Chelsea v Steaua: Visitors to hold Blues to under 1.5 goals

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Chelsea head into their final Champions League Group E game against Steaua Bucharest with a trio of objectives listed on their mission statement.

First they must win the match, something they are heavily fancied for at 1/5, to ensure they end the Champions League group stage as winners.

They can afford a draw with the Romanian club, which can be backed at 6/1, but then must rely on Basel failing to beat Schalke in the other Group E clash in order to top the group. Steaua, incidentally, are heavy 14/1 outsiders to cause an upset.

Next the Blues will set out to prove that their recent defensive woes, where they shipped three league goals in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since 1999, is just a blip and shut the visitors out. A Chelsea clean sheet is available at 3/4.

Finally, Jose Mourinho will want to see a repeat of the dominant attacking performances he claimed his side turned in against Sunderland and Stoke, with an ability to kill off the opposition being the exception to the rule of those previous two outings.

While the first two of those tasks should be a cakewalk for the former Real Madrid boss – Steaua have not won in 22 attempts in the Champions League proper and have scored the joint-second fewest goals in this year’s competition – the third will prove difficult to come by.

Group E’s bottom-rung club come to London stuck in a stalemate-based rut, drawing all of their last six games. However, they haven’t conceded more than one goal in any of their last nine matches.

So with Chelsea resting players, carrying a trio of misfiring strikers and facing a side who rarely get whooped, the 11/5 on the hosts scoring under 1.5 goals makes for a bolshie bet.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.