Fernando Torres backed to open Chelsea account against Fulham

Superstar new signing is well priced to get on the mark in local derby
Canny punters will be savvy enough to know that 70 per cent of Fernando Torres' goals for Liverpool came at home.

Good thing for the Spaniard that Fulham's Craven Cottage is only a stone's throw from Stamford Bridge then. The derby between Fulham and Chelsea may not quicken the pulse like other showpiece occasions in London but there is still plenty at stake.

For starters the Cottagers are managed by former Blues favourite Mark Hughes and the Welshman appears to have turned the corner after a shaky start to the season. Lob in ex-Chelsea players Steve Sidwell, Damien Duff and Eidur Gudjohnsen into the mix and we have a game on our hands.

Of course all eyes will be on Torres and if his partnership with Didier Drogba reaps dividends. As Goal.com UK pointed out similar striking duos in the past haven't set the world alight.

Torres is a handy enough 10/11 to score during the 90 minutes and a tastier 7/2 to score first. William Hill pundit Craig Perry smells value in the Torres to score/Chelsea win market.

"He is a class act and it's only a matter of time before he starts to fire for The Blues. Our 'Match Winner' special for this game is Torres to score at anytime and Chelsea to win at enhanced price of 7/4. That looks a great bet.

"The Spaniard was starting to find his form in the weeks before his transfer out of Anfield and the 4/1 he scores two or more at Craven Cottage is an appealing bet if he is anything close to his best on Monday night."

Fulham have improved since the turn of the year after losing another London derby against Tottenham Hotspur. Since then their record reads W5 D2 L1 with their sole defeat coming in an unlucky loss away at Liverpool.

Historically Fulham only get a beating in this one-sided contest. Then again, in recent history Chelsea haven't been scrambling outside the top four so there is value if you fancy an upset.

A double chance on Fulham win or draw is checking out at 10/11. Fulham stunned Jose Mourinho's Blues back in March 2006 with a 1-0 win at home and a repeat of that scoreline is trading at 11/1. If you fancy the hosts to do a Sunderland a 3-0 win is another longshot at 66/1. Bet Now

Expert Eye

Craig Perry, William Hill Sportswriter

"Anyone who has consistently backed Chelsea at short prices this season will have had their fingers burnt on more than one occasion but at 8/11 I think they provide excellent value to get a derby day win at Fulham.

"Their minds will have been focused by dropping to fifth in the table and they will have too much quality for an average Fulham side.  I fancy goals so would also have an interest bet on over 2.5 at 21/20."

Match Odds: Fulham 4/1, Draw 13/5, Chelsea 7/10 (William Hill)Bet Now

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