THE EUROPA LEAGUE quarter-finals get conclude on Thursday night as Chelsea host Slavia Prague. Gaurav Chaddah (@Gchaddahjourno) shares his betting thoughts.
Chelsea v Slavia Prague | Thursday 18th April 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport
A late Marcos Alonso header gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead to bring back to Stamford Bridge as they close in on a spot In the semi–finals of the Europa League.
The Blues controlled most of the game but did miss several chances in a game manager Maurizio Sarri made several changes for, in anticipation of the clash against Liverpool last weekend.
Sunday’s defeat at Anfield. combined with Arsenal’s victory over Watford on Monday. means Chelsea now have it all to do to finish in the top four and taking the Europa League title may be their best chance of securing Champions League football in 2019/20.
Whilst it’s hardly been a vintage season for Chelsea, their record at Stamford Bridge speaks volumes going into this game. ]The Blues have won 10 of their last 12 home games in all competitions here and Sarri will be hoping that can continue on Thursday night.
The goals have also flowed for Sarri’s side, who have seen eight of those victories achieved by two goals or greater. In Europe, Chelsea have won all five games at the Bridge, including four ‘to nil’ and four by at least two goals.
Whilst they kept the scoreline down, Slavia Prague were very much second-best in the Czech capital and face an even tougher assignment now on the road. For most parts of the first leg they looked to sit deep and counter and only really threatened a couple of times.
Now chasing the game, Slavia will have to be a little more expansive in order to try and score, and that will sure to open the game up a little. Nevertheless, the visitors will take heart from the fact they have scored in both away legs of the knockout rounds so far, notching four in Genk and two away to Sevilla.
The betting angle
Regardless of what side Sarri puts out, Chelsea should win the game.
Four of Chelsea’s five Europa League games have been won ‘to nil’, featured Over 2.5 Goals and have seen the Blues victorious by a margin of at least two goals.
All three options are plausible here but with Slavia chasing the game and having a decent track record for scoring away in this competition, it would be no surprise to see them get on the scoresheet or make life awkward for the Londoners.
With that in mind, the game should open up, even if Slavia don’t score and Chelsea could profit from the Prague club’s defensive vulnerabilities. Therefore, Chelsea to win and Over 2.5 Goals seems a fair option to take at 21/20 with Ladbrokes.
Chelsea v Slavia Prague – Chelsea to win and Over 2.5 Goals (21/20 Ladbrokes)