The World Cup group stages may be over, but the drama certainly isn’t, as we enter the knockout stages. Several Blues, such as Fernando Torres and Gary Cahill, have suffered early exits from Brazil, but that hasn’t stopped several sides with Chelsea players in the ranks from impressing on the national stage so far.
Most impressive is undoubtedly our 22-year old Brazilian, Oscar, who more than contributed to host-nation Brazil’s impressive performances throughout their group stage fixtures. Finding the net in the World Cup’s opening game with a phenomenal toe-poke against Croatia to help Brazil to a 3-1 win, Oscar has never looked back since his opening display and continues to light up the Brazilian midfield with flair and creativity.
Although he usually plays second-fiddle to star-striker Neymar in the goals department, the Barcelona hit-man can’t score them all and Oscar is 9/1 with Betfair to score first against Chile in the round of 16. Former fan-favourite David Luiz, who recently departed Stamford Bridge for Chelsea, is a long-shot to open the scoring at a price of 33/1 with Betfair, but he has been known to find the net before and an anytime goal-scorer price of 9/1 could be a tempting bet, again with Betfair.
Speaking of Chelsea midfielders, we are yet to see Eden Hazard find the net so far this World Cup, although the 23-year old will have the chance to do just that when Belgium face of against the USA in their round of 16 fixture.
Hazard was rested for much of the match with Algeria on Thursday, given the Belgians had already qualified for the knockout stages and he will likely be full of pace when returning to the starting line-up. Betfair’s prices of 6/1 to score first, or 13/8 to hit the net anytime in the game, could be inviting given Hazard’s freshness.
Another player enjoying success with Belgium at the minute is Romelu Lukaku. The powerhouse forward may be widely touted for an exit this summer, but to this day he is still a Blue and he will get the chance to show Jose Mourinho he can handle the big-time should he feature alongside Hazard against the USA on Tuesday evening. He has been used sparingly so far, but a goal in the knockout stages could revitalise Lukaku’s World Cup campaign.
This is a guest article by Celia Roche of OMRUK. If you want you express your views, get in touch.