Chelsea v Qarabag – Champions League Preview 12/09/2017
Premier League Champions Chelsea begin their Champions League campaign at home to Qarabag on Tuesday night.
Recent seasons have brought very little joy for English clubs in this tournament. It will be fascinating to see how this year’s challenge develops.
The Blues started the new EPL season with a shock home defeat against Burnley. They were reduced to nine men in that game but still battled deep into stoppage time and were unlucky not to salvage a point. Things have picked up dramatically since with victories over Tottenham, Everton and Leicester City.
These wins have been achieved with rumblings in the background surrounding the future of Diego Costa. There was also a hint of desperation about Chelsea’s last ditch attempt to bring in new players before the transfer deadline. Antonio Conte has reportedly been concerned that his squad was not strong enough to maintain a Premier League challenge as well perform well in Europe.
They begin their campaign against the group minnows Qarabag and a win is regarded as a formality. The return of Eden Hazard towards the end of their 2-1 win at Leicester on Saturday was a timely boost. He is expected to play a small part on Tuesday night but Willian is likely to remain the chief playmaker. Record summer signing Alvaro Morata will be keen to get among the goals, already twice a Champions League winner with Real Madrid. Both could be worth supporting in the goal markets along with a clear-cut Chelsea win.
Qarabag are the first team from Azerbaijan to reach this stage of the Champions League. Not surprisingly, bookmakers give them little chance of taking anything from Stamford Bridge.
They are 11.0 to earn a draw and 34.0 to pull off a shock victory. Qarabag can also be backed as high as 41.0 to qualify from the group and 151.0 to win it outright. They will inevitably set their stall out to frustrate Chelsea and hope to hit them on the counter attack.
Chelsea managed to shoot themselves in the foot against Burnley but are unlikely to do so here. The Blues are only even money to win by three or more goals but a margin of four plus makes more appeal at 4.0. Morata is priced at 3.4 to score two or more goals.
Champions League Betting Tips 12/09/2017
Chelsea to win by 4 or more goals @4.0 Betfair
Alvaro Morata to score 2 or more goals @3.4 Betfair