Wembley

Next Game

Arsenal v Chelsea

Sunday, 02 August 2015, 15:00

FA Community Shield

FedExField

Last Game

Chelsea 2 - 2 Barcelona

Wednesday, 29 July 2015, 01:00

Int Champs Cup North America

Blues all set to bounce back

Tipster David John is strong on the chances of Chelsea when they host Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League on Thursday.

Last Updated: 14/03/13 at 17:50 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez's Chelsea can outgun Steaua

Rafa Benitez's Chelsea can outgun Steaua

Our tipster David John is strong on the chances of Chelsea when they host Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League on Thursday.

While English hopes, at the time of writing, look like being extinguished for the season in the Champions League, the Europa League is a thriving cottage industry with Newcastle and Chelsea all well capable of progressing through another round on Thursday.

It is the latter who look the best punting prospect when they host Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge with a one-goal deficit to make up from the first leg in Romania.

That match was far from compelling viewing but Raul Rusescu's first-half penalty was enough to give Steaua the upper hand and us a winning bet.

But back in London, I strongly fancy Chelsea to turn things around with a measure of comfort and think they will prove far too good on the night.

Their performance last week was distinctly lacklustre.

Rafa Benitez picked an understrength team with one eye very much on the FA Cup tie with Manchester United so it was little surprise to see a laboured effort.

That said, they may still have nicked a draw if Yossi Benayoun had shown a bit more confidence with his chance before the break so Benitez will be more than happy that his side have just that solitary goal to make up.

I think the crucial aspect to the tie could be Steaua's lack of attacking intent.

Despite home advantage and some nice delivery down the left from wing-back Iasmin Latovlevici, Steaua never really looked like separating themselves from Chelsea with a second goal from open play.

Bearing that in mind, I can't see the hosts having too many problems keeping a clean sheet while a repeat of the endeavour shown in Sunday's spirited fightback at Old Trafford should ensure that the Blues score enough goals to make qualification straightforward.

Chelsea (-1) on the handicap at 11/10 with Sky Bet looks absolutely watertight while I will throw some loose change at a 3-0 home success too in a bid to ensure a very tidy profit on the night.

Newcastle do look to be going the right way now under Alan Pardew following the influx of French players to boost the squad and the goalless draw in a frigid Moscow against Anzhi was highly commendable.

The latter are much better than that effort and I would not be surprised to see them in a more positive light on Tyneside - but I am happy to remain on the sidelines from a betting perspective in this one.

  • The Chelsea match is being televised live in the UK on ITV. The Newcastle match is on ESPN.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Andre Pirlo backs Liverpool's Mario Balotelli to prove his potential

Andrea Pirlo thinks Mario Balotelli can still be one of the "top forwards in Europe" despite his struggles at Liverpool.

West Brom reject approach from Aston Villa for Joleon Lescott

West Brom have rejected an approach from Aston Villa for central defender Joleon Lescott, according to reports.

Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla sign new deals with Arsenal

Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla have signed new contracts at Arsenal.

Mail Box

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company