Chelsea has won the first leg of the Europa league semifinals, with Suarez scoring in the final minutes of overtime and are overwhelming favorites to advance to the final. All they need now is not to lose by two goals at home against Basel, a target that should be hit with minimal effort given their home record.
Match: Chelsea vs Basel
Bet: Under 2.5 goals
Odds: Pinnacle Sports 2.26
Punters were right to expect a high scoring a goal in Switzerland, but Chelsea defended admirably for a few minutes after scoring an early goal. Both sides scored with less than 5 min. left in the game and now Basel needs to return the favor by scoring twice on Stamford bridge. This is easier said than done, as the Blues lost just twice in 17 home games and conceded a total of 13 goals, the best defensive record among all teams in the Premier League.
Chelsea is fighting a war on two fronts, but finishing on the third position and securing a Champions League berth for 2014 is just as important as winning Europa League. On Sunday they will be facing champions-to-be Manchester United and losing away at Old Trafford could see them slipping two places in the standings. That’s why the hosts will play the same defensive game that worked so well for them in Switzerland and patiently wait for the visitors to commit errors while trying to score the vital goals.
This time it is worth going against the odds and betting on fewer than 2.5 goals to be scored, regardless of how prolific Basel appears to be up front. Chelsea does a brilliant defensive game in critical matches and as long as the odds of 2.26 with Pinnacle Sports hold, punters don’t need another reason to bet.