Following their hugely disappointing defeat in the League Cup Final last month, Chelsea have picked themselves up and embarked upon a four-game unbeaten run with wins over Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Dynamo Kiev. They were fortunate to manage a single point in their weekend meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge, Wolves taking the lead early in the second half courtesy of Raúl Jiménez but Eden Hazard saving Chelsea’s blushes with a leveller in the second minute of stoppage time. Manager Maurizio Sarri is still the bookies’ pick on the ‘Premier League Sack-Race’ market but the pressure has been lifted slightly and he can certainly help his cause if he manages to steer his men into the next round of the Europa League.
In this regard, Chelsea are in a very strong position given that they thrashed Dynamo Kiev 3-0 in the first leg of this two-legged affair, Pedro breaking the deadlock and both Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi adding their own names to the scoresheet. They are now within reach of the quarter-finals of the competition but they will need to keep their nerve in Ukraine this week.
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We do envisage Sarri’s men marching into the last eight of the tournament and given that they don’t actually need to win, we don’t expect them to take too many risks along the way. Kiev failed to get themselves onto the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge and as such they really do need to go on the offensive from the outset. Indeed the hosts have banged-in ten goals in their last three home matches while the visiting Blues have leaked eleven in their last twelve away games across all competitions. A goal for the Blues would almost certainly send them through to the last eight of this season’s Europa League but we also believe that the home side will play their part in making this a thoroughly entertaining encounter, Coral Bookmakers going 10/11 on Both Teams to Score – Yes.