Chelsea’s end to 2011 has been far from ideal. Good wins against Newcastle and leaders Manchester City have been followed by three consecutive 1-1 draws and they have lost more ground in what looks a forlorn chase for the title.
They round off the year by hosting Aston Villa at the Bridge and you have to go back to 2002 to find a Villa victory in this fixture – and the odds suggest you may have to wait until at least 2012 to see the next with Chelsea 2/7, Villa 12/1 and the draw at 5/1.
There doesn’t look like being much value in either Didier Drogba or Daniel Sturridge to score anytime (both 17/20) so perhaps Boxing Day’s goalscorer Juan Mata is a good value bet at 6/4 anytime and 11/2 to score first.
Apart from the Fulham result every single Chelsea home match has yielded three or more goals and if Villa’s form is anything to go by, the Blues should net a few. The price for over 2.5 goals in the match is 8/15. More value might be found in over 3.5 goals at 11/8.
Fulham’s point at the Bridge on Boxing Day was in stark contrast to their pummelling by Manchester United. They ought to have little to fear from their trip to face a Norwich side outclassed by Spurs earlier in the week.
The Whites are currently narrow outsiders at 15/8 while the Canaries are 13/8 and the draw 12/5.
Norwich’s home form is impressive and Fulham’s away form is far from inspiring but I would be disappointed if Martin Jol’s side fail to get at least a point in East Anglia.
Norwich would lie sixth in the Premier League if matches ended after 45 minutes and the price for them to be winning at half-time and the match to end in a draw is 14/1 while a second- half Fulham comeback is 33/1.
Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora are 4/6 and 1/3 respectively to leave Fulham in the January transfer window at Victor Chandler and both seem likely to miss out again this weekend.
QPR recovered from a run of three straight defeats with an impressive second-half performance that saw them take home a point from South Wales, becoming in the process only the third team to score against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this season.
They now head to the Emirates, where the odds suggest Arsenal will end the year with a win. The Gunners are 1/4 while QPR are 12/1 and the draw 5/1.
Rangers’ top scorer Heidar Helguson is 10/3 to score anytime in the derby encounter and Arsenal’s recent home draws against Fulham and Wolves suggest the Emirates is not the fortress of old.
All eyes however will be on Arsenal’s talisman Robin van Persie and the possibility of him scoring a hat-trick to break Alan Shearer’s goalscoring record for a calendar year.
He is 2/5 to score (no value there!) and 8/1 to score a hat-trick and cap a quite sensational 2011.
At victorchandler.com we have a west London New Year’s Eve enhanced treble of Chelsea, Fulham and QPR to all win at odds of 50/1.
We also have a number of other special markets for the New Year, including my own favourite 14/1 for Rory McIlroy and his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki to win a Major in 2012 in their respective sports.