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Chelsea sure to beat Nordsjaelland but qualification beyond them

| 04.12.2012

Chelsea are teetering on the cusp of becoming the first Champions League winners to be eliminated in the group-stage when they play host to Danish minnows Nordsjaelland.

The Blues have to win the game and their 1/10 price suggests doing so will be a walk in the park against a team who have lost nine of their last 11 continental fixtures and drawn the remaining two.

With victory deemed a formality, Rafa Benitez and co will have more than half an eye on events in Donetsk, where they need Shakhtar to overcome Juventus for their bacon to be saved from the clutches of the multiple-armed, slobbering beast that gives football’s superpowers nightmares. It’s better known as the Europa League.

Nordsjaelland are assured to finish bottom of Group E having amassed one point in their five games to date and their towering price of 20/1 suggests they will remain on that miserly total at the final whistle.

The obvious gulf in quality that separates the sides does not change the fact that the Blues are finding goals hard to come by of late and a repeat of their 4-0 win in Denmark in the second round of matches can be ruled out.

The 8/13 that says they’ll win the game without conceding is worth a bet, but the lofty 11/2 on offer for fewer than 1.5 goals to be scored in this game is a fantastic price.

Chelsea have managed just one goal in three outings under their newest regime and, with Fernando Torres as hapless as ever, the Danes can definitely keep the score down with some resolute defending.

This bet suffers the drawback of the fact that, even though the Blues may not be firing on all cylinders, such is the quality at their disposal they won’t have to be at their best to score more than one goal in this one.

A bet with greater potential for payout is a home win with fewer than 3.5 goals scored in the game.

Chelsea are struggling for form and, although it’s possible for them to bludgeon their way to a comfortable win here, confidence has to be at an all time low in the camp and it’s difficult to envisage them carving the Danes up time and time again at Stamford Bridge.

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



James Middleton