This weekend the football treble will focus itself on the Chelsea v Liverpool FA Cup Final, which we think has Fernando Torres’s name written all over it along with the crucial Newcastle v Manchester City match at St James Park and the relegation battle between QPR and Stoke. Should all three selections win, it pays odds of 55.00.
FA Cup Final – Chelsea Win @ 6/4 (2.50)
A cracking goal at the Nou Camp, a hat trick in his next appearance and now a match at Wembley against his old club, this FA Cup Final has the name of Fernando Torres written all over it!
Chelsea will arrive at Wembley looking for their fourth FA Cup Final win in six years with a rejuvenated team in a rich vein of form and with an caretaker boss, Roberto Di Matteo, riding the “crest of a wave”. Liverpool meanwhile who looked a sorry side in midweek losing again at home to Fulham come to Wembley boasting a season of inconsistency and questions raised over manager Kenny Dalglish’s future at Anfield, if the Reds lose at Wembley and finish in mid table, the club’s American owner may well decide to begin the search for a new Liverpool manager in the Summer.
Liverpool did win the Carling Cup and they are perhaps a better “cup team” than they are in the league but that argument could be equally applied to Chelsea who have reached the final of the Champions League as well.
The Blues have lost only twice since the departure of Andre Vilas-Boas and the arrival of Di Matteo and we think they are a great bet to triumph on Saturday at 2.50.
Newcastle v Manchester City – Home Win @ 9/2 (5.50)
This second leg of the treble is based not just on value but also because it is as much of a must win game for Newcastle as it is for Man City. Newcastle know that the fourth Champions League place can still be theirs if they can win all three points on Sunday and they also know that City will be under huge pressure to win themselves and maintain their title hopes after going top following the win over Man Utd on Monday night. They were not particularly convincing as table toppers earlier in the season and now having regained top spot on goal difference there is every chance that the pressure could get to Roberto Mancini’s men again.
Newcastle can be guaranteed to take the game to the visitors from the outset and in players like Demba Ba, Cisse and Ben Arfa they have the players to give anyone a game and all three have been in great form recently, including the 2-0 win away at Chelsea midweek with both goals coming from Cisse, which brought his tally to 13 goals for the club in just 11 games since joining in January. In addition, one has to go back until December to find Newcastle’s last home league defeat and as such, the 5.50 about the home win looks a cracking bet!
QPR v Stoke City – Away Win @ 3/1 (4.00)
Mark Hughes and his Queens Park Rangers team will be under enormous pressure when they take on Stoke at Loftus Road on Sunday, the home side are sat one place above the Premier League relegation zone on level points with Bolton who sit 18th. Stoke on the other hand who have nothing to play for but will be seeking to end their season on a high and will not allow QPR’s plight to worry them.
In fairness to QPR, their recent home form makes a mockery of the prediction, having won three of their last four and they drew the other. However, it is all about pressure and their ability to recover from the 6-1 thrashing they suffered at Stamford Bridge last week. This will be an aspect fully exploited by Tony Pulis and his tough uncompromising Stoke team and at the odds, it’s worth siding with the occasion being too big for QPR.