Chelsea v Malmoe : UEFA Champion's League Match, Team News, Goal Scorers and Stats

Date: 20-10-2021 1:31 pm (1 year ago) | Author: Olusanya Akinrinola
- at 20-10-2021 01:31 PM (1 year ago)

Date: Wednesday 20th October, 2021
Time: 8:00 pm
Stadium Stamford Bridge
Referee    Francois Letexier (France)
Goal Scorer:
Team News

Thomas Tuchel has been handed a double boost on the team news front ahead of the visit of Malmo FF. On Wednesday, the Chelsea manager will only be bereft of the services of two first-team players in the worst case scenario.

The two aforementioned possible absentees are Hakim Ziyech (illness) and Christian Pulisic (ankle), although the former is only a doubt. The good news comes in the form of the potential returns of Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger, both of whom have rejoined training ahead of the midweek fixture.

Silva ought to be fit enough to return to the starting lineup straightaway, having not been ruled out with any injury this past weekend, when he was only unavailable because he returned late from Brazil duty during the international break. As for Rudiger, it is likely that he will be given some time to regain full sharpness before being recalled.

So, with Silva the only player likely to return, the three-man central defensive unit should feature the veteran Brazilian, captain Cesar Azpilicueta and the in-form Andreas Christensen while in goal, there is no looking past Edouard Mendy, who will be riding a wave of confidence following a superb performance against Brentford on the weekend.

Azpilicueta moves into the back three as Reece James is fit and ready to return as the right wing-back. On the opposite flank, Marcos Alonso will get a chance to impress after recently losing his spot to Ben Chilwell. And in the middle of the park, Jorginho will possibly return, with Mateo Kovacic expected to be his partner.

Finally, in attack, Tuchel will have to take a tough call and possibly exclude Timo Werner, with Romelu Lukaku leading the line for Chelsea against Malmo. The Belgian international will be supplemented by Mason Mount and Kai Havertz, who will be desperate to make his mark after recently losing his place in the side.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Christensen; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Havertz, Lukaku, Mount

Unlike his counterpart in the Chelsea dugout, Jon Dahl Tomasson has a number of roster issues hampering his preparations ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge. On Wednesday, the Malmo boss will have to make do without five first-team players.

The major absentee for the visitors will be Anel Ahmedhodzic, wlikely to have ho is suspended after being sent off last time out against Zenit St Petersburg. In addition, Felix Beijmo (collarbone) and Oscar Lewicki (knee) are expected to be back in the fold later this month, but Jonas Knudsen and Ola Toivonen have possibly played their final game of the season.

Tomasson will set Malmo up in a 3-5-2 formation, with Johan Dahlin taking his place in goal. In front of the 35-year-old, Niklas Moisander, Franz Brorsson and Lasse Nielsen are expected to form the three-man central defensive unit, with the trio expected to remain compact when Chelsea bomb forward on their moves, hoping to isolate Romelu Lukaku from his teammates.

Erik Larsson and Jo Inge Berget will likely be the two wing-backs, with the duo in-charge of providing width whenever Malmo embark on their runs. The two wing-backs, though, will also be tasked with dropping back to form a back five when off the ball.

Veljko Birmancevic and Antonio Colak will form the strike partnership for Malmo, although the pair will largely spend time off the ball, feeding off scraps for the most part. In the middle of the park, Bonke Innocent, Anders Christiansen and Erdal Rakip will play a key role in stifling Mason Mount and his creative output.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Dahlin; Moisander, Brorsson, Nielsen; Larsson, Rakip, Innocent, Christiansen, Berget; Birmancevic, Colak

Key Stats
Chelsea and Malmo FF faced in the Last 32 of the UEFA Europa League in 2018/19, with the English side winning both games and 5-1 on aggregate (2-1 away, 3-0 home).
Chelsea have never lost to a Swedish side in UEFA European competition (W3 D3), avoiding defeat against Atvidabergs FF in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1971/72 (D2), Helsingborgs IF in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1998/99 (W1 D1) and Malmo in the Europa League in 2018-19 (W2).
Chelsea have only lost two of their last 48 home UEFA Champions League group stage matches (W33 D13), losing to Basel in 2013/14 and Valencia in 2019/20.
Thomas Tuchel has only lost one of his 13 home group stage matches (W10 D2): a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United as PSG manager last season.
This will be Thomas Tuchel’s 10th game in charge of Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League. The Blues have only conceded three goals under the German so far, which would be the joint-fewest through a manager’s first 10 games of a club in the competition (along with Fabio Capello at AC Milan and Jose Mourinho in Real Madrid), if they keep a clean sheet against Malmo FF.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Malmo

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