Qarabag v Chelsea Betting Tips (Champions League) – 22nd November 2017

Chelsea return to Champions League action on Wednesday, with a slightly earlier 5pm kick off. That’s because the Blues head East out to Azerbaijan, as they aim to book a spot in the last 16 of Europe’s premier competition. A strong run in Europe is going to be a key demand for the Blues this season, following their year out of this tournament last season, and the dismal way in which they exited the competition during the 2015/16 campaign. Can the 2012 European champions make another impressive run in this competition, or will Antonio Conte continue to disappoint on the European stage?

The Italian boss hasn’t got a great record when it comes to guiding side through the latter stages of the Champions League, he never took Juventus too far in this competition despite their domestic dominance. That’s something Conte is out to change, but it really depends on which version of his Blues side shows up for this game. Will they play like they did in their brilliant 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid, or the awful 3-0 defeat Rome last month? If they’re going to make it through this group, then the Blues need to be back to their best here and pick up all three points. Qarabag have improved in Europe of late, so they need to be taken seriously.

Team News: Conte Needs to Switch Approach from Group Opener

One thing is for certain here, Antonio Conte can’t use the same approach that he did for the home meeting with Qarabag. He rotated his side for the clash at Stamford Bridge, with a very much second string Chelsea side taking the Azerbaijani side apart with a 6-0 victory. The scoreline didn’t quite reflect the game ultimately, but things have changed quite a bit since then. With Chelsea second in the group and Qarabag taking two points from two meetings with Atletico Madrid, the Blues have to revert back to their strongest line up for this clash on Wednesday. Expect a full-strength team to take the field here, as Chelsea look to seal their place in the last 16.

We can’t see any reason why Qarabag would make any changes to the side which caused Atletico Madrid so much trouble in their recent encounters. They also tested Roma in their home game, so that 6-0 loss to Chelsea is a real outlier in their results in Europe this season. Qarabag have proven themselves to be a solid side at this level, and we expect them to name a similar side to the one which held Atletico, and they’re likely to give Chelsea a real test in this trip.

Qarabag Form

The hosts have impressed in the Champions League of late, while they’re on course for more domestic success. They’re top of the league in Azerbaijan, and they should extend that lead with a game in hand on the chasing pack. However, the Champions League is the big thing for them this season, given that they’re the first ever Azerbaijani side to play at this level in the Champions League. Can they follow that up by being the first to pick up a group stage victory?

If Qarabag are to win a game in this group, you’d expect that they’ll be targeting their final home game to pick up that victory. After some impressive displays in Europe, the hosts must be full of confidence ahead of this week’s meeting with Chelsea. Qarabag managed to draw 1-1 at Atletico Madrid last time out, following up a hard-fought 0-0 at home. Can they cause a similar shock against Chelsea in their final home game of this European campaign?

Qarabag v Chelsea Head to Head

The only meeting between these two was that 6-0 victory back in September. Obviously Qarabag’s lack of a European track record means they’ve missed out on big Champions League clashes, with these two clubs operating within different worlds. However, we expect this week’s clash to be a much closer affair.

  • Chelsea 6-0 Qarabag, Sept 2017

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 21/20 with Bet365
  • Chelsea to win 2-1 – 8/1 with BetVictor

Chelsea are heavy favourites here despite Qarabag’s recent European results, with the Blues priced at 2/5 with Coral to take the points and move into the next round. Meanwhile, the hosts can be backed at 15/2 with Ladbrokes, as they search for a first win in this group. Having drawn their last two games, the Azerbaijan side will be out for another point against the English champions, especially after stopping a side like Atletico Madrid. You can back another draw for the group’s smallest side at 7/2 with Betfred. Obviously there’s not much value there in backing the Chelsea win, but we think this game will be closer than the odds make out.

The Blues should be worried about the increased confidence of the hosts here. In the first meeting at the Bridge Qarabag were finding chances, they just lacked the cutting edge to see them through. However, we don’t expect that to be the case here, especially after landing blows against the two other top sides in this group. Having scored away to Atleti and at home to Roma, we expect Qarabag will be more confident when it comes to burying their chances here. We expect them to grab a goal against the Blues, so our first tip here is both teams to score at 21/20 with Bet365.

We’re also backing a 2-1 win for Chelsea in this trip, as we see them having more fluidity up front than Atletico. The Spaniards have been struggling for goals across this European campaign, but the Blues should have enough cutting edge to take the win they need to maintain their push for top spot. Given that Qarabag lost 2-1 at home to group leaders Roma, that correct score bet looks like great value at 8/1 with BetVictor.