As the Champions League group round nears its midpoint, an exciting matchup between Chelsea and AC Milan takes place at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are still searching for their first victory, while Milan are coping with several injuries in their squad as they prepare for the first of two matches between Group E’s two biggest teams.
This group has gone from a fantastic draw in Chelsea’s favor to a disaster. The London club is now in the last position after losing to Dinamo Zagreb and drawing with Salzburg. To move up to one of the top two spots in the standings, they will require outstanding performances in the remaining games of the league. Milan, the opponent in the final match of the first round, is yet another favorite for the top two spots.
On the other hand, Milan got off to a far stronger start in the Champions League. Following the initial tie with Salzburg, Dinamo was defeated 3-1. Milan defeated Empoli 3-1 to easily win the Italian Serie A.
Form Guide: Chelsea
Chelsea has had inconsistent performance since the year’s beginning. However, there have been more bad times than pleasant ones lately. Conor Gallagher’s outstanding goal at Selhurst in the waning seconds of the game gave them a win against Crystal Palace on the road.
The Blues, who have only won three of their last six games, are very erratic. They win one day against West Ham, lose the next to Dinamo in Zagreb, or draw 1-1 at home against Red Bull Salzburg. They have to defeat Milan because they have just one point after two UCL rounds.
Graham Potter’s first game in charge was a frustrating draw with RB Salzburg, so victory on Wednesday would lay down a welcome – and much-needed points-wise – early marker in his tenure.
Form Guide: AC Milan
Since the start of the season, the Italian champions had two wins and three road draws. Although they have played a little more cautiously, four of their games have seen both teams score goals. The only defeat in the last four matches came at the hands of Napoli at home, a 1-2 loss for AC Milan. In actuality, it is the only loss Rossoneri has experienced this season; otherwise, they have five victories and three ties. On Saturday night, Stefano Pioli’s team defeated Empoli away from home, 1-3, thanks to an incredible finish that saw three goals in the final 10 minutes plus stoppage time.
In the last six games, at least three goals have been scored five times, and each of those twelve times has been hits on both ends. In general, AC Milan played like this throughout the past two years, but they still managed to outscore their opponents and win.
Meanwhile, AC Milan is perched on top of Group E with four points but has suffered several key injuries during the international break.
Stefano Pioli has seen his plans complicated by three more injuries as Alexis Saelemaekers is out with a partial injury to the medial collateral ligament, while Davide Calabria and Simon Kjaer will undergo examinations to understand the extent of their problems.
How the game could go
The two sides have met five times in the previous century. The record is neutral, with both having one win each, and three draws, scoring and allowing five goals.
We are taking a moderate efficiency here meaning, two or three goals. There won’t be fireworks when it comes to efficiency, but on the other hand, considering that the respective defenses aren’t stable, we expect at least two hits.
The Serie A club have only lost once this season, a 2-1 defeat at home to Napoli, but their performances away from home haven’t been particularly inspiring either. Both of Milan’s Road wins have come against teams in the bottom half of Serie A and they were held to a 1-1 draw at Salzburg in their only European trip so far.
The San Siro club lost at Liverpool, Porto, and Atletico Madrid in Europe last season and with that in mind a 3-1 win for Chelsea appeals, potentially with a late goal to add a bit of gloss to the score line as this could still be a tight game.
Graham Potter’s third game in charge of Chelsea will be against Milan, and it appears that the new manager still has work to do to strengthen Chelsea’s defense. The Stamford Bridge club has gone eight games without a shutout after just managing one clean sheet this season, which came against Everton in their season opener. In their last 10 games across all competitions, the Rossoneri have only had one game go scoreless, and in eight of those games, both teams have scored, therefore back both teams to score. Bet9ja have 1.74, 1xbet have 1.81 and Paripesa have 1.81 odds.
Over 2.5 Goals
Chelsea has not been so good defensively this season and Milan could utilize it once, maybe twice. We expect a rather fast game because the English representative has nothing to lose and goals are necessary for them. Although Chelsea is the favorite, we expect that Milan can resist and reach a draw. Milan’s last few matches ended with 3 or more goals. We expect at least 3 in this Champions League match. Bet9ja have 1.82 odds, Paripesa have 1.93, and 1xbet have 1.93 odds.
Anytime Goalscorer (Chelsea)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got off the mark for his new club over the weekend and that strike against Palace may well have been the confidence boost he needed to kickstart his Chelsea career, and an anytime goal for the forward also looks an interesting option for this European fixture. He has the experience to lead the forward line and has proved deadly when given the opportunities in recent times. He is central to this Chelsea attack as they have struggled to score more goals lately. Bet9ja have 2.60 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 2.62.
The English striker Raheem Sterling spearheads the attack for Chelsea. Sterling has scored 3 goals for his new club. He also assisted in a goal and created 3 big chances. Sterling would be looking for support from his new teammate Aubameyang as they can both partner up and create good chances for the team. Bet9ja have 3.10 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 3.10.
Anytime Goalscorer (AC Milan)
Oliver Giroud has scored the most goals in Serie-A for Milan this season; scoring at 0.8 goals per match. With such a great start to the season for his side, it would be unwise not to include him in the selection here. He is central to this Milan’s attack as they have been bustling with a lot of chances and he has converted a few of them. He has one goal in the UCL too. Bet9ja have 3.75 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 3.74.
The Portuguese forward has followed up his impressive performance from last season with a further imposing showing this season in the Serie A. Assisting the only goal in his sides to draw against Salsburg and missing the follow-up game due to suspension is why he hasn’t gone off the mark in the UCL this season. He scored and provided an assist against Empoli and will surely continue in that fine form today. This is why we have him selected here. Bet9ja have 4.85 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 5.50.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.