Chelsea’s Champions League campaign gets underway with what should prove to be a straightforward assignment at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s men face Azerbaijani champions Qarabag, who are making their debut in the group stages of this competition and the odds compilers offer just 3/25 (1.12) that the Blues bag a win in their Group C curtain-raiser in west London on Tuesday night.
Chelsea, of course, were the last English team to secure the silverware in this competition – back in 2012 - and Conte’s charges will be expected to make a bold bid to regain the trophy this term; if the west Londoners are to be considered as contenders, victory in this match is, surely, essential.
Qarabag have already won three ties to reach this stage of the competition – against Samtredia, Sheriff Tiraspol and Copenhagen respectively – but the odds compilers expect their fairytale to end here; indeed, MarathonBet offer a chunky 25/1 (26.0) that Qarabag claim a famous win in west London, while the same firm go 21/2 (11.50) that the Azerbaijani outfit pick up a point from their trip to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at the hands of Burnley in their opening Premier League fixture but they have responded in fine style, claiming victory in each of their last three matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Leicester City respectively.
Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet in their four competitive matches so far this season, but Qarabag are not expected to test the Blues’ defensive resolve and, as such, the odds compilers offer 15/8 (2.88) that there are goals at both ends when these teams meet.
The west Londoners, though, have kept a clean sheet in no fewer than 12 of their last 14 Champions League victories and MarathonBet offer just 9/20 (1.45) that Conte’s men keep a clean sheet here, while the same firm go 13/25 (1.52) that the Blues win without conceding against Gurban Gurbanov’s men.
Drawn alongside Atletico Madrid and Roma in Group C, it is imperative that Chelsea kick off their campaign with a convincing victory and the Blues can be backed at just 9/25 (1.36) with MarathonBet to win by at least two clear goals in this game.
Chelsea, though, are significantly stronger than their inexperienced opponents and there could be value in backing the English champions to lay down a marker by claiming a thumping win against Qarabag in Tuesday’s Group C opener.
With that in mind, it is MarathonBet’s 107/100 (2.07) quote for Conte’s men to win by at least three goals that may represent best value for punters ahead of this Champions League clash.