Chelsea vs Qarabag Preview, Team News, Line-ups, Betting Tips & Prediction
Chelsea take on Qarabag at Stamford Bridge this evening. Here is a preview with team news, line-ups, betting tips and predicted score
Chelsea make their return to the group stages of the Champions League when they welcome Qarabag FK to Stamford Bridge this evening.
The Blues failed to qualify for the Champions League last season but they return to Europe’s elite competition after storming their way to the Premier League title last year.
Antonio Conte’s men have been handed a tough task to make it through to the knockout stages after being paired with Roma and Atletico Madrid in Group C so it’s vital they beat minnows Qarabag tonight.
The west Londoners head in to the game in fine form as after slumping to a shock home defeat to Burnley on the opening weekend of the new season, the Blues secured their third consecutive victory with a 2-1 win at Leicester on Saturday.
As for Qarabag, this will be their first appearance in the group stages of the Champions League after the Azerbaijan champions beat FC Copenhagen on away goals in the third qualifying round.
Chelsea are set to be without summer signing Danny Drinkwater as he’s struggling with a calf injury so the midfielder will have to wait to make his debut.
Otherwise, Conte has no injuries to contend with so he has a fully-fit squad to choose from and he’s expected to make some changes to his usual starting eleven.
Davide Zappacosta is in-line to make his debut following his deadline day move while Willy Caballero could get a rare start in-between the sticks.
Andreas Christensen, Willian and Michy Batshuayi are all pushing for recalls while Gary Cahill is set to return after serving a three-game domestic ban.
Eden Hazard made his comeback with a cameo appearance off the bench at the weekend but Conte has hinted he won’t rush the attacker back so he may be held back for the visit of Arsenal on Sunday.
Qarabag IX: Sehic; Medvedev, Rzezniczak, Huseynov, Agolli; Qarayev; Guerrier, Michel, Almeida, Madatov; Ndlovu
Chelsea 3-0 Qarabag: The visitors have experience of playing in London after losing 3-1 at Tottenham in the Europa League last season but they face a tough task to get anything from this game. Chelsea have lost just one of their last 13 group games in the competition and have an excellent home record so I don’t see anything other than a routine Chelsea win.
Chelsea are the 1/7 favourites to win this game with the bookmakers but here are some other bets we like the look of;
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