The odds shortened on Saturday after the Blues were unable to beat Birmingham in the FA Cup fifth round, with the team struggling to create or score many chances against Championship opposition and needing a Daniel Sturridge goal to take the tie into a replay.
It isn’t ideal preparation for Tuesday’s match in Naples against a side that squeezed Manchester City out of the competition in the group stage and many people are suggesting this could be Villas-Boas’ last game in charge if the match ends in defeat.
Napoli are favourites at 13/10 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to achieve a first leg success and it’s hard not to back the Azzurri despite their inconsistent form in Serie A which suggests that they will miss out on next season’s Champions League at the moment.
Walter Mazzarri’s side finished third last term, although they currently sit 7th in the table and the signs are that they are working themselves into some form after comfortable wins over Chievo and Fiorentina.
Edinson Cavani was a thorn in the side of Manchester City earlier this season and the Uruguayan was on hand to bag a brace on Friday night, with odds of 6/1 (William Hill bookmaker) being offered that he scores the first goal of the game.
Chelsea have done little in recent weeks to suggest that they are going to win Tuesday night’s encounter at the Stadio San Paolo, with the west London side having failed to win any of their last four games.
The visitors are on offer at 9/4 (Bet Victor free bets) to claim a first leg victory and ease the pressure on the shoulders of AVB, although it appears that several senior players are in disagreement with the manager’s tactics and haven’t taken too kindly to dressing downs following poor results.
Can Fernando Torres continue to demand a first team place? The Spaniard is surely too much of a risk while he continues to be so profligate in front of goal and Didier Drogba will lead the line in a game of enormous magnitude for the club.
One bad result (as per Arsenal at the San Siro) and Chelsea will be scrapping away for fourth place, although Unibet could be taking a chance with their 8/1 quote about the Ivorian scoring the first goal of the game.