Chelsea’s home meeting with Shakhtar is far from the must-win territory that some corners are suggesting, but the truth is they effectively have nothing to lose for going all out for victory at Stamford Bridge.
It is 1/1 that Chelsea beat Shakhtar, which would see them move top of Group E with two fixtures remaining, with one of which being at home to minnows FC Nordsjaelland.
This should be a banker three points and would guarantee their spot in the knockout stages, regardless of their result in the encounter in between away at Juventus.
If Chelsea attack against Shakhtar and lose, this would only take away any hopes they had of winning the group.
Assuming that Juventus beat Nordsjaelland in the other Group E fixture, they would overtake Chelsea into second spot regardless of whether the Blues drew or lost.
Therefore, a draw or defeat with Shakhtar would heap the same amount of pressure on the trip to Juventus, in terms of if Roberto Di Matteo’s side lost at the Juventus Arena, they would be out.
So Chelsea should be trying to beat Shakhtar, not because it is a must-win game, but because there is nothing to gain from the point a draw would offer in terms of their upcoming trip to Italy.
The good news for Chelsea is that Shakhtar have failed to win on any of their four previous visits to England, with three defeats occurring in this period.
Shakhtar are 11/4 to end their winless streak in England and some punters will feel that their attacking unit will be too much of a handful for Chelsea regardless of how attacking the chosen line-up of Di Matteo is.
The draw would clearly be more of benefit to Shakhtar and would all-but seal their spot in the knockout stages. This can be backed at 12/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.