AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Malmo v Chelsea

There’s an old saying – made famous by Rocky Balboa – that goes ‘It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.’ For Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea, that is very much the case. A epic beating at the hands of Manchester City has heaped the pressure upon the Italian and the failing blues, who appear not to have bought into his distinctive tactical style.

Reeling from that defeat they head to Malmo at a crucial time for their season. Manchester United’s resurgence under Solskajer has led to a three way race for fourth in the Premier League and Chelsea must face United in the FA Cup, before facing City once again in the Carabao Cup final. Given the imbalance between them and City, it looks as if the Europa League is perhaps their biggest chance of a trophy win, or Champions League football.

They are long odds on to beat Malmo, but they do not make an immediate amount of appeal.

Firstly, Malmo have impressed in their Europa League run. They went through second in a decent enough group, losing only once, 2-0 at Genk in their opening game (on the road). They quickly bounced back and ended the group stages with a 1-0 win against Besiktas, completing a double against the team currently third in the Turkish Super Lig.

Malmo v Chelsea
UEFA Europa League Last-32 1st Leg
20:00 BT Sport 2 HD

(Maximum 10 matches, from last 10 years)
First meeting between teams

They also could have the benefit of not facing Chelsea’s first team, with Manchester United coming on Monday and the second leg at home, and their home record isn’t to be sniffed at. Malmo lost the chance to retain their Swedish Allsvenskan title because of poor away form but they lost just once at home in 15 games and in their last 14 European games only Real Madrid and PSG have won here.

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