Friday, October 5, 2012
Following their thumping by a Liverpool team who benefitted from getting the rub of the green at Carrow Road last weekend, City head to league leaders Chelsea tomorrow priced as BetVictor’s massive 14/1 underdogs.
On paper, it’s easy to see why the Canaries kick off at such incredibly long odds. They lost 3-1 at Stamford Bridge last term, lost 5-2 at home last week and Chelsea are undefeated in the league this season. No wonder the London side are William Hill’s 1/4 favourites and Skybet price the draw at 5/1.
Yet Chelsea scored two of their three goals against Norwich in the final eight minutes last season, after City had been reduced to 10 men, while their last three league encounters have ended in a draw against Queens Park Rangers and narrow victories against Stoke and Arsenal.
Granted, Norwich face a mammoth task, but grabbing a morale-boosting draw is not beyond them. Punters prepared to question the reasons for Chelsea’s overwhelming favouritism might be inclined to concur – in which case they could be in for a very profitable afternoon. For example, Paddy Power offer 9/1 against both halves finishing on level terms while BetVictor.com mark 15/2 against it ending as a score draw. Elsewhere, bet365 chalk 11/1 about a 1-1 stalemate.
It’s worth noting that four teams have scored two or more against Chelsea this season in all competitions, so their defence is hardly watertight, a fact which adds appeal to Stan James’ even money for both teams to score. As an aside, Ladbrokes price City at 9/1 to keep a clean sheet and, given that Chelsea may rest several players, it’s worth considering.
In other markets, bet365 mark Norwich at 21/20 to win when handed the benefit of a two-goal start and Stan James rate the chances of the Canaries securing victory by a single goal as a 16/1 shot.
Punters prepared to back an upset may also wish to consider the 25/1 available at bet365 for Chris Hughton’s men to emerge victorious following a drawn first half. Stranger things have happened to sides returning from midweek Champions League successes.