Chelsea hosts Shakhtar Donetsk at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in a pivotal match that has serious implications for the knockout stage.The most bet-on league in world soccer is back in action this week as the UEFA Champions League returns with its second straight day of games.
One of those matches comes in Group E as Chelsea hosts Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, which finds itself in the unlikely position of being top of the group after the first half of matches.
In the last match between these two sides two weeks ago, it was Shakhtar that domianted play en route to a 2-1 victory.
The team isn't a powerhouse offensively, as evidenced by its three goals scored in three matches thus far, so don't anticipate them to come out guns blazing in London. However, Shakhtar did manage a goal against a highly difficult Juventus side in Turin so the vibe is there to do it again.
Adding a fun fact is that the last coach to defeat the Blues at Stamford Bridge in the group stage was current Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu, who led Turkish side Besiktas to victory nine years ago.
A Shakhtar victory is being issued at 3.80 over at Sportsbook.com. That same firm is also offering a draw result at 3.80 in addition to a promotion for all Goal.com Canada readers that gives a bonus of up to $500 when you open up a new and free account.
The host on the other hand is being issued as favourites - unsurprisingly - at close to evens at 1.95. Chelsea currently sits in second position ahead of Juventus, and after losing away to Shakhtar last matchday it will be expected to deliver the full three points or find itself sitting in third with two games remaining.
Roberto Di Matteo has constantly preached about how vital the games against the Ukrainians are I expect the Blues to notch at least a goal, and possibly two. A Chelsea 1-0 or 2-0 win in the correct score markets can be had at 8.25 and 9.25, respectively.
Just watch out for injuries, as both Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard are out while Juan Mata and David Luiz are still questionable. Those are big gaps to fill for any team.
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