It’s likely that Maurizio Sarri’s future at Stamford Bridge will be determined over the rest of this month as the Italian manager looks to convince the club’s bosses that he can steer his side into a Champions League berth at the end of the season. Sunday afternoon’s hugely embarrassing 6-0 thumping by Manchester City was the side’s worst defeat since 1991 and it came soon after a shock 4-0 hammering by AFC Bournemouth. Sarri thus appears to be clinging onto his position a mere seven months into his three-year contract and as such he will be desperate for success in this season’s Europa league, starting with a win in Malmo on Thursday evening. The bookmakers have installed Sarri as leading contender in the ‘Premier League sack-race’ market and failure to win in Sweden this week would push him closer to the precipice.
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Home side Malmo would dearly love to take advantage of Chelsea’s current woes on Thursday evening although while they did well to make it out of the group stages of this competition, we don’t envisage them going much deeper into it. They pulled off some excellent wins over the likes of Besiktas on their way to this stage of proceedings and they certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly, however Chelsea will be desperate to forget about their horror-show at the Etihad Stadium and they can go some way towards achieving that by edging past Malmo in the first leg of this last-32 Europa League tie on Thursday evening, Ladbrokes Bookmakers going 19/20 on Chelsea to win and over 2.5 total goals.