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Chelsea v Malmö background

Chelsea's quest to lift the trophy again continues as Malmö visit trailing 2-1 after the first leg in Sweden.

Olivier Giroud (right) celebrates scoring Chelsea's winner at Malmö with Willian
Olivier Giroud (right) celebrates scoring Chelsea's winner at Malmö with Willian ©Getty Images

Armed with a 2-1 win from the first leg in southern Sweden, Chelsea are well placed to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 16 at the expense of visitors Malmö as they bid to repeat their trophy triumph of six years ago.

• Chelsea's round of 32 berth was booked on matchday four as they dominated Group L, dropping their only points on their final outing, when they were held 2-2 by Hungarian champions Vidi in Budapest.

• Malmö created one of the upsets of the group stage as they qualified as runners-up in Group I, completing the double over Beşiktaş with a matchday six 1-0 win in Istanbul that enabled them to leapfrog their hosts into second place behind Genk.

Highlights:Malmö 1-2 Chelsea
Highlights:Malmö 1-2 Chelsea

Previous meetings
• A full house witnessed an entertaining first leg as Malmö and Chelsea met in UEFA competition for the first time. Goals from Ross Barkley – his first in Europe – and Olivier Giroud – his fifth in four UEFA Europa League games – put the visitors in control before Anders Christiansen gave the home fans something to cheer with a fine late consolation strike.

• Chelsea's two previous ties against opponents from Sweden came in the European Cup Winners' Cup when they were holders of the trophy. They were eliminated by Åtvidaberg on away goals in the 1971/72 second round (after a 1-1 draw at home), but got past Helsingborg in the first round 17 years later, Frank Leboeuf providing the only goal of the tie in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

• Malmö's most famous fixture against English opposition was their first – the 1979 European Champion Clubs' Cup final against Nottingham Forest, which they lost 1-0 in Munich. Their only win against an English club was also against Forest 16 years later – 2-1 at home in the UEFA Cup first round – but they lost the return 1-0 and exited on away goals.

Round of 32 first legs: Best goals
Round of 32 first legs: Best goals

Form guide
• Chelsea finished fifth in defence of their Premier League title last season, and beat Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup final to book a first ever place in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• The London side made light work of negotiating a safe passage through to the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, doing the double over PAOK (1-0 away, 4-0 home) and BATE Borisov (3-1 home, 1-0 away) before Vidi, who had lost 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, denied them a clean sweep on matchday six.

• This is Chelsea's second appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, their first, in 2012/13, having concluded with victory in the competition overall. Their route to that final in Amsterdam, where they defeated Benfica 2-1, incorporated three successive 3-1 wins at Stamford Bridge after they had overcome Sparta Praha in the round of 32 (1-0 away, 1-1 home).

• Chelsea are now ten games unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League, including the last three matches of their victorious 2013 campaign, with the 2-2 draw at Vidi the only one of those games that did not result in victory. They have yet to suffer a home defeat in this competition (W6 D1) but have not won any of their last four springtime European fixtures at Stamford Bridge (D2 L2), since defeating Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 in the second leg of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League quarter-final.

• Chelsea have never been eliminated from UEFA competition after recording an away first-leg win, winning ten out of ten ties. The most recent was in the last semi-final of their triumphant 2012/13 UEFA Europa League campaign when they won 2-1 at Basel before a 3-1 success at Stamford Bridge.

#UEL round of 32 first legs round-up
#UEL round of 32 first legs round-up

• Swedish champions for a record 20th time in 2017, Malmö began this season's European campaign in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. Their bid to reach that group stage for the third time in five years was ended on away goals by Vidi in the third qualifying round but they secured an autumn of European participation – as Sweden's sole representatives – by beating Danish title holders Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.

• Malmö's only previous UEFA Europa League group stage involvement, in 2011/12, brought just a single point, but they chalked up nine this term, losing their opening fixture at Genk (0-2) but remaining unbeaten over the next five matchdays, three successive draws bookended by their two wins against Beşiktaş.

