Chelsea 1.794/5 v Villarreal 4.94/1; The Draw 3.613/5
Wednesday 11 August, 20:00
Live on BT Sport 1
Chelsea can go to another level with Lukaku
Chelsea's first competitive game of the season gives them an immediate chance to win silverware, as they prepare to meet Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday.
It's a trophy that Chelsea have not won since 1998, when they beat Real Madrid 1-0. Since then they have competed for the Super Cup on three occasions, losing to Atletico Madrid in 2012, Bayern Munich in 2013 and Liverpool in 2019.
On this occasion, Chelsea are very much the favourites and expected to win. They have had a successful pre-season, beating both Bournemouth and Arsenal by a 2-1 scoreline and drawing 2-2 with Spurs, in a match that they were in complete control of, before making a number of second-half substitutions.
At the time of writing, the club have not made any major signings, but they are currently deep in negotiations to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea often lacked a cutting edge last season and regularly spurned chances, so bringing in a finisher of Lukaku's ability should take them to another level.
Villarreal have kept star performers
Unai Emery's first season in charge of Villarreal turned out to be a great success, as the club won the Europa League.
Domestically, Villarreal finished seventh in La Liga, so winning the Europa League really was transformative in terms of this season. The club will enter the Champions League group stage, which of course makes it easier to both recruit new players and keep existing stars.
So far, the Spanish club have been relatively quiet in the transfer market. Juan Foyth's buyout clause has been exercised, after his successful loan spell last season and Villarreal have also signed the defender Aissa Mandi on a free transfer from Real Betis. Perhaps most importantly, they've been able to hang on to their best players.
Gerard Moreno has been a big success since joining the club in 2018 and in normal circumstances, his 30 goals in 46 games last season, would have caught the attention of richer clubs. The financial restraints that so many clubs are struggling with, may work to Villarreal's advantage.
Villarrea's English results show that Chelsea are value
Chelsea are the 1.794/5 favourites, with the draw at 4.67/2 and a Villarreal win at 4.94/1.
It looks a good price for a Chelsea win. Villarreal have played six friendlies in pre-season and failed to win any of them (D3 L3).
Their last two games have been in England, in preparation of the Super Cup being held at Windsor Park, Belfast. Villarreal lost 3-2 to Leicester last week and then on Saturday drew 2-2 with Leeds. Those results suggest that Chelsea will have too much quality on Wednesday.
Goals have been flowing in friendlies
Chelsea were brilliant defensively once Thomas Tuchel took over last season, but have failed to keep a clean sheet in their three friendlies.
Five of Villarreal's six friendlies have seen both teams score and at least three goals. You have to therefore question why over 2.5 goals is the outsider at 2.1211/10, especially as it's landed in all three of Chelsea's games.
Both teams to score is 2.021/1. If you want bigger odds for a Chelsea victory, consider combine it with over 2.5 goals at 3.185/40, or with both teams to score at 4.216/5.