Traditionally Chelsea have made their home a fortress in the Champions League, especially under the stewardship of the now returned Jose Mourinho, who remained undefeated in 10 home group matches during his first spell in charge.
Even the usually stern features of Mourinho must have broadened into one of his famous smirks when the draw for Group E was made.
Chelsea have managed to swerve any of the competition’s big hitters and start their campaign against a Basel side whom they comfortably overcame 5-2 over two legs of their Europa League semi-final match-up last season.
The home leg of that tie resulted in a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge and while Chelsea remain a little unconvincing on the road so far, anything other than a home win at 3/10 feels implausible.
This is well backed up by the fact the Swiss champions have only secured one victory from their five away trips in all competitions so far this season.
It may be worth noting that in their two home games this season the Blues found the net within the first 15 minutes, while this was also the case in their eventual penalty defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup.
This adds significant appeal to the 33/20 being offered by Ladbrokes that there is a goal score between 00.00 -14.59 minutes.
Also notable is the fact that two of the four goals Chelsea have conceded so far this season have arrived on the stroke of half-time, making the 11/2 on Basel finding the net between 30 mins and the half-time whistle another attractive punt.
It’s also worth highlighting that both sides scored in both meetings last season, so the 9/10 on that occurrence shouldn’t be ignored either.
The fact Fernando Torres started against Bayern and only featured for 20 minutes against Everton suggests the Spaniard should start, giving his 7/2 to score first credibility also.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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