Punters who have been backing Chelsea goalscorers have a reason to be blue this December. After 14 games, Jose Mourinho’s men have just 17 goals and have failed to score in three of their matches. Their leading goalscorer is the legendary ‘Own Goal’ with three, Diego Costa has been banished to the naughty step, and the £20m shelled out on Pedro looks about as clever as some of the financial decisions in Greece.
In fact if you were to put £5 each-way on a Chelsea player to score first every week this season, your only profitable player would be defender Kurt Zouma who has bagged punters £116.25 thanks to his opening goal in the London derby against Arsenal in September. Unsurprisingly therefore, punters can be forgiven for being a little shy before running to back a Chelsea goalscorer each week.
But this weekend the pain can be eased. Chelsea’s visitors are Bournemouth – and the Cherries have the worst defence in the top flight. Eddie Howe’s side have just one clean sheet this season and have conceded a whopping average of 2.14 goals a game this term – a number that rises to 2.57 goals a game if you consider their away trips only. They’re leakier at the back than a geriatric who can’t control his bowels.
So who should you be putting your hard-earned pennies on come Saturday night?
The honorable traders in Power Tower are obviously just as baffled as the rest of us in regards to a likely Chelsea scorer, as they have got Diego Costa at to score first, and then Loic Remy, Pedro, Radamel Falcao and Eden Hazard all at . A choice that seems as fraught with danger as a wet fart in white pants.
However, Eden Hazard may be the best bet to open the scoring at odds of .
Firstly, neither Loic Remy or Radamel Falcao seem to be on Jose Mourinho’s Christmas card list, with both men managing 314 minutes of league football combined this year, despite Diego Costa’s miserable form. Speaking of Chelsea’s meanest bastard, he appears to have royally pissed on The Special One’s chips, and was overlooked for 19-year-old Robert Kenedy during the final few minutes of the 0-0 draw with Tottenham. Costa’s bib-throwing antics are hardly going to endear him any more to manager who is more disgruntled than the majority of pensioners on Points Of View.
Pedro is also a 4/1 shot to open the scoring against Bournemouth, but the Spaniard has had 29 attempts in the league and Champions League in a Chelsea jersey and managed just a single goal – a conversion rate of just 3.45 per cent. More worryingly just four of these 29 shots – 13.8 per cent – have been on target, as Pedro has shown all the accuracy of many of Piers Morgan’s views.
So that leaves us with Eden Hazard. A man who hasn’t scored since March 3 in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace – a goal drought that has lasted more than 24 hours of league football. An entire day of football without finding the onion bag, and we’re happy to back him at on Saturday? Not as ridiculous as it may seem…
Hazard excelled in his role as Chelsea’s main striker against Tottenham, having the highest number of touches of any Chelsea player (67) and being the only Chelsea player to have a shot on target – forcing Hugo Lloris into a fantastic save low to his left hand side. His role as Chelsea’s main attacking threat is growing with Costa excluded, and eight of Hazard’s last 12 goals have come against bottom half clubs.
Bournemouth’s back line is weaker than Daniel Sturridge’s legs and with Diego Costa’s inclusion a mystery to most, there is a Hazard Warning to the Cherries this weekend – and one punters can take advantage of.