Chelsea’s Europa League season is starting on Thursday against PAOK. It is their only chance to win an International title this year. We bring you a preview of this match and provide you with some free betting tips.
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The game will start at 5:55pm BST on Thursday, the 20th of September. It will be played in Salonika at Toumba Stadium.
Watch it on Sky Football or Sky Sports Main Event or streamed online. We have reviewed the best bookmakers with live streaming coverage for you. Some of them are going to provide live footage of the game. Make sure to check out the best live streams bookmakers to find out where to watch the game.
Chelsea is coming off an absolutely subpar 2017-18 Premier League campaign which left them outside of the Champions League for the first time in the past five years. Antonio Conte was eventually fired and Maurizio Sarri is their new head coach.
Sarri turned the whole team upside down and made some major adjustments. The London side has now won five games in a row and they have been playing a really attractive style of football. Even though some of their victories were not straightforward, they seem like a totally new team. Sarri’s offensive style is in full effect and the club has scored 14 goals in five matches.
Chelsea’s main priority this year is obviously the Premier League. The club wants to make its comeback to the big European stage and will invest all of its effort to fulfill this goal. Nevertheless, the Europa League competition is clearly much weaker. Therefore it’s quite obvious that Sarri will also be flirting with bringing some European hardware back this season as well. Chelsea has several players who have not started or played in this year’s Premier League season and are expected to play against PAOK on Thursday.
PAOK has been really close to playing its first Champions League season after drawing to Benfica Lisbon on the road but failed to convert the match point on home ground and lost 1-4. That’s why they are going to play in the Europa League this year instead. PAOK were the underdogs against Benfica and they will also be the outsiders against Chelsea. Even though they are not considered to be one of the better teams in the competition, Chelsea should not underestimate their opponents. PAOK advanced against Spartak Moscow, considered to be favorites in the matchup.
The squad finished second two times in the league and managed to win the Greek Cup two times in a row as well. The team has lost only 1 of their past 10 games and has won 3 consecutive matches in the Greek Super League. PAOK made it to the round of 32 two times in the past five years and their team seems to be stronger than ever.
Sarri already mentioned that he is going to rest some of his key players on Thursday. Not every Chelsea player had the chance to play and we are guaranteed to see some new but still familiar faces on the pitch. Cesc Fàbregas will most likely be one of them after missing the past matches due to a knee injury.
Marco van Ginkel, Emerson, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, however, will probably miss this match due to injury reasons.
Thursday’s match between these two clubs will be their first clash on the European stage. Both teams have had a great start to this year’s season and are in great shape. Chelsea has been relying on its potential on offense and has proven that they have certain weaknesses in their defense. I expect more than 2.5 goals in this match and 1XBet is your bookmaker of choice if you want to place a bet.
Predicted Result: PAOK 1-2 Chelsea
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