Chelsea can reach Europa League final with home victory over Basel
FC Basel did for the European dreams of Dnipro, Zenit and Tottenham during a golden run of post-winter-break form that lasted into April, but results have slackened off since they performed so well at White Hart Lane. Chelsea have been impressive in defying the tiring effects of their ever lengthening season and they can exploit their hosts need to score to land odds of 6/5 on Coral’s -1 match odds handicap.
Basel have beaten top European opposition at St Jakob Park in the past few seasons with Bayern Munich and Manchester United sent packing in last season’s Champions League, but they were unable to cope with a Chelsea side who efficiently exploited their attacking set-up in the first leg of their Europa League semi final.
The Swiss had a controversial penalty to thank for their first leg goal and the way in which Chelsea fashioned six more chances than their hosts, despite having less than 40 per cent of possession, bodes well for the Blues in a return match that their hosts need to win more than they do.
Basel have won just once in their last seven games and followed up last week’s loss to Chelsea with an altogether less forgiveable 3-0 St Jakob Park reverse to third bottom Swiss Super League rivals Lucerne in which much of their first team was present.
Despite all the rumblings of discontent around Stamford Bridge in recent months, Chelsea are unbeaten in 11 home games, winning nine times in that sequence. If Basel are to end that run they will have to turn their backs on a season in which they’ve yet to win in six Europa League away games.
Chelsea have won their last two home legs 3-1 in the competition – a correct score about which Coral go 11/1 – and have saved their best performances in the Europe for evenings in South London. They’ve scored twice or more in five of their six continental matches at the Bridge this term and it’s 4/9 that they bag over 1.5 in their bid to overcome the -1 handicap against Basel.