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The former Liverpool boss might struggle to win over Chelsea fans, but he is fancied to guide the Blues to their first win under his stewardship against Fulham Indonesia   By PAUL GOUGH


He might not have the support of his own fans, but new Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez continues to enjoy the backing of punters ahead of his second game in charge of the Blues on Wednesday - a home west London derby against Fulham.

The clash at Stamford Bridge is the stand-out fixture on a busy night of midweek English Premier League action, with eight games to be played.

After the shock sacking of club legend Roberto Di Matteo as manager - just six months after the former Chelsea midfielder steered the club to its first ever Champions League title - former Liverpool boss Benitez was greeted by deafening boos from Blues fans in his home debut against Manchester City on Sunday.

Not even a gallant 0-0 draw against the defending champions was enough to silence the fans, who are clearly furious with the appointment of the man who led Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005.

That result meant Chelsea have now failed to win any of their past five EPL games and have slumped from first to fourth in that time - some five points adrift of leaders Manchester United - with their title odds having blown out from $3.35 to $6.80 at Betfair during that period.

But after there was good money on the weekend for Chelsea to upset City, the Blues again come in for heavy support to beat 10th-placed Fulham.

Chelsea are the $1.50 favourites with Betfair to win the game and have attracted 72 percent of money, with Fulham at $8 and the draw at $4.70.

However the last three league meetings between the clubs have ended in draws and with the current instability at Stamford Bridge, the draw at $4.70 looks outstanding value in this game.

Tottenham to win v Liverpool at $2.52 at Betfair
West Brom to win v Swansea at $3.30 at Betfair

The other big game on Wednesday sees Tottenham host Liverpool, with Spurs looking a good bet at $2.52 with Betfair to win at home after returning to form with a stylish 3-1 win over West Ham on Sunday.

Liverpool, unbeaten in their past eight league games, are at $3, with the draw at $3.55.  But the Reds struggle at White Hart Lane, having lost on their past five visits.

At the top, both Manchester United and Manchester City - the latter of who trail the Red Devils by one point with a third of the season now completed - should win comfortably.

United are $1.26 favourites with Betfair at home to West Ham at $15.50, while City are $1.57 away to lowly Wigan at $7.

Everton are a risky $2.52 favourite at home to Arsenal [$3], given the Toffees have won just one of their past seven games.

But the Gunners have also won just one of their past four which makes backing the draw tempting in this game at $3.60 with Betfair.

In the remaining games, in-form West Brom, who are third on the table after four-straight wins, look great value at $3.30 with Betfair to win away to Swansea at $2.36.

Stoke [$2.02] and Southampton [$2.14] are clear favourites to win at home against Newcastle [$4.50] and Norwich [$3.85] respectively.

*Note prices subject to change


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