CHELSEA are up against it in their Champions League semi final with William Hill making the home side 4/1 to win the match and Barcelona odds on at 8/11 to return to the Nou Camp with the advantage. Chelseas back line will have to stand firm against the predicted barrage and Hills are offering 8/1 that Roberto Di Matteos men win to nil.
Punters are backing Barcelona as if they cannot lose but Chelsea have been waiting a few years for revenge and it could come on Wednesday night, said Hills spokesman Joe Crilly.
If any Barcelona player has to be stopped, it is Lionel Messi and William Hill are offering odds on who will be the first to foul him, making Michael Essien and Raul Meireles the 6/1 joint favourites with John Terry and John Obi Mikel both 7/1. Messi is 12/5 to outscore the entire Chelsea team on Wednesday night.
To celebrate 20 years of the Premier League, the FA are doing a 20 Seasons Of Premier League Awards and amongst the categories are best goal, best match and best celebration. Bookmakers, William Hill make Dennis Bergkamp (vs Newcastle 2001/02) and Paolo Di Canio (vs Wimbledon 1999/2000) the joint 9/2 favourites to win the award while Matt Le Tissier (vs Blackburn 1994/95) and Thierry Henry (vs Manchester Utd 2000/01) are 11/2 joint third favourites.
It is not just the strikers getting recognised at the awards however, as the men between the sticks are also represented by the Best Save of the 20 Seasons Awards. Possibly the greatest ever Premier League goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, shares 4/1 favouritism for the award with his effort against Newcastle in the 1997/98 season, with Joe Hart (vs Liverpool 2007/08) the same price. Craig Gordon (vs Bolton Wanderers 2010/11) is the 5/1 third favourite.
Newcastle are involved in the three favourites for the Match of the 20 Years award with their 3-4 defeat to Liverpool in 1995/96 offered at 8/15 (having originally opened at 4/1). Their thrilling 4-4 comeback against Arsenal in 2010/11 is offered at 8/1 and their 5-0 victory over Manchester United in 1996/97 9/1.
There have been some fantastic performances throughout the 20 years of the Premier League, although perhaps none as entertaining as the Liverpool win that effectively ended Newcastles title aspirations in 1995/96 and that match is clear favourite to win, said Hills spokesman Joe Crilly.
20 Years Of The Premier League Awards:
Best Goal: 9/2 Dennis Bergkamp; 9/2 Paolo Di Canio; 11/2 Matt Le Tissier (vs Blackburn 94/95); 11/2 Thierry Henry; 7/1 Eric Cantona; 8/1 Alan Shearer; 8/1 Tony Yeboah; 9/1 Wayne Roney; 10/1 Matt Le Tissier (vs Newcastle 93/94); 10/1 David Beckham
Best Save: 4/1 Joe Hart; 4/1 Peter Schmeichel (vs Newcastle); 5/1 Craig Gordon; 11/2 Jussi Jaskelainen; 11/2 Peter Schmeichel (vs Liverpool); 7/1 Tomasz Kuszczak (vs Wigan); 8/1 Carlo Cudicini; 12/1 Brad Friedel; 12/1 Tomasz Kuszczak (vs Birmingham); 14/1 Shay Given
Best Match: 8/15 Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle 95/96; 8/1 Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal 10/11; 9/1 Newcastle 5-0 Man Utd 96/97; 10/1 Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham 08/09; 10/1 anchester United 4-3 Manchester City 09/10; 10/1 Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal 08/09; 11/1 Tottenham 3-5 Manchester United 01/02; 11/1 Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal 11/12; 16/1 Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City 11/12; 20/1 Portsmouth 7-4 Reading 07/08
First Player to foul Messi: 6/1 Michael Essien; 6/1 Raul Meireles; 7/1 John Terry; 7/1 John Obi Mikel; 8/1 Ramires; 8/1 David Luiz; 8/1 Gary Cahill; 9/1 Branislav Ivanovic; 10/1 Frank Lampard; 10/1 Juan Mata; 10/1 Oriol Romeu; 11/1 Jose Bosingwa; 12/1 Salomon Kalou; 12/1 Ashley Cole; 12/1 Paulo Ferreira; 16/1 Didier Drogba; 16/1 Daniel Sturridge; 16/1 Florent Malouda; 20/1 Fernando Torres
Goalscorer match bet: 2/1 Chelsea; 12/5 Lionel Messi; 1/1 Tie
Gareth Bale to join Barca before end of summer transfer window: 9/2 yes; 1/8 no
4/1 Chelsea; 8/11 Barcelona; 5/2 draw
8/1 Chelsea to win to nil
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