Their 3-0 loss against Schalke may have seemed to hand Steaua Bucharest the role of Group E whipping boys, but Chelsea have been far from explosive scorers so far under Jose Mourinho, particularly away from Stamford Bridge and the hosts’ home strength should see the match yield under 2.5 goals at 87/100.
The Europa League-winners are 7/10 for the win, with the Army Men 4/1 and a draw 13/5.
Chelsea have won just one of their five fixtures on the road in 2013/14.
While it’s true that in clashes with Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Everton and Tottenham the Blues have been dealt a tricky hand, the fact remains that the only side they’ve beaten on their travels is Swindon Town.
After spending last season as a very attractive, but slightly lightweight outfit under first Roberto Di Matteo then Rafael Benitez, Mourinho’s attempts to shore up the Blues’ backbone has resulted in curtailed creativity.
Only three sides have defeated Steaua at Arena Nationala in their last 32 home games.
Laurentiu Reghecampf’s Romanian champions are not in the habit of allowing sides much leeway on their own turf, winning a merciless 26 times in 32 outings since the beginning of last season.
Chelsea won’t have particularly fond memories of their previous visit, which ended in a 1-0 defeat in last term’s Europa League-winning run and they weren’t they only continental guests to leave empty-handed, with Ajax and FC Copenhagen among the sides beaten to nil there last season.
The hosts have conceded just once in three home league games, scoring 10 times.
Steaua’s winning habit in their own back yard has been founded upon defensive tightness with just 12 goals conceded at at Nationala last season and Europe was no exception as four of their six Europa League ties saw the opposition denied a goal.
Mourinho’s men haven’t managed more than two goals once this term.
Nine matches into 2013/14 Chelsea have yet to notch more than twice and of the four matches in which they have registered a double inside normal time, three were at home while the fourth was against League One Swindon.