Chelsea-Rubin Kazan Betting Preview: Why backing a half-time draw is a wise investment

Phil Kitromilides believes a tight match is in store at Stamford Bridge and as such the price of 11/10 for it to be level at the break looks to offer value
Having seen the defence of their Champions League title and their Premier League hopes both ended prematurely, the much-maligned Europa League has taken on added significance for Chelsea.

The Blues are arguably the biggest side left in the competition and Paddy Power price them at 8/15 (1.53) to claim a victory in the first leg of their quarter final against Rubin Kazan.

The Russian outift meanwhile can be backed at 11/2 (6.50) to claim a victory with the draw at Stamford Bridge offered at 3/1 (4.00) by Paddy Power.

Having lost their opening two home games of the year, Chelsea have gone unbeaten in the subsequent nine matches they have played at Stamford Bridge and Monday's 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup made it four home wins in a row for the Blues.

However, Rubin's away form in this competition has been impressive with the side from Kazan unbeaten in all five matches they have played on the road.

Among those five away matches, the Russians have drawn at Inter, before ending Atletico Madid's 24-match unbeaten home run with a 2-0 victory in the Spanish capital.

They are clearly a side to be respected and this could make for a tight game. As such backing a draw at half-time at 11/10 (2.10) looks a good option especially when you consider this bet has paid out in Rubin's last three Europa League games.

For a value bet, try backing Juan Mata to score at any time at 17/10 (2.70), with the Spain international enjoying the best scoring season of his career, having netted 16 times in all competitions.

Draw at half time at 11/10 (2.10) with Paddy Power
Juan Mata to score at any time 17/10 (2.70) with Paddy Power

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports anchor working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.