Chelsea v Basel: Blues poised to extend Euro home run

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The fact that Chelsea are vying for a place in the Europa League Final just a year after claiming the continent’s top prize demonstrates how poor a season the Blues have had.

And while glory in Europe’s second tier competition would not fully appease frustrated fans, their desire to reign victorious in Amsterdam was there for all to see in the first leg against Basel.

After an encounter which ebbed and flowed, David Luiz scored a last-minute winner in Switzerland and demonstrated why the Stamford Bridge outfit go into this tie as the 1/2 favourites.

Odds of 11/2 are currently being offered on Basel to win the match, but with Chelsea last slipping at home in Europe to Manchester United in April 2011 and Basel failing to win all six of their European away ties this season, there is better value elsewhere.

For instance, Fernando Torres – who has been disappointing on the domestic front this term – has enjoyed his midweek outings more than his Saturday afternoons, hitting four goals in his seven appearances so far.

Backing the Spaniard to score in a Chelsea win boosts the odds to a more tempting 5/4.

Correct Score bets are also a temptation for this fixture when you consider that Chelsea have netted at least two goals in their last four Europa League games, while Basel have conceded at least two in their last three.

However, while Basel have struggled at the back, they have shown a tendency to come to life in the latter stages of games, scoring 41.2 per cent of their 17 goals in the last 15 minutes.

This could lead many punters to back the 11/5 which says Basel will score the last goal of the match, while the 7/1 on a 2-1 Chelsea win could also attract a lot of attention.

Those a little more confident of such a scoreline could also be tempted to back the same outcome in the Benfica v Fenerbahce game in order to see a £640 return from a £10 stake.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.