CHELSEA look to repair their wounds on Wednesday when up against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) peruses the odds.
Chelsea v Maccabi Tel Aviv | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport 2
Chelsea?! Facking hell! What’s been dropped into their drinks over the summer? Five games into the Premier League season and not one convincing performance.
Defeats to Crystal Palace, Everton and Man City have seen last season’s champions inch towards the relegation zone like some 1980′s recreation. I would say it’s absolutely hilarious, but I’m not that kind of guy.
With blood seeping out their collective veins they need something to hem the bleeding. Maccabi Tel Aviv really ought to be that instrument on Wednesday night.
This is like when a Group 1 horse loses his way and the trainer drops his charge down into a Group 3 contest to give them, as they say, a confidence booster. Surely Chelsea can win with lengths in hand in this Group 3 test?
It was a fairly comfortable title win for Tel Aviv last season and they entered this competition in the Second Qualifying Round. An alarming defeat to Hibernians of Malta in their opening match was soon forgotten when they edged past Viktoria Plzen and Basle in the next two rounds to gain group stage qualification for the first time since 2004.
Indeed recent European results hardly inspire confidence in this side. They failed to qualify for the Europa League group stage last season after succumbing to Asteras Tripoli in the play-off round and a narrow 1-0 win over part-timers Santa Coloma was LOL’able.
Chelsea should be comfortably too strong here and that’s represented in the 2/11 best price quotes available on them. But how can you back them at the moment with so much uncertainty around them? How can you take a firm view in these uncertain times?
The Blues have been prone to silly slip-ups at home in the Champions League. APOEL Nicosia, Rosenborg, FC Copenhagen, Sparta Prague Olympiakos, Basle have all taken something from Stamford Bridge in European competition in the last eight years. That’s extraordinary. Can it happen again?
That’s very unlikely but as I said earlier how can you possibly confidently part with cash backing Chelsea at the moment? The only way to make any sort of decent return from them is to bank on a comfortable win and I’m just not prepared to do that.
With this in mind, the only possible option is to invest in Chelsea’s woes continuing and for their habit of dropping easy points at home in the Champions League to happen again here. At 11/2 I’ll have a very small stake on Maccabi Tel Aviv +1. What else can I do?!
Chelsea v Maccabi Tel Aviv – Maccabi Tel Aviv +1 (11/2 Coral)
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