Chelsea have been way below their best in recent weeks, but they are long-odds on at 1.3 with Paddy Power to beat Birmingham in their fifth round FA Cup clash at the Bridge this weekend and will surely do the business.
The Blues threw away a 3-0 advantage in their draw with Man United and then didn’t turn up in their 2-0 defeat by Everton at Goodison last time out.
AVB is now a man under pressure as a result and he will know that anything but a convincing victory here will see that mount with many already calling for him to be replaced.
As far as the stats are concerned Chelsea should have little difficulty disposing of their Midland opponents.
They have won 13 and lost just one of the last 19 matches in all competitions with Birmingham, and have won eight and lost none of the last 10 meetings between the two sides at Stamford Bridge.
However Birmingham have won five of their last six FA Cup matches on the road and managed to keep four clean sheets in their last five games in the competition so it may not turn into a goal fest.
But if Chelsea do play to their strengths they should be able to win this without reply, and they have a whole host of players with good goal scoring records in the FA Cup.
Frank Lampard has scored 18 goals in his last 24 appearances, Didier Drogba has scored six in his last nine and Daniel Sturridge has scored seven goals in eight appearances – including six in five starts for Chelsea in the competition.
So it’s probably best to concentrate on that trio if your planning a punt in the first scorer market, and at the odds on offer I am going to suggest the value could be Sturridge at 5 with Paddy Power.