Having started the Premier League season with an indifferent record of two wins, a draw and a loss, Chelsea will enjoy the respite a Champions League tie with Basel brings and the Europa League holders should have enough to overcome a two-goal handicap at odds of 39/20.
The Blues are a skinny 7/25 to take all three points against the Swiss champions, with Basel at 8/1 for an unlikely away win and the draw at 9/2.
Despite lying unfamiliarly in sixth after the first four rounds of the Premier League Jose Mourinho’s side have been close to faultless at home, winning two out of two with four goals scored and just a single strike conceded.
This tallies with their Stamford Bridge record last season as Chelsea suffered home reverses just twice in the Premier League – against champions Manchester Utd and, oddly enough, table-proppers QPR.
Their record of hosting in Europe was even better, with five wins and two draws in their seven home matches across both continental competitions including a 3-1 defeat of their next opponents in the Europa League semi-final first leg in May.
Considering the turmoil surrounding the club last year after Roberto Di Matteo’s departure and the subsequent hiring of Rafa Benitez on an interim basis the west Londoners will surely manage to go one better against Basel now the Special One is back in the fold.
Mourinho famously went 49 games in all competitions without a home defeat within 90 minutes in his first spell at Chelsea and the 2-1 loss to Barcelona in February 2006 is still the only blot on his King’s Road copybook.
Samuel Eto’o is likely to be given a chance to atone for a disappointing Premier League debut against Everton by keeping his place up front and the Cameroonian star is a sensible choice at 4/1 to open the scoring.