When you consider the legendary success of Chelsea – not to mention that they come into this match with a goal advantage and have managed a clean sheet so far in the Europa League –, you may think that Slavia Prague represent a relatively straightforward challenge. However, their last encounter was an incredibly difficult one for the Blues, who looked lucky to come away with a goal thanks to Marcos Alonso.
Not only that but Slavia Prague would be undefeated since mid-February were it not for that late first-leg strike, while Chelsea lost their last Premier League match 2-0. It was against Liverpool but still, a loss is a loss. The point we are making is that Chelsea may be favourites here – and with good reason – but Slavia Prague have proven against them and elsewhere that they are far from pushovers.
Chelsea vs Slavia Prague Prediction: Chelsea 1-0 Slavia Prague
Although we think some commenters have underestimated Slavia Prague, that doesn’t mean an away victory is the most likely outcome in our opinion. Rather, we just think Chelsea will have a tougher time getting the win than some may think. Regardless of the difficulty involved though, we do think they’ll win here. The fact is that Chelsea remain one of the finest teams in club football, and their reputation and position in the Europa League is no accident. While Slavia Prague’s opponents underestimate them at their own peril, we doubt Chelsea will. Therefore, our prediction is for them to secure a 1-0 victory once again.
Our recommended tip: Chelsea win to nil
Considering their success in the first leg of this Europa League contest, it’s no surprise that the home side are the bookmakers’ favourites here. At Ladbrokes, Chelsea fans will find low-risk 1/3 match odds. Meanwhile, supporters of Slavia Prague will have to settle for much higher risk 9/1 odds on a win. However, taking into account that first-leg result and the fact that Chelsea have won three out of their last five matches without conceding a goal, we recommend that you wager they win to nil. You’ll get 21/20 odds on this result and a higher potential ROI.
As we’ve mentioned, Chelsea walked away in the first leg with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Slavia Prague. However, that first leg is also the first and only time these two have met in their history. For Slavia Prague, this means that they can take confidence in the fact that, although they lost, it wasn’t without great difficulty for Chelsea. And considering that’s the only game to draw conclusions from, they can still bring the fight to the Blues here. For Chelsea, the lack of previous contests will mean they’ll have plenty to prove in light of the tough game they had when they last faced each other on the pitch.
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Players to watch: Marco Alonso & Tomáš Souček
Chelsea: Marco Alonso
There were two players who really made a difference in Chelsea’s last match against Slavia Prague. One of whom was Antonio Rüdiger, whose brilliant performance kept Chelsea moving with frequent accurate passes and preventing the team from collapsing into staleness. The other, Marco Alonso, was actually having a pretty poor game, at least for a player of his calibre. The fact that he found a way to win it, even on a bad day, shows just how high quality a player he is. If he can be more consistent this time around, Slavia Prague will have a nightmare stopping him.
Slavia Prague: Tomáš Souček
One key ingredient missing from Slavia Prague in the first leg was Tomáš Souček. He has since returned from suspension with a bang, managing to score in his last two matches for the team. Considering how much trouble they gave Chelsea last time around, could Souček be the puzzle piece they need to score the upset?