Chelsea’s title push ended weeks ago and even a top four finish is starting to look increasingly unlikely, two things that ultimately contributed to the downfall of Andre Villas-Boas. However, the Blues are still in the FA Cup and look likely to be enjoying a trip to Wembley in the not-too-distant future given that they host Leicester, the only remaining Championship team, at home in the quarter final.
Inevitably, Roberto Di Matteo’s side, buoyed by that thrilling Champions League comeback, are odds-on favourites at 3/10 with William Hill while the Foxes are as high as 11/1 via Boylesports to cause an upset and BetVictor chalk 5/1 against the tie requiring a replay.
Nigel Pearson’s side accounted for top-flight opposition in the last round, ousting Norwich 2-1 but they have suffered back-to-back defeats on the road and it’s difficult to see them stunning the hosts here. Nevertheless, Chelsea didn’t find it easy against Birmingham in the fifth round and Leicester can also make life uncomfortable for them, particularly in the early stages. Ladbrokes’ 7/2 for the Blues to prevail after a drawn first period is therefore worth considering, especially as it could be a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’ for Di Matteo’s men in the wake of Wednesday’s drama.
Despite their patchy league form, the Foxes rarely fail to find the net and there’s a strong chance that they’ll bag themselves a consolation goal. Bet365’s even money for both teams to score isn’t without appeal then and for the more ambitious Ladbrokes post 9/1 against a 2-1 Chelsea success. At 6/1 courtesy of Betfred meanwhile, Juan Mata is the shrewd choice in the first scorer market having broken the deadlock in the Blues’ replay at St Andrews.
Seeking their second trophy of the season are Carling Cup winners Liverpool and like Chelsea the Reds are emphatic favourites to reach the semis at the first attempt, Paddy Power pricing them at 4/9 to see off Stoke. Partybets rate the Reds at 14/5 to edge out the stubborn Potters by a solitary goal at Anfield, where the visitors’ lack of away goals make a 1-0 home win decent value at 6/1 courtesy of the same firm.