Europa League
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Chelsea begin their Europa League campaign in Greece on Thursday night when they take on PAOK at the Toumba Stadium.

The Blues are accustomed to playing in the Champions League but will have to settle for Europe’s second tier competition after finishing fifth in the Premier League last season.

Chelsea have been handed a very favourable draw after being pitted against PAOK, Bate Borisov and Videoton in Group L so Maurizio Sarri will be confident of progressing to the knockout stages with relative ease.

Europa League Draw

However, they’ll still be keen to get off to a positive start against PAOK on Thursday evening and the west Londoners should head to Greece in buoyant mood having made a dream start to the new campaign.

Chelsea moved top of the Premier League table on goal difference from Liverpool with a 4-1 win over Cardiff City on Saturday to extend their winning run to five games.

Team news

Sarri is expected to rotate his squad for the game on Thursday with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Andreas Christensen, Davide Zappacosta and Willy Caballero pushing for recalls.

Alvaro Morata may also come back in to the side after Olivier Giroud started at the weekend but Mateo Kovacic is a doubt after limping off against Cardiff.

Betting tips

Chelsea are the 17/20  favourites to win the game but betting on this match could be tricky as much will depend on Sarri’s team selection. We’ve looked at some reviews and the majority of tipsters are still backing the Blues to come home with all three points, however, it may not be straightforward if Sarri fields a severely weakened side.

This could be a cagey opening game and if the likes of Eden Hazard and Pedro are rested then goals could be at a premium so under 2.5 goals at odds of 5/6 is tempting. The visitors should still have enough to edge it so a 1-0 Chelsea win at odds of 6/1 looks a solid bet.

For those who want a little more value, we can add Morata as the goalscorer in a 1-0 Chelsea win for odds of 14/1.

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