Were bookmakers right to pay out on Chelsea?

We’re just 12 games into Chelsea’s Premier League campaign and already we’re seeing some very bold predictions from players, managers and even bookmakers.

Holding onto their top position in the table with pride, Chelsea have managed to astound us all this season by not losing a single game.

The team have impressed spectators, their manager Jose Mourinho and their ever-growing hordes of adoring fans, but there was one contingent who were so impressed with their performance that they’ve done the unthinkable.

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Paddy Power bookmakers have stunned bettors by paying out on any bets that Chelsea would be crowned this season’s Premier League winners – six months ahead of the final match. It’s not something that’s done often, and has even backfired in years gone by (with both Manchester United and Arsenal being notable cases) and yet, the bookmakers were keen to pull what can only be assumed is a huge publicity stunt.

Indeed, it could be a repeat of Arsenal and Manchester United once again – if Chelsea manage to echo the ‘annual Arsenal meltdown’ and fall at the last hurdle, could Paddy Power see themselves paying out again to those who bet on an alternative team?

Certainly, the statistics so far don’t seem to think so. Jose Mourinho’s Blues have acquired 32 points so far – that’s seven points ahead of those closest rival, Southampton – and they’ve also managed to win 10 of their 12 games played.

Doubtless much of this has been down to the unstoppable force that is Diego Costa, who has scored 11 times this season. As the top scorer in the Premier League, his absence was more than just a little noticeable during the Capital One Cup game against Shrewsbury – the team managed to win 2-1, but only thanks to an own goal. There’s no denying that Diego Costa is Chelsea this season.

While the Blues have been compared to Arsenal during their 2004 season, Mourinho has warned that it was complacent of bookmakers to pay out so soon. When asked if the bookmakers’ decision was a premature one, Mourinho said: “I don’t go for that. There’ll be no complacency; that’s for sure. If we lose matches, and I believe we will, it will not be because of complacency.”

Some wise words from Mourinho – could it be that bookmakers are wise to put all their eggs in one basket? Only time will tell.

Blues clash represents big chance for Spurs

Tottenham will have an opportunity to display their title credentials when they host London rivals Chelsea on September 28.

The men from White Hart Lane failed their first serious examination of 2013-14 at neighbours Arsenal. Another defeat to one of the big boys would seriously damage self-belief in the Spurs camp.


While Tottenham are not one of the leading contenders for the Premier League crown (BetVictor has them at 20/1), they enjoyed an excellent summer in the transfer window and have the ability to stay with the big four. However, a Champions League place is a more realistic goal.

The same cannot be said of Chelsea. They are 9/4 second favourites for the title with BetVictor and it is not difficult to see why (odds subject to change).

Jose Mourinho inherited a strong squad and has strengthened it further with the signings of Andre Schurrle, Willian and Samuel Eto’o, with Kevin De Bruyne also enjoying his first proper season at the club. The Blues are arguably the team to beat this term.

Chelsea have already picked up a point at Old Trafford and travel to Everton on Saturday before a trip to north London at the end of the month. They will feel pretty satisfied if they come through those fixtures unscathed.

The game against Spurs should be an exciting one for the neutral football fan. Both sides have attacking talent in abundance and will create plenty of chances. It will come down to which defence copes best.

The corresponding fixture last season finished 4-2 to Chelsea, with Juan Mata the star of the show with a brace. The Spaniard has been surprisingly out of favour early on but will surely have a major role to play as the campaign goes on.

It is a tough match to call but home advantage gives Spurs the edge. The likes of Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen have a great chance to show the fans and the rest of the Premier League what they are all about at the start of an exciting season for new-look Spurs.