Jose Mourinho’s side went into the last International break with their heads down and badly in need of results. But their weekend league game against Norwich City will give them some confidence to build on for the rest of the season. The team will now turn their attention to the Champions League group stage fixture against Maccabi Tel Aviv this week. Chelsea are in the 2nd place in Group G and need positive results to get into the knock-out stage of the competition easily.
The Israel outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv has yet to take a point from any of their previous games and have already been eliminated. Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have scored just 4 goals in this competition and have conceded the most goals (11) in the group stage so far. This will be a welcome fixture for the London franchise as they try to get their season back on tracks. Here is the preview of the game along with the Team News, Expected Line-ups and Predictions.
The Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Chelsea match will be played on Tuesday the 24th of November at the Samy Ofer Stadium in Haifa. The kick-off is scheduled at 8:45 pm BST (1:15 am on Wednesday IST).
Chelsea and Jose Mourinho do not have too many injury problems hampering their progress. Ivanovic returned to full fitness and started the game against Norwich City. The only absentees will be Falcao and Courtois who are yet to near full match fitness. Eden Hazard who was in sizzling form in the weekend will start for the Blues as they try to take all three points from this fixture.
Jokanovic’s side are also not plagued by injuries with most of their current favorites for starting XI spots are fit and ready for the fixture. However the manager will report his sides injury list if any before the game.
Maccabi Tel Aviv:
Rajkovic, Shpungin, Ben Haim, Tibi, Ben Harush, Ben Haim II, Mitrovic, Alberman, Igiebor, Rikan, Zahavi.
Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian, Hazard, Costa.
Eden Hazard vs Shpungin:
The last time these two sides met in the first leg of this encounter, the Belgian got the better of the wing back several times as the Maccabi team had a torrid time in London. Shpungin is a decent defender but the magic of Hazard was too much for his to handle. He will need his team mates to cover for him, otherwise the home team are in for another long night on Tuesday.
Eran Zahavi vs Kurt Zouma:
Zahavi has been a very good striker for the club this season. He not only takes chances but also creates them for his team mates. His movement and ability in the air will surely test the likes of Zouma who will have to be on his toes all night. Zahavi is likely the main outlet for the home side under pressure and his performance will have an effect on the outcome.
Maccabi Tel Aviv: 21/2
Chelsea have looked less than ordinary so far this season. They have not been able to defend as a unit and have little to no chance of mounting a title challenge. This Cup is one of the ways that the club can achieve glory and the manager will surely take these games seriously. It is hard to see the Maccabi Tel Aviv side take even a point from this game specially after Chelsea’s performance against Norwich City.
Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-2 Chelsea