THE EUROPA LEAGUE returns on Thursday night as Chelsea host Belorussian outfit BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge on matchday three. Gaurav Chaddah (@Gchaddahjourno) shares his betting thoughts.
Chelsea v BATE Borisov | Thursday 25th October 2018, 20:00 | BT Sport
It’s two wins from two for Chelsea in the Europa League so far and in what is becoming a regular occurrence, they begin there Europa League tie against Belorussian opposition in the form of BATE Borisov as very hot favourites, with Paddy Power going as short as 1/10.
It’s not been mesmerising stuff so far however from the Blues, who equalised late on against Manchester United on Saturday to ensure they are still the only unbeaten English team across all competitions.
Nevertheless, 1-0 wins against PAOK and more recently Vidi mean Chelsea are in pole position to qualify from Group E.
BATE arrive in the capital with three points themselves, having seen off Vidi 2-0 on matchday one. But the Borisov club were brought back down to earth following a 4-1 hammering against PAOK last time out. It might be early days in Group E but the two are fighting it out for second place, with Vidi looking a little out of there depth.
Chelsea can finally unleash
Despite Chelsea having a 100% record so far, it’s safe to say that they’ve been a little underwhelming. The Blues has 27 attempts but could only manage the single goal against Vidi last time and it took them till the 70th minute mark.
On matchday one, Willian’s seventh-minute goal was enough to see off PAOK but in both games you do get the feeling Chelsea should have had more and that big European performance may just be around the corner.
BATE shipping goals for fun
Bate do look defensively rather vulnerable and if Chelsea are a little more clinical in front of goal, they could be in for a difficult evening. The Belorussians haven’t kept a clean in sheet now for four games and conceded four against PAOK.
There is clearly some defensive issues and despite Chelsea expected to make changes, they could be in for a difficult evening.
The betting angle
I do expect goals here to see a comfortable Chelsea victory, with BATE looking rather exposed defensively.
I wouldn’t put anyone off backing Chelsea in the handicap markets but what could be a safer bet is Chelsea to Win Both Halves, which is evens with Ladbrokes.
Chelsea should have too much.
Chelsea v BATE Borisov – Chelsea to Win Both Halves (1/1 Ladbrokes)