With the tie nestled lovingly on a slender advantage to PSG, Chelsea is still very much in it. Can the Blues upset PSG when the second leg at Stamford Bridge kicks off on Wednesday, March 9?
Mired in the Blues
That defending Premier League champions Chelsea are mired in a woeful season is by now old news. On the bright side, things have been looking up since the advent of Guus Hiddink – they’ve gone unbeaten in eleven straight matches – but they are still not up to their lofty standards of seasons past. Nevertheless, on the brink of Champions League R16, there was an air of optimism surrounding the Blues. They’d only just come off of their best win of the season – a 6-1 drumming of Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge – and they had the pedigree.
Five years ago, when Jose Mourinho was first fired by Chelsea for a less than stellar start to the season, the Blues embarked on an improbable run in Europe’s top-flight club competition to win it all, beating Manchester United in the 2011-2012 Champions League final. That proven record of success on the grandest of stages had many entertaining the possibility of yet another Cinderella run by Chelsea on the heels of Mourinho’s second premature exit from Stamford Bridge, beginning with a potential upset over PSG in the R16.
One could argue, even bookies left the door open to such a possibility when they opened the market for the R16 clash with PSG. Although the French were firmly favoured to win at 2.43 at bet365 and Chelsea were disadvantaged at 5.75 at Bet365, futures betting painted a rosier picture: Chelsea were a reasonable 2.50 to advance into the quarterfinals and they were a mid-way 26.00 wager to win it all.
Chelsea lose to PSG 2-1 in the first Leg and slip on the Champions League Odds board
Tale told, Chelsea succumbed to a 2-1 loss to PSG on Tuesday, a setback in the two-legged tie that has seen their Champions League prospects slip to 3.00 to advance into the quarterfinals and 34.00 to win it all. Despite this negative trend on the Champions League odds board, the Blues are still very much in this tie.
PSG have only a slender 1-goal edge while the Blues have a crucial away goal. This sets up a rather intriguing return to Stamford Bridge where anything is possible. If there were those that felt the Blues were worthy wager ahead of the first leg, with the tie now nestled on a 2-1 score there are sure to be more punters finding value in Chelsea considering its pedigree in the competition.
Should I back or lay Chelsea?
With the return leg at Stamford Bridge looming on the horizon, odds makers have gone to press with match betting odds. Predictably, Chelsea are long shots to advance into the quarterfinals at 3.00 (+200), but they are slightly favoured to win the second leg, albeit at 2.50 (+150). PSG are coyly priced at 2.70 (+170) while favoured at 1.36 (-275) to advance into the quarterfinals.
It’s worth noting, early market trends culled by various sports betting monitoring sites are leaning towards the draw in the second leg, which can be backed at 3.40 (+240) with the most popular outcomes leaning towards a 1-1 or 2-2 draw – both of which would eliminate Chelsea from the proceedings on aggregate. Equally, though, there appears to be a public sector – most likely diehard Chelsea fans that haven’t given up on their beloved Blues – leaning towards a commanding victory by Chelsea, with the most popular wager going towards a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
After watching Chelsea this weekend against Newcastle United and against PSG it would be churlish to suggest there weren’t any positives to be had. But is it quite enough to inspire a wager on the Blues, particularly seeing how well the French side is playing? Not really.