MX23RW : Friday, December 3 18:32:59| >> :60:466:466:
Oct 20, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stamford Bridge
Christensen (9'), Jorginho (21' pen., 57' pen.), Havertz (48')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Nielsen (19'), Christiansen (53'), Larsson (55')

Preview: Chelsea vs. Malmo - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Chelsea and Malmo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Champions League holders Chelsea welcome Malmo to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening for their third game in Group H.

The hosts sit second having won and lost one of their first two games, whilst their visitors sit bottom and are yet to score in the competition.

Match preview

Chelsea's Ben Chilwell celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 16, 2021© Reuters

Chelsea's defence of their Champions League title began with a slender 1-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg in September, with Romelu Lukaku heading in the only goal of the game.

That remains the Belgian's most recent goal in a Chelsea shirt as he has suffered a goal drought now stretching to six games - his side have nonetheless managed to win four of those games, but did lose important matches to Manchester City and Juventus.

A Federico Chiesa goal 10 seconds into the second half was enough to secure the win for the Italian side, as the Blues registered 73% of the possession but struggled to create a killer chance, managing just one effort on target.

Despite the loss, it remains the case that those two teams are the clear favourites to progress from Group H, but they must continue to do the basics and ensure that they beat a Malmo side who have suffered two heavy losses in the competition to this point.

Thomas Tuchel will have been pleased to see his side secure victories either side of the international break, although they did have to hang onto their 1-0 lead in the second half against Brentford, with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to thank for a number of crucial saves that helped them remain at the summit of the Premier League.

Malmo FF's coach Jon Dahl Tomasson reacts on September 14, 2021© Reuters

As mentioned, Malmo's Champions League campaign has not been going to plan so far.

The Swedish side had to work to reach the group states of the competition for the first time since 2015-16, progressing through all four qualifying rounds thanks to wins over Riga, HJK, Rangers and a crucial 3-2 aggregate victory over Ludogorets.

Having fought so hard to get to this point, they will have been disappointed by their opening two performances - a 3-0 defeat to Juventus was perhaps understandable but losing 4-0 to Zenit in their most recent game will have stung.

Jon Dahl Tomasson's side are currently in the midst of a tight battle for the Allsvenskan title, tied at the top with Djurgardens IF and AIK Fotboll on 44 points with seven games left to play.

The manager will thus have to decide whether to admit defeat in the Champions League and save his most important players for the league, or try to persist in both; if they lose this game, however, they may find themselves all but officially out of the competition anyway.

Chelsea Champions League form:
  • W
  • L

Chelsea form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Malmo Champions League form:
  • L
  • L

Malmo form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger pictured in September 2021© Reuters

Antonio Rudiger will miss out again with a back issue, but Thiago Silva is available after his late return from international duty caused him to miss the game against Brentford.

That could see a back three of Silva, Andreas Christensen and the young Malang Sarr, who impressed in his first Premier League appearance on Saturday evening.

Christian Pulisic is also ruled out with an ankle injury and Hakim Ziyech is a doubt through illness, so Lukaku and Timo Werner are set to remain as the front two, supported by Mason Mount in an attacking midfield role.

Malmo's Anel Ahmedhodzic is suspended after picking up a red card against Zenit last time out, with Niklas Moisander expected to deputise.

Tomasson also has a fairly long injury list to deal with - Oscar Lewicki, Jonas Knudsen and Ola Toivonen are all sidelined with knee issues, whilst Felix Beijmo remains out with a collarbone injury.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Sarr; Azpilicueta, Kante, Mount, Jorginho, Alonso; Lukaku, Werner

Malmo possible starting lineup:
Dahlin; Moisander, Brorsson, Nielsen; Larsson, Rakip, Innocent, Christiansen, Berget; Birmancevic, Colak

SM words green background

We say: Chelsea 3-0 Malmo

Chelsea will be confident of making it three successive victories at home to a Malmo side who have looked out of their depth in this year's Champions League to this point, and it may simply become a case of how many the Blues can score.

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Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger pictured in September 2021
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