Chelsea are in Japan this week as they take on Mexican side Monterrey in Thursday morning's live World Club Championship match on BBC (kick-off 10.30am). The Blues are the European representatives after they won the Champions League last term and they meet the CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey in the semi-finals of this tournament at the Yokohama Stadium.
Rafa Benitez's side have the luxury of entering the competition at the semi-final stage and they are odds on to win the tournament, while they are 4/9 odds on to win this match with Paddy Power. Monterrey had to come through a quarter-final match to make the last-four and they are 5/1 to cause an upset against a Chelsea side who could do with a break from their recent domestic and European troubles.
Benitez, who won the World Club Cup with Inter Milan in 2010, has seen his side crash out of the Champions League at the group stages and in doing so became the first reigning champions to fall at the first stage the following season. They are also third in the Premier League, 10 points behind leaders Manchester United, and Benitez will be delighted to get the chance to build some team spirit in Japan, away from the dissenting Chelsea fans.
It is fair to say that Benitez wasn't a popular appointment at Stamford Bridge but consecutive 0-0 draws in his opening two games have been followed by resounding wins - a 6-1 win over Nordsjaelland in Europe and a 3-1 victory at Sunderland on Saturday. The key factor in both of those games was the apparent return to form of Fernando Torres, who scored four goals in the two matches, and he is a best price 9/2 favourite to score first and 13/2 to score two or more goals.
The Spaniard looks to have rediscovered his scoring touch, while Juan Mata has looked back to his best with three in his last three and the playmaker is 11/2 to score first with PaddyPower. There could be a few goals in store as Chelsea's last three matches have yielded 15 goals and over 2.5 goals on Thursday is a 4/6 odds on punt.
Meanwhile, Monterrey have struggled defensively this season as they have kept just one clean sheet in their last 12 in all competitions, including a 3-1 win over Ulsan Hyundai in the quarter-finals of this competition at the weekend. Former Lyon winger Cesar Delgado was on target twice in that match and he is 14/1 to score first and 5/1 to score anytime in the latest betting with PaddyPower.
However, Monterrey have struggled in their domestic Mexican league this term as they are down in seventh and Chelsea look worthy favourites. The fact Chelsea only arrived a few days ago gives Monterrey an edge in terms of preparation but the Blues should have the edge in terms of quality and Chelsea to win with a handicap of -1 goal can be backed at 13/10.
Chelsea v Monterrey Tips
Tip #1: Fernando Torres to score two or more goals @ 13/2 with PaddyPower.
Tip #2: Chelsea to win with a handicap of -1 goal @ 13/10 with PaddyPower.
Tip #3: Cesar Delgado to score anytime @ 5/1 with PaddyPower.
Correct Score Odds
6/1 Chelsea 1-0
6/1 Chelsea 2-0
7/1 Chelsea 2-1
11/1 Draw 0-0
13/2 Draw 1-1
13/1 Draw 2-2
17/1 Monterrey 1-0
35/1 Monterrey 2-0
18/1 Monterrey 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
9/2 Fernando Torres
5/1 Daniel Sturridge
11/2 Juan Mata
6/1 Eden Hazard
13/2 Lucas Piazon
7/1 Frank Lampard
7/1 Victor Moses
15/2 Humberto Suazo
10/1 No Goalscorer
10/1 Luis Madrigal
10/1 Marko Marin
Odds supplied by PaddyPower.com, who will provide live betting in-running throughout the Chelsea v Monterrey match on BBC on Thursday morning.
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