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Lee Dixon: Easy win for Chelsea but Blues' real battles lie elsewhere

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"Nordsjaelland are weak and the Blues' home record is strong with seven victories in their last eight Champions League games at Stamford Bridge."

Chelsea's Champions League campaign will surely end in strange fashion with a big win at Stamford Bridge but results elsewhere knocking them out of the competition, says Lee Dixon

He's just three matches into his Chelsea reign but few managers look more threatened than Rafa Benitez does at Stamford Bridge. The under-fire Blues boss is desperate for a morale boosting victory already so, on paper, a home fixture against Group E whipping boys looks perfect. 

But while defeat is out of the question - Chelsea are just 1.111/9 to land three Champions League points at the expense of 34.033/1 outsiders Nordsjaelland - the win must be impressive or the locals will be on the warpath. Again. 

While Saturday's end result against West Ham was pretty catastrophic, there were some positives to take from the game. Chelsea actually played very well in the first-half and were clearly the better team. They went in ahead by one but it could have been more. 

As we all know, it was a different story in the second 45 minutes. They simply couldn't cope with West Ham's more physical approach after the break and their eventual capitulation will come as a worry to all at the club. 

But Nordsjaelland are not West Ham and this match will surely end with Chelsea winning, and winning well. The opponents are weak and the Blues' home record is strong with seven victories in their last eight Champions League games at Stamford Bridge

The Benitez era began with two clean sheets and hopes must be high that they can add a third in four games. The Betfair market certainly thinks so, pricing a home win without conceding at odds-on.
 
At the other end of the pitch, Chelsea's attacking talent must be capable of scoring at least three goals. Nordsjaelland have conceded 16 times in five games so a three is pretty much the par score. This is the perfect occasion for Fernando Torres to rediscover his scoring touch and I'm brave enough to back the Spaniard to do it! 

In the long run I feel that Benitez is fighting an uphill battle at Chelsea and when Chelsea get back to tougher games the struggles will continue, but Wednesday night is a chance for the fans and players to enjoy a welcome return to winning ways. 

It will probably mean nothing once the referee blows his whistle on 90 minutes. With Juventus ahead by two points in Group E, Chelsea are 3.711/4 to qualify for the knockout stages so their efforts are likely be in vain and Rafa's season will not be defined by what happens at the Bridge on Wednesday night. 

Unless they lose of course! 


Recommended Bets 
Back Chelsea to win 3-0 @ 7.06/1, and 4-0 @ 9.08/1
Back Fernando Torres to score @ 1.910/11

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04 December 2012

Champions League

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