Maribor v Chelsea: Drogba to find the net as Costa deputy

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In what is now a pre-Champions-League-outing ritual, speculation over Chelsea’s so-far unbeaten side surrounds Diego Costa and his fitness levels ahead of the Blues’ trip to face Maribor.

With Liverpool next on the conveyor belt after this Slovenian trip, the temptation could be to rest the Spanilian’s hamstrings for the more important clash, especially with Jose Mourinho’s men as short as 2/7 to win.

Either way there’s money to be made from the clash, with the below three bets the best options to do so:

Chelsea first team to score 3 goals @ 21/20

The Blues may have hit Maribor for six a mere two weeks ago, but they aren’t as leaky as that when playing at home.

Three goals is the most the Purples have shipped at Ljudski vrt this season, which includes four Champions League fixtures across the qualifying and group stages.

Crucially, they’ve also failed to score more than two in any of those games on the European stage.

Didier Drogba to score at anytime @ 1/1

In Costa’s recent absence – he missed four games before returning against QPR last time out – Didier Drogba has been ably filling the void.

The second-stint Blue has scored in each of the last three games without Costa, including during the 6-0 win against Maribor at Stamford Bridge.

Both teams to score @ 11/10

Maribor have scored in all of their home games this season bar one, while Chelsea have an unblemished scoring record away from Stamford Bridge.

At the back, the hosts have been breached in all of their last four outings and Mourinho’s men have one clean sheet in their seven away games this term.

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.