Europa League Favourites Chelsea Look to Make Early Impression
Outright favourites Chelsea begin their quest to win the Europa League tonight when they travel to face Malmo of Sweden. Although both clubs have already played in the group stages of this competition, now we are in the knockout round and the teams have arrived who finished third in the Champions League groups, it feels as though this is the real start of this tournament.
Chelsea are favourites with the bookmakers to lift the trophy, and after impressing in the group stages against lower quality opposition, they will eventually face a step up against someone. This game probably doesn't offer that though, Malmo looked average in the groups and Chelsea should have an easy time of things getting by them and into the next round.
Eventually the big guns will appear, and with teams like fellow English club Arsenal, Italian clubs Napoli and Inter Milan and Spanish clubs Sevilla and Valencia, this is not going to be a stroll in the park for The Blues. However, Maurizio Sarri has already shown he wants to perform well in the cup competitions, so he is likely to field strong teams and on their day, Chelsea are as good if not better than every other team in the tournament.
The ease of the task facing Chelsea tonight can be seen by the odds on offer with the bookmakers. Despite being away from home, Chelsea are the strong 2/5 favourites to win tonight, with the home team Malmo priced up at a huge 15/2. Don't be surprised to see this game wrapped up after the first leg, allowing Chelsea to rest players in the second and qualify for the next round in comfortable fashion.