Thursday, December 8, 2022

Prediction: Chelsea vs AC Milan

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Unibet

With the Champions League making its return in midweek, Chelsea will welcome AC Milan to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, managing to mark their return from September’s international break with a last-gasp winner on the road, Chelsea will now be trying to find some stability. Eventually snatching a 2-1 win away at Crystal Palace, new boss Graham Potter will be desperate for his side to lay down a real marker on Wednesday night. Appointing the former Brighton manager last month, the Blues will know that they face a must-win showdown at Stamford Bridge here. Opening up this year’s Champions League adventure with a shock 1-0 loss away at Dinamo Zagreb, the Premier League giants have collected just a single point from their opening two Group E showdowns. With that sole point coming thanks to a hard-fought 1-1 draw at home against Salzburg on September 14th, Potter’s side know that they must find a route to the knockout stage. However, mustering just a single clean sheet from any of their previous eight matchups across all formats, Chelsea could face another tough test here.

Team News

Bagging his first Chelsea strike away at Selhurst Park last weekend, summer arrival Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should spearhead Potter’s charge on Wednesday night.

Still dealing with a knee issue, Edouard Mendy will once again be replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga between the sticks. Likewise, Potter will also be unable to call upon midfield talisman N’Golo Kante in midweek due to a thigh injury.

AC Milan

As for the visitors, while AC Milan might have entered September’s international break with a 2-1 loss at home against Napoli, the defending Serie A champions came roaring back last weekend. Eventually picking up a deserved 3-1 victory away at Empoli, the Rossoneri have won three of their last four matchups across all formats. Likewise, suffering just a single defeat since opening the 2022/23 campaign, Stefano Pioli’s men will be smelling the chance to spring a real upset in west London. Collecting four points from their opening two Group E appearances and last seen picking up a 3-1 victory at home against Dinamo Zagreb, AC find themselves sat in pole position to clinch their knockout stage ticket. However, still dealing with an extended injury headache, it should be noted that Pioli’s side have shown some worrying issues at the back. In fact, Wednesday’s guests have failed to record a clean sheet from any of their last six outings – a run that stems back to August 30th.

Team News

Dealing with a real injury crisis, AC Milan look set to once again be without the likes of Theo Hernandez, Mike Maignan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Divock Origi, Junior Messias and Alessandro Florenzi.

Likewise, the Italian giants also witnessed Simon Kjaer, Alexis Saelemaekers and Davide Calabria all limp off against Empoli last weekend. However, former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud should spearhead Milan’s charge at Stamford Bridge.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Chelsea have collected just a single point from their opening two Champions League appearances this season.
    • Likewise, Wednesday’s hosts have failed to record a single clean sheet from any of their previous eight matchups across all formats.
    • On a similar note, AC Milan have failed to muster a single clean sheet from any of their last six attempts.
    • Four of the Rossoneri’s opening five away fixtures this season have finished with both teams finding the net.
    • Continuing on from last season, each of Chelsea’s last seven showdowns at Stamford Bridge have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    Managing to snatch a last-gasp winner away at Selhurst Park last weekend, Chelsea will know that they face a real must-win showdown here. Mustering just a single point from their first two Group E appearances this year, neutrals from across Europe will be hoping for another lively affair on Wednesday night. Watching AC Milan mark their return from the international break with a 3-1 victory away at Empoli, both sides have gained a reputation for their lively outcomes. It should be noted, continuing on from last season, Chelsea have seen each of their previous seven showdowns at Stamford Bridge finish with both teams finding the net. Likewise, with the Rossoneri seeing four of their opening five away contests finish in an identical outcome, we’re backing what should be another enjoyable affair in west London.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 4/5

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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