THE EUROPA LEAGUE Last 32 continues on Thursday night as Chelsea welcome Swedish outfit Malmo to Stamford Bridge. Adam Goodwin (@AdamGoodwin__) shares his betting thoughts.
Chelsea v Malmo | Thursday 21st February 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport
After the Europa League final on Sunday, the Europa League could be about the only positive thing left in Chelsea’s season. Their hopes of reaching the top four are fading quickly so winning this competition could save their Champions League hopes, along with Sarri’s job.
Chelsea battered Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 and Huddersfield 5-0 within a week earlier this month so they’ll be hoping to find that sort of form heading into this one.
Whilst they’ve been decent at Stamford Bridge, they’ve still conceded against Derby, Crystal Palace and in this competition against BATE. They seem particularly low on confidence at the moment and after their 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in West London on Monday, I don’t think Chelsea will win this game as ruthlessly as they’d like.
As you’ve probably read, Malmo are still in their pre-season and have barely played a competitive game in the last few months. But they put in a decent performance in Sweden last week and managed to score a late goal to somewhat keep them in this tie.
In the Allsvenskan last season, Malmo had a decent away record and scored in 10/10 (100%) of their last away games. They’ve also scored in all but one of their Europa League away games this season. So don’t rule out Malmo from scoring against a beleaguered Chelsea defence on Thursday.
The betting angle
I’m going to plump for Chelsea to win and Both Teams To Score, which is 11/5 with Boylesports. It landed in the first leg last week and Chelsea’s defensive fragilities have been evident in recent weeks.
As I’ve already mentioned, Malmo can score goals – and despite being away from home – I think they’ll fancy themselves to bag at least one.
Chelsea v Malmo – Chelsea to win and Both Teams To Score (11/5 Boylesports)