Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Prediction: Malmo vs Chelsea

Verdict: Chelsea & Both Teams to Score

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: 888sport

Chelsea will be looking to make a response to their humiliating Premier League defeat at Manchester City last weekend as they prepare for a trip to Sweden for the first leg of the Europa League last-32 tie against Malmo.

Malmo

Malmo secured their place in the elimination stage of the Europa League after finishing second in Group I. The Swedish minnows progressed on the back of a surprising win at Besiktas in their final group stage and will definitely be looking for another upset when they welcome Premier League giants Chelsea.

Malmo have been without competitive football since mid-December and were forced to rely on friendies to maintain their match fitness. A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Krasnodar is the only defeat they registered in last four matches since that shock Europa league win in Turkey. Such a positive record will count for little against a fully competitive side such as Chelsea, even more so knowing that Blues will be thirsty for blood after their weekend embarrassment. The hosts will be encouraged by the fact they remain unbeaten in eight home games in European competitions and that they are one game short of equaling the record set close to 40 years ago.

Team News

Oscar Lewicki and Franz Brorsson are fitness doubts for the hosts.

Guillermo Molins is also unlikely to take any part in the Thursday’s encounter.

Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri is said to have been given a month to save his job following the embarrassing 6-0 defeat at Manchester City. The Italian is on borrowed time at Stamford Bridge and has already acknowledged he is unsure of what the future holds for him at Chelsea.

Having arrived in London on the back of an impressive reputation, Maurizio sari has largely failed to replicate the success he’s had with Napoli in terms of both style of play and results. It might be too early to draw definite conclusions but the Italian does not seem to be enjoying much support to continue implementing his trademark Sarri-ball. His tactics are said to be baffling players, many of whom are being played out of position. Successive away defeats at Tottenham, Arsenal, Bournemouth and Manchester City, respectively, have been two major blows for the Blues and it is believed Sarri will be given until 24th February and the EFL Cup final against Citizens – again – to try and turn the fortunes around. The Italian could, however, face sudden death if his team register what would largely be perceived as a shock defeat in Sweden this week.

Team News

Callum Hudson-Odoi missed a couple of training sessions last week due to an illness and is likely to miss out on a starting place.

Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen are highly likely to replace Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz who endured a proper nightmare against Citizens last time out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Malmo have been without competitive football since December
  • Swedish side remains unbeaten in eight home games in Europe this season
  • Chelsea have lost 4 successive matches on the road
  • Blues failed to score a single goal in all of those 4 away defeats
  • Malmo lost 1 of their last 15 games in all competitions

Conclusion

Chelsea travel to Sweden feeling confused by Maurizio Sarri’s tactical demands and in rather low spirits after the embarrassing 6-0 defeat at Manchester City. Any other scenario would make them firm favourites against Malmo but as things stand it would appear that Blues will have to work hard in order to register a win in Sweden.

Verdict: Chelsea & Both Teams to Score

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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