Chelsea To Do The Necessary v Maribor, But Only JustStats
Maribor v Chelsea
Chelsea can confirm their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with three points this Wednesday night…
Having demolished Maribor 6-0 at the Bridge a couple of weeks ago Chelsea now have seven points from three Champions League Group G games and know that a win here would confirm their place in the knockout stages of the competition. Although it is already fairly safe to assume that they’ll still be in the competition come the turn of the year.
On the domestic front Chelsea have had a few slightly below par – by their own extremely high standards – performances in recent weeks. A 1-1 draw at Old Trafford 10 days ago was followed up by narrow 2-1 wins against Shrewsbury in the Capital One Cup and QPR in the Premier League on Saturday.
Though they do say that the sign of a good team is one that wins when not playing at their best. Jose Mourinho’s men remain unbeaten, with just three draws, in 15 games this season.
Maribor, meanwhile, are residing in a relatively lowly fourth position in the Slovenian PrvaLiga after losing 1-0 at home to league leaders Domzale on Friday night. The Slovenian champions have now lost three of their last four and won only two of their last eight games in all competitions.
In the Champions League group stages so far they’ve drawn with both Sporting Lisbon and Schalke, but, three points behind the Germans, will now realistically be looking to secure 3rd spot and a consolation entry into the Europa League.
Diego Costa returned to Chelsea’s starting XI at the weekend but may be rested again this midweek. Mourinho may well decide to rotate his starting XI as much as possible given the strength of their position in the group.
Loic Remy and John Obi Mikel are both out having missed the weekend game against QPR.
Chelsea’s 6-0 win at the Bridge two weeks ago was the first meeting between the two clubs. Loic Remy, Didier Drogba and John Terry were all on the scoresheet with a goal apiece, while Mitja Viler scored an own goal and Eden Hazard netted twice.
At odds of 3/10 Chelsea are deserved and justifiable heavy favourites, but it’s also not a price to get overly excited about backing. Especially considering the possibility that Mourinho may rotate his squad.
Chelsea’s second string XI were far from impressive against Shrewsbury seven days ago and a similar performance here may not go unpunished. I couldn’t suggest a bet on a home win, but Maribor +2 at odds of 10/11 in the Handicap market is a bet that appeals.
Goals aren’t necessarily a given and the 13/10 about there being fewer than 2.5 in the game stands out.
Of Maribor’s nine Champions League fixtures this season – including qualifying matches – only two have featured more than two goals, with neither of those being on home soil.