpool all putting at least two past them.

Throw in Spurs' awful record at the Bridge - they've not won this fixture since 1990 - and Chelsea look worthy favourites.

However, they are odds-on across the board which isn't a prize to set the mouth watering and not one I want to get involved with.

Despite Chelsea's strong case, the big stakes these two are playing for mean Spurs may well be able to raise their game and I'm steering clear of the outright market.

For those looking for a bet, Victor Moses to score at any time might be worth a look - at least once the teams have been named.

The former Wigan star has now bagged four goals in his last six starts yet he is out at 4/1 to find the target in this one.

Moses has been in decent form and looks capable of troubling that leaky Spurs backline - if he keeps his place, for Eden Hazard is fit again.

If you are having a bet prior to the team announcements, make sure you check your bookie's rules regarding non-starters - some will refund others will let the bet run if your man is on the bench.

One other suggestion is for David Luiz to be named man of the match.

The Chelsea man is sure to be the centre of Sky Sports' attention following his weekend antics at Old Trafford.

I've spoken before about how it's much more likely that a player 'in the news' is to win the man of the match gong, particularly when it is chosen by the media, in this case the Sky Sports' co-commentator.

Luiz has hardly been playing badly of late, despite reverting to his role in central defence, while he's also been in the goals with three in his last six games.

While Gareth Bale will also be to the fore in terms of pre-match analysis given his recent awards spree, it's also fair to say he's not sparkled in quite the same way since his return from injury.

BetVictor's 12/1 quote about Luiz, who also plays for the side most likely to win, looks a bit big to me and may be worth a small interest.

Verdict: Chelsea 2 Tottenham 1


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