Kepa Arrizabalaga, who recently reclaims his starting place, must go all out in Chelsea's upcoming Champions League game

UEFA Champions League: Can Leaky Chelsea Contain Sevilla?

Chelsea vs Sevilla

Chelsea are all set to begin their new UEFA Champions League campaign as they host main Group E challengers Sevilla at Stamford Bridge.

Despite spending millions during the summer transfer window, the Blues continue to have some concerning problems in defence, which plagued them for most of last season under Frank Lampard.

They now face a dangerous side in reigning Europa League champions Sevilla, whose UEFA Champions League 2020 odds to win the group would increase significantly if they can escape Stamford Bridge with a win.

 

Talking Points

Chelsea’s defensive concerns continue

Can Frank Lampard lead Chelsea to a victory against Sevilla in the Champions League?

Frank Lampard shouts instructions to his players during a match against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea may have bought a bunch of new players this season, but they still look a lot like last season’s side which scored a lot of goals and gave up quite a few on the other end.

The Blues could only draw 3-3 against Southampton over the weekend as their defence couldn’t hold onto a 2-0 first-half lead. It’s the second 3-3 draw Chelsea have had in five Premier League games, and they’ve already conceded nine goals overall.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy picked up an injury during international duty, which meant Kepa reclaimed his starting place. However, the Spanish international made another costly error which led to Southampton’s second goal.

Centre-back Thiago Silva also didn’t take part in the match, but the Brazilian could make his return in the middle of defence against Sevilla.

On the other end, Chelsea’s attack is rounding into shape. Timo Werner was brilliant against Saints as he scored his first two league goals of the season, while Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are back fit after missing the first few games of the season.

Lampard has a wealth of attacking weapons at his disposal, and whatever side he picks should be capable of producing a number of UEFA Champions League 2020 highlights at home.

 

Sevilla missing key defender

Sevilla suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Granada in their La Liga first match back from the international break. The visitors found themselves down to 10 men for half the match after Joan Jordan picked up two quick yellow cards during first-half stoppage time.

Sevilla were also without star centre-back Jules Kounde, who has tested positive for COVID-19. Kounde’s absence will be a major blow to Sevilla’s defence as they take on a prolific Chelsea attack.

The Spaniards’ strategy in London will likely be a conservative one. They will try to soak up as much pressure as they can, then spring for a quick counterattack. And with Chelsea’s defensive issues, Sevilla could create some decent goalscoring opportunities on the break.

With Julen Lopetegui at the helm, Sevilla showed in last year’s run to another Europa League title just how capable they are at defending at the top level. And this season, they already took European champions Bayern Munich to extra-time during the UEFA Super Cup and also held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw.

The likes of Luuk de Jong and Lucas Ocampos were only second-half substitutes against Granada after they returned from international duty. But both are expected to return to the starting XI against Chelsea, which should give them some much-needed attacking quality.

 

History

This will be the first-ever meeting between Chelsea and Sevilla in any competitive European competition.

Chelsea don’t have a great history against Spanish clubs, though. They failed to beat Valencia in their two group stage matches last season and lost 0-1 at Stamford Bridge.

In their last 10 Champions League matches against Spanish club, Chelsea have won just once — against Atletico Madrid in 2017 — with four losses and five draws.

On the other side, Sevilla have a fine record against English sides. They knocked out both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United during their run to the Europa League title last season. They were also unbeaten in four meetings against Liverpool and Man United (three draws, one win) in their 2017-18 Champions League campaign.

 

Betting Tip

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Chelsea vs SevillaUnder 2.50 @ 2.08
October 21, 03:00 (GMT+8)

So let’s take a look at the very latest Leeds United vs Wolves betting odds and make a call.

Well, the hosts are slight favourites here at SBOTOP with odds of 2.50, with Wolves at 2.77 and the draw at 3.10.

If the Wolves squad is depleted then Leeds will have an even better chance, but they won’t run away with it. So I’m backing a level outcome at the end of 45 minutes with all to play for in the second half.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident)?? = €10 (CONFIDENT)?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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