• The Swedish club are competing in springtime European football for the first time since 1986/87 – when they lost 3-2 on aggregate (1-0 home, 1-3 away) in the European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals to a Marco van Basten-inspired Ajax, the eventual winners – and only the second time since that run to the European Cup final 40 years ago.

• Malmö have lost only once on their European travels this term (W4 D2), keeping clean sheets in five of those seven fixtures. They have never won a European fixture outside Sweden in the spring (D2 L3).

• On all eight previous occasions that Malmö have been beaten at home in the first leg of a UEFA tie they have been unable to recover the deficit in the second fixture. The only other time they lost 1-2 at home in the opening leg, against Slavia Praha in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup first round, they were defeated 3-1 in the return.

UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Danny Drinkwater, Gonzalo Higuaín
Out: Cesc Fàbregas, Victor Moses, Álvaro Morata

In: Adi Nalic, Dušan Melichárek, Anel Ahmedhodžić, Lamin Sarr
Out: Fredrik Andersson, Felix Konstandeliasz, Mathias Nilsson, Walter Viitala

Pick of the saves from the first legs
Pick of the saves from the first legs

Links and trivia 
• Malmö coach Uwe Rösler played for Manchester City, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion and has also managed Brentford, Wigan Athletic, Leeds United and Fleetwood.

• Markus Rosenberg (West Brom, 2012–14) and Marcus Antonsson (Leeds and Blackburn, 2016–18) have played in England.

• Giroud is bidding to score in a fifth successive UEFA Europa League match and is now joint-second in this season's goal charts with five, one behind Salzburg's Munas Dabbur.

• Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek is one of only two players to have scored a hat-trick in this season's UEFA Europa League proper, on matchday three at home to BATE. The other is Salzburg's Takumi Minamino, against Rosenborg.

• All 11 players who started for Malmö in the first leg have featured in all seven matches since the start of the group stage.

• Gonzalo Higuaín, Chelsea's new loan signing from Juventus, played for AC Milan in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, scoring two goals in five appearances.

• This is Malmö's club-record 16th European game of the season – more than any other team in the round of 32 bar Celtic, who also kicked off their continental campaign in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round.

• Chelsea are one of seven teams to have come through the group stage undefeated, and are now one of only four to have retained that status after the round of 32 first legs alongside Betis, Villarreal and Eintracht Frankfurt.

• Malmö are one of only five clubs involved in this round of 32 who have never previously participated in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase; Zürich, Dinamo Zagreb, Slavia Praha and Rennes are the others.

Christian Pulišić signs for Chelsea - watch him in action
Christian Pulišić signs for Chelsea - watch him in action

• Chelsea are one of only two clubs still in the competition to have previously won the UEFA Europa League, alongside three-time winners Sevilla. Eight others lifted the trophy in its previous guise as the UEFA Cup.

• Malmö have already booked a place in the qualifying phase of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League, having finished third in the 2018 Allsvenskan. They finished nine points adrift of AIK, who succeeded them as Swedish champions.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Chelsea's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L3:
1-4 v Liverpool, 2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-final
5-6 v Manchester United, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League final
4-3 v Bayern München, 2011/12 UEFA Champions League final
4-5 v Bayern München, 2013 UEFA Super Cup

• Malmö's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L1:
2-1 v Magdeburg, 1975/76 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round
4-5 v Dynamo Dresden, 1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round

The coaches
• Named as the new Chelsea boss in succession to his fellow Italian, Antonio Conte, in July 2018, Maurizio Sarri is widely considered to be one of Europe's most progressive coaches. He paid his dues in Italy's lower leagues with a multitude of clubs before getting his big break at Empoli, whom he steered into Serie A, and then replaced Rafael Benítez at Napoli in 2015. Three seasons in Naples all brought top-three finishes, his entertaining side running Juventus close for the Scudetto in 2017/18.

• Born in the former East Germany, Uwe Rösler left his homeland in 1994 to play up front for Manchester City, which he did for four years, thus forming a bond with English football that has brought him back to the country to manage four lower-league clubs. His coaching career began in Norway with Lillestrøm, his final club as a player, and in June 2018 he returned to Scandinavia to become the new head coach of reigning Swedish champions Malmö.