Maurizio Sarri’s side have hit form at the perfect time.
They’ve lost just once in their last 11 games in all competitions standing them in good stead as they head the race in the Premier League for the top four, but also their Europa League charge.
This is Chelsea’s first Europa League campaign since they won it in 2013, and they’ve enjoyed their time in Europe’s second rank competition thus far winning nine of their 10 games and keeping seven clean sheets in the process.
They are up against a Slavia Prague side who have stuttered their way to the quarter-finals, winning just five of their 10 games (D3, L2), though they are yet to lose at home this campaign. In fact, they have lost just 1 of 22 home matches in all competitions this season.
Slavia Prague have only conceded three goals in Europa League home matches this season and they all came in the last round versus Sevilla. If you fancy a shutout for the hosts, that can be found at 79/20.
Mick van Buren has scored four in his last six for Slavia Prague and he’s the man Chelsea should be wary of and at 4/1 to find the net anytime, that looks good value.
Slavia have got the better of Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Zenit and Sevilla in the Europa League so far and will hope to take yet another scalp this time round in their bid to make the semi-finals.
Although it seems the Chelsea boss has finally seen the light in fielding the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the league, Thursday promises to be the perfect time to give the youngsters even more game time and both have risen to the occasion in their previous Europa League appearances.
Hudson-Odoi has managed four goals and two assists, whilst Ruben Loftus-Cheek has three goals and two assists. You can back him to score anytime at 37/20.
Maurizio Sarri’s side have scored 25 times in the Europa League so far this season – conceding just three – with Olivier Giroud spearheading the side with nine goals.
The Frenchman leads the race for the Europa League Golden Boot. The World Cup winner already has nine goals so far this campaign, two more than the next closest remaining player Luka Jovic. Olivier Giroud is 5/1 to score first.
And, despite impressing going forward, Chelsea have been far from impenetrable on the road in this competition. Both Malmo and Vidi managed to find the net against Sarri’s side.
Chelsea are averaging 2.5 goals per match in total and 2.2 goals per away match. You can back them to score over 2.5 goals at 47/20.
It’s hard to look past anything other than a Chelsea win on Thursday night. Eden Hazard is going from strength to strength and it looks like Sarri’s methods are finally starting to rub off on the squad. Back Chelsea to win with a -1 handicap at 17/10.
On the topic of Eden Hazard, the Belgian has scored 3 goals in his last two Chelsea matches. We have him at 11/10 to net anytime, and 7/2 to score first.
Anything other than a result for Chelsea would be seen as a bad day at the office ahead of their clash with Liverpool this Sunday.
Slavia Prague vs Chelsea team news
Slavia will be without Tomas Soucek after he picked up his third yellow card of the competition in the second leg against Sevilla and Josef Husbauer will hope to be included. However, they have recovered Vladimir Coufal from suspension.
Misses next match if booked: Boril, Kúdela, Olayinka, Skoda, Traore
Sarri is set to make a number of changes to his starting lineup with Sunday’s fixture with Liverpool in mind, which may see the likes of Willian, Pedro and Giroud all earn a recall.
Andreas Christensen and Emerson Palmieri both look set to be included from the off as are Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic.
Misses next match if booked: Barkley
Slavia Prague vs Chelsea predicted line ups
Slavia Prague XI: Kolar; Kudela, Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Deli; Coufal, Traore, Husbauer, Kral, Boril; Stoch; Skoda
Chelsea XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Giroud, Pedro
Slavia Prague vs Chelsea Europa League Form
Slavia 0-0 Genk
Genk 1-4 Slavia
Sevilla 2-2 Slavia
Slavia 4-3 Sevilla
Malmo 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea 3-0 Malmo
Chelsea 3-0 Dynamo Kyiv
Dynamo Kyiv 0-5 Chelsea