Sports betting: Bank on Chelsea to silence Stuttgart in Stockholm

CHELSEA should beat VfB Stuttgart in the Cup-Winners' Cup final in Stockholm on Wednesday night. The German side will be no pushover - they have had a fair season domestically and lie fourth in the Bundesliga but the moderate displays from Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen in the European Cup and the unlikely emergence of FC Kaiserslautern at home this season suggests the once mighty German league may have a slipped a little from its pedestal in the last year. Certainly it can no longer be mentioned in the same breath as Serie A.

Chelsea, doing equally well in the Premiership and winners of the Coca- Cola Cup, need have nothing to fear from Stuttgart who struggled to beat the ordinary Werder Bremen 1-0 at home on Saturday, whereas yesterday Chelsea ruthlessly relegated Bolton 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Every underdog has its day but it takes quite a stretch of the imagination to envisage a dog day afternoon when Newcastle attempt to contain the mighty Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

Arsenal, in racing parlance, with the title already secure were not off a yard at Anfield or Villas Park on their most recent outings, but Wenger's men will be up for it on Saturday afternoon and should make no mistake against the struggling Magpies, who went down 1-0 at Blackburn yesterday.

Troubled Alan Shearer is unlikely to get the service from midfield he needs to unlock Arsenal's solid defence, Petit and Vieira should dominate the midfield, Overmars and Parlour will give the Gunners width and strikers Bergkamp, Anelka and Wright have the guile and pace to penetrate Newcastle's shaky defence head on.

Ladbrokes bet: Cup Winner's Cup final: 8-15 Chelsea, 11-8 Stuttgart. FA Cup Final: 2-5 Arsenal, 7-4 Newcastle.

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