Malmo v Chelsea – Swedbank Station at 20:00 GMT

Chelsea will be looking forward to recover from their demoralizing 6-0 defeat at the hands of reigning Premier League champions Manchester City when they take on Allsvenskan side Malmo in a crucial UEFA Europa League clash on Thursday. Maurizio Sarri is under huge pressure to claim the win in this match especially since Chelsea already slipped out of the Premier League top four. If their poor spell form continues, his managerial days at Stamford Bridge could be put to an end sooner or later.

Scandinavian teams have been struggling to make an impression in European football especially in recent years, but Malmo are obviously looking to make a name once and for all as evident by how well their performances are going so far. They have been the lowest team in terms of value in this competition, but somehow, they managed to shock everyone in the groups by booking a well-deserved spot in the last-32.

Facing Chelsea won’t be an easy test since the hosts also lack competitive fixtures compared to a side like Chelsea, though it’s not as if the Blues will be playing in confidence especially after encountering massive slip-ups lately.

Even though Malmo managed to display a series of pleasing performances, they didn’t exactly do anything that will have Chelsea feeling dreadful. Even at home, Malmo aren’t that convincing, though they did have some solid defensive tactics in this competition. Chelsea, on the other hand, began the season looking like a potential Premier League title contenders after a series of terrific performances during the first few weeks in the campaign.

As of now, the Blues are facing a lot of challenges which resulted to them dropping out of the top four in the English top flight. They will enter Thursday’s match as the favourites though, especially since they have the advantage of having more experiences in European clashes compared to their opponents.

LATEST NEWS

–          Malmo’s Guillermo Molins will likely be missing out on Thursday’s clash.

–          Franz Brorsson remains a doubt until after his assessment.

PROBABLE FORMATION & STARTING XI

Malmo: 3-5-2

Johan Dahlin, Lasse Nielsen, Rasmus Bengtsson, Behrang Safari, Andreas Vindheim, Anders Christiansen, Fouad Bachirou, Oscar Lewicki, Soren Rieks, Markus Rosenborg, Marcus Antonsson

Chelsea: 4-3-3

Willy Caballero; Davide Zappacosta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Emerson Palmieri, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud, Willian

KEY PLAYERS

Malmo

Marcus Antonsson is expected to lead the line for the Scandinavian side. He is one of those who became a crucial part in Malmo’s impressive performances so far in the competition, scoring at least five goals in his previous six outings which includes the match-winning goal against Besiktas.

Chelsea

Olivier Giroud is the favourite to help Chelsea secure Thursday’s victory since he already managed to take up his tally to four goals in three Europa League outings.

MATCH PREDICTION

Malmo v Chelsea: 0-2

Though Chelsea’s form on the road haven’t been exactly promising with them losing their past four matches on the road against Tottenham Hotspur (1-0), Arsenal (2-0), Bournemouth (4-0), and Manchester City (4-0), they could take advantage of the fact that Malmo aren’t that experienced in terms of European competitions. However, the Swedish outfit shouldn’t be underestimated since they finished the previous Allsvenskan season in the third place. An entertaining match between these two should be on the cards on Thursday.

MATCH BETTING ODDS*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

By @EliaasMJ

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