2021-22 UEFA Champions League Group Stage: Week Three – Chelsea vs Malmo

Chelsea welcome Malmo to Stamford Bridge in a huge Group H clash as both teams look to get their automatic qualification dreams back on track.

Victory will see Chelsea stay second in their group but a win for Malmo could see the Swedish club move off the foot of Group H.

 

Team News

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Hakim Ziyech could return for Chelsea after missing Saturday’s win at Brentford through illness.

Thiago Silva (fitness) and Antonio Rudiger (back) could also feature if fully match fit but Christian Pulisic (ankle) won’t be risked until he is ready for a first-team return.

Malmo have no fresh injury concerns to report but Felix Beijmo (collarbone), Oscar Lewicki, Jonas Knudsen and Ola Toivonen (all knee) remain ruled out.

 

Stat  Attack

  • This is Chelsea’s first-ever Champions League meeting against Malmo but the West London club are unbeaten in two previous meetings in all competitions (W2).
  • Malmo failed to score in their previous visit to Stamford Bridge, losing 3-0 in February 2019 in Round of 32 in 2018-19 Europa League to exit 5-1 on aggregate.
  • Ross Barkley scored for Chelsea in both previous meetings against Malmo.
  • Chelsea have four clean sheets in their last five proper home Champions League matches held at Stamford Bridge (W4, D1).
  • Malmo have scored in just one of three previous away visits to English opposition in all UEFA competitions (L3), netting in an eventual 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in October 1967 in First Round of 1967-68 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

 

Prediction

Having fought their way past Brentford in a physically scrappy contest in which they were often forced to play on the counter-attack, Chelsea should look to get back to their attacking best here because this is theirs to lose given the contrast in quality to Malmo.

Malmo meanwhile have been defensively poor in their two group matches so far this season which doesn’t offer much hope, unless they set up on the counter and look to make Antonio Colak their central shot maker when they break.

Either way, I just can’t see past a comfortable home win here for Chelsea given their attacking quality and this is the ideal fixture for Romelu Lukaku in particular to end his six-match goal drought.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Malmo

Result: Chelsea 4-0 Malmo

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