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Nic Ladds 2nd Nov 2010 - 10:51

Chelsea are Russian into the next round

Chelsea dealt with their nightmares of returning to Moscow's famous Luziniki Stadium, the site of their Champions League final defeat to Manchester United, pretty well as they comfortably beat the Russians 2-0 two weeks ago.

The boys from London now realistically need one point from their next three matches to secure passage to the knock-out stages but you can be sure Carlo Ancelotti's men will not take their foot off the gas as they welcome Spartak Moscow to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea (1/4) have lost just one match in the league all season and are unbeaten in the Champions League. They come in to this match on great form and it is not hard to see them emerging from this group with maximum 18 points after no team has put up a fight so far.

Petr Cech was pretty much a spectator when Moscow had home advantage and as Chelsea are even stronger at home, I think the 1/2 on the Blues keeping a clean sheet looks a sure thing.

Spartak Moscow (11/1) bounced back well domestically since the home defeat to Chelsea two weeks ago; they have won two and drawn one of their league games since.  Even before the Chelsea match, they were doing well in the Champions League with maximum points from their first two matches but with no disrespect to the other two teams in the group, Chelsea are a cut above.

There is speculation that Ancelotti could ring the changes in this match with a big match away at Liverpool in the league on Sunday but even if he does - Chelsea's second string still has more than enough to beat them.

The price could change after the teams are announced so it could be worth holding back before betting if you are wary of team selection.

One man who should line up is the vastly improved Florent Malouda. After a pretty dismal start to life in English football, the French winger has been outstanding this term and is the Premier League's joint-top scorer with seven goals.

Malouda is yet to bag one in European competition this season but what better place for him to break his duck.  Such is the standard of the opposition; he is only 9/2 to score first so I would probably bet bigger on the 6/5 anytime to be safe.

Frank Lampard is still unavailable but should be back for the trip to Anfield on Sunday. Without him I can't really see any goals coming from central midfield, as an outside bet I would go for Alex to score anytime at 6/1, not only is he a threat from headers on set-pieces, his rocket free kicks are becoming something of a trademark.

Welliton is the visitors' biggest threat, he has 17 goals in 21 appearances this season and most of the attacking play goes through him. If you fancy Spartak to score he is 12/1 first or 5/1 anytime.

I personally expected Spartak Moscow to put up more of a fight at home and after their disappointing showing there I can't see anything other than a comprehensive Chelsea win, 3-0 looks the pick to me at 6/1.



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