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The Blues established a 3-1 first leg lead at Stamford Bridge last week and our expert is backing Rafael Benitez's side to book a last-four berth in Russia on Thursday

Chelsea have one foot in the semi-finals of the Europa League after Rafa Benitez’s men secured an impressive 3-1 first leg victory over Rubin Kazan in west London last week and the Blues will look to complete the job when they travel to Russia on Thursday evening.

The Premier League side warmed up for Thursday night’s clash with a narrow victory over Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland on Sunday afternoon and the Blues can be backed at a tempting 17/10 (2.70) with William Hill to follow up on that result with a win on Thursday night.

Kurban Berdyev’s men are also rated as a 17/10 (2.70) chance with William Hill to beat Benitez’s men here as the bookmakers struggle to split the two sides on the night. The same firm go 21/10 (3.10) that the match ends in a draw.

William Hill offer a special "headline" offer of 5/1 (6.0) that Fernando Torres, who scored twice in last week's first leg, scores at any time in a victory for the Blues while the same firm go 8/1 (9.0) that Israel international Bebars Natcho scores at any time in a win for the home side.

It is worth noting that just three of Rubin Kazan’s 11 matches in this competition thus far this season have featured more than three goals and, with the Blues content to keep things tight having established a 3-1 first leg lead at Stamford Bridge last week, a low-scoring encounter seems likely here.

Furthermore, both of Chelsea’s away Europa League ties thus far this term have featured just one goal and, should that trend continue here, the 9/4 (3.25) on offer from William Hill fewer than two goals to be scored looks to be a viable option.

It is little surprise, then, that William Hill go just 7/10 (1.70) that Thursday’s match features fewer than three goals while the same firm offer 19/20 (1.95) that the first half ends in stalemate - a selection which is sure to be a popular with punters.

Chelsea, though, appear to be too strong for their Russian opponents and are chalked up at 7/1 (8.0) with William Hill to win 1-0 on Thursday while the same firm’s generous 15/4 (4.75) quote that Rafael Benitez’s men win a match featuring fewer than three goals looks to be a solid selection here.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Chelsea to win at 17/10 (2.70) with William Hill
Chelsea to win and under 2.5 goals at 15/4 (4.75) with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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