WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) previews league leaders Chelsea’s home tie with Hull. The Tigers are in for a tough game if the bookmakers are to be believed – can they penetrate this imperious Blues defence?
Chelsea v Hull | Sunday 16:30 | Sky Sports 1
The dust seems to have settled at Stamford Bridge after a training ground bust-up between Diego Costa and his manager Antonio Conte. All correspondence emanating from the club now points to the adopted Spaniard remaining with the Blues.
Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Leicester City last weekend when Liverpool and Manchester United drew and Manchester City lost now has them seven points clear and a whopping 10 above their supposed closest rivals for the title, City.
A home tie against Hull should be a straightforward task. Liverpool, however, showed us on Saturday lunchtime that there really is no such thing as a banker home win in the Premier League when losing 3-2 to Swansea.
The Reds are now winless in three league matches, which has further compounded Chelsea’s favouritism for the trophy; the Blues now a best price 8/15.
Manchester City and Tottenham, the latter of whom arguably now look the best placed to catch Conte’s men, fight it out on Saturday evening at that’s even further cause for celebration.
Six of Chelsea’s nine home wins have come with a clean sheet intact. Only Stoke, Spurs, Liverpool and West Ham have scored at the Bridge this season and all sit in the top half of the league at the time of writing. Hull’s task then looks an uphill struggle.
The transfer rumours keep coming thick and fast for Robert Snodgrass. His midfield teammate Jake Livermore left for West Brom last week and if the Scot does follow it leaves Marco Silva’s already small squad dangerously weak in the middle of the park.
Snodgrass has been the leading light for Hull this season and if the papers are to be believed, he could also miss this clash due to injury. That’s a hammer blow for the Tigers who are already without Dieumerci M’bokani and Ahmed Elmohamady due to African Cup of Nations’ call-ups.
Bridge Too Far
All told Hull are in the same position as Burnley this weekend; travelling to London to face a big club off the back of terrible away form. The Tigers have scored just one goal in their last seven away games in all competitions.
Chelsea have no absences whatsoever and should easily break down Hull; they visitors have the second worst defensive record in the division.
I’m opting for the same market as I have with Arsenal and Burnley here, the Blues to Win To Nil is 8/11 with BetVictor and should be much shorter in my opinion.
Chelsea v Hull City – Chelsea to ‘Win To Nil’ (8/11 BetVictor)