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Nov 2, 2021 at 5.45pm UK
MalmoMalmo
0-1
ChelseaChelsea
 
FT(HT: 0-0)
Ziyech (56')
Silva (69'), Loftus-Cheek (80')

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

:Headline: Preview: Malmo vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Malmo and Chelsea, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

A fortnight after their one-sided meeting in London, holders Chelsea reconvene with Malmo in Champions League Group H on Tuesday.

The pair clash at the Eleda Stadion with the European champions sitting second in the group behind Juventus, while their hosts are rock-bottom, without either a goal or a point.


Match preview

Having begun the defence of their continental crown with a 1-0 win against Zenit St Petersburg, then lost by the scoreline to Juventus in Turin, Chelsea took a significant step towards the knockout stage earlier this month as they crushed Malmo at Stamford Bridge.

Penalty specialist Jorginho - current UEFA Player of the Year - demonstrated a customarily cool head to dispatch a pair of penalties against the Swedish champions, after Andreas Christensen had opened the scoring as early as the ninth minute.

Kai Havertz's second-half strike sealed a 4-0 success for Thomas Tuchel's men, putting any anguish at the defeat to Juve behind them and leaving the Premier League side in touch with the Bianconeri at the top of the table - just three points behind.

The Germany international's previous Champions League goal was, of course, the winner in May's all-English final at Estadio do Dragao, and his single-minded manager is intent on reaching a second successive showpiece next spring.

Certainly, the Blues' league form since taking Malmo to the cleaners last time around will give Tuesday's home side serious cause for concern.

After they strode to a ruthless 7-0 victory over hapless Norwich City, Tuchel's team proceeded to put three past Newcastle on Saturday with no reply; wing-back Reece James spectacularly netting his second and third goals in the last two games.

Chelsea have now posted 13 points from a possible 15 away from home in the Premier League - which they lead by three points from Liverpool - and have conceded just once on the road in that competition. All of which makes uncomfortable reading for their next hosts.

Having started in the first round of qualifying, Malmo are back in the big time after six years away, after securing their 21st Swedish title - and fifth in the last eight Allsvenskan campaigns.

They also had to traverse some tricky ties in the preliminary process, knocking out Riga, HJK Helsinki, Rangers and then Ludogorets merely to reach the group stage.

However, the fairytale run Di Blae had enjoyed has subsequently come to a juddering halt over the past few weeks, as Jon Dahl Tomasson's side have conceded 11 goals in their first three games, having previously lost at home to Juventus (3-0) and away to Zenit (4-0).

Another heavy defeat to Chelsea has seen all hope of progress - perhaps even to the Europa League as a third-placed finisher - extinguished, as Malmo lie three points below Zenit in the standings but have a vastly inferior goal difference.

Their two previous Champions League group campaigns - which came in 2014 and 2015; the latter being the last time a Swedish club appeared at this stage - did not end particularly well, given the gulf in funding between them and Europe's top clubs.

Malmo finished fourth in their section on both previous appearances, winning one game and losing the other five, which would perhaps represent a realistic target for them to match this time around.

After a challenging period earlier this season, Tomasson has steered his team back to the top of the Allsvenskan table this month, as they contest a close battle for the title with Elfsborg and Stockholm sides Djurgarden and AIK. Successive wins over the latter and Sirius during the past week will have boosted Malmo's confidence, but they still approach Tuesday night's fixture with a certain amount of trepidation.

Malmo Champions League form:
  • L
  • L
  • L

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

Chelsea Champions League form:
  • W
  • L
  • W

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

Team News

While they have a well-furnished squad to deal with all kinds of occasions, Chelsea's injury list has been lengthening since both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner pulled up injured in the reverse fixture with Malmo.

Both forwards are expected to stay sidelined in midweek, while the visitors' American winger Christian Pulisic remains out of action too.

Midfielder Mateo Kovacic - a Champions League winner with both Real Madrid and his current club - sustained a hamstring injury in training last week and will not return until after the next international break.

Ahead of their match with Burnley on Saturday, coach Thomas Tuchel may opt to rotate his resources a little, so Marcos Alonso, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and the recently returned Cesar Azpilicueta could come into his thinking on Tuesday. However, due to the absence of others, it is likely that Kai Havertz will continue as the focal point up front.

Meanwhile, Malmo have veteran forward Ola Toivonen and Danish defender Jonas Knudsen unavailable with long-term knee injuries, but Niklas Moisander has returned to action of late and could start in a back three for the home side.

Former Premier League player Martin Olsson should start at left wing-back, with either Eric Larsson or Jo Inge Berget set to feature on the opposite side - both wide men will be required to track back and make up a defensive five at times.

Captain Anders Christiansen is the main creative force in midfield, and starts in support of Croatian striker Antonio Colak - who was among the top scorers in qualifying but has yet to register in Group H - and Veljko Birmancevic.

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

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Silva; James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Alonso; Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech; Havertz


We say: Malmo 0-2 Chelsea

Even a slightly depleted Chelsea squad will have too much experience and guile for Malmo to manage on Tuesday, and the in-form reigning champions look set to seal a place in the last 16 sooner rather than later.

Once they have established a lead, the Blues might drop their levels of intensity, so the game could finish with a closer scoreline than many anticipate.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data



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Match previews - Daily
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City21172253134053
2Chelsea21127245162943
3Liverpool20126252183442
4Arsenal2011273325835
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham20104637271034
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1810352320333
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd199463027331
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves198471414028
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton196942020027
10Leicester CityLeicester187473133-225
11Crystal Palace205872930-123
12Brentford196582326-323
13Aston Villa1971112530-522
14Southampton194962029-921
15Everton185492332-919
16Leeds UnitedLeeds194782137-1619
17Watford1841132236-1413
18Burnley171881627-1111
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle1918101942-2311
20Norwich CityNorwich192413842-3410
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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