Chelsea v Valencia: Match Preview, Team News, Predicted XI | Champions League 2019-20
The highly anticipated UEFA Champions League returns after a three-month break, with Chelsea welcoming an out-of-sorts Valencia side to Stamford Bridge, on 17 September.
After having started the season with a couple of defeats against Manchester United and Liverpool (UEFA Super Cup), Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have bounced back with a couple of victories and draws.
Los Ches, on the contrary, have only managed a single win from their opening four LaLiga matches. The dismissal of Marcelino spread a few shock waves around the Mestalla, resulting in a brand new, transitional phase at the club under new boss Albert Celades.
Both Chelsea and Valencia have a lot to work on; most significantly in the defensive aspects of their respective approaches. While the Blues have shipped a paltry 11 goals in just five games, Valencia have let in seven from their opening four matches.
Lampard and co. though, will be riding high on the fact that they are yet to lose a game in the European competition against the visitors, who have lost three and drawn as many against the West Londoners.
On that note, we look at the team news and the probable line-ups ahead of the much-awaited encounter.
Lampard's injury-ravaged Chelsea side enjoyed the return of Antonio Rudiger last weekend, but the German's outing was restricted to a mere 45 minutes owing to a minor knock.
Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi aren't too far away from first-team action, while Pedro, who started on the bench against Wolves, could be handed an opportunity here. Lampard may have to tinker his line-up, as he may have one eye on next week's PL game against high-flying Liverpool.
Elsewhere, Emerson continues to remain doubtful, while this game comes a touch too soon for Chelsea's midfield lynchpin N'Golo Kante. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, remains a long-term casualty.
Celades may opt against plotting a line-up which is different from the one that lost to Barcelona, and we could see Kevin Gameiro alongside the number 9 once again, ahead of a four-man midfield.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, Fikayo Tomori, Kurt Zouma, Marcos Alonso; Ross Barkley, Jorginho; Pedro, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic; Tammy Abraham
Valencia (4-4-2): Jasper Cillessen; Daniel Wass, Ezequiel Garay, Gabriel Paulista, Jose Gaya; Ferran Torres, Francis Coquelin, Daniel Parejo, Gonçalo Guedes; Kevin Gameiro, Rodrigo
Published 16 Sep 2019, 21:07 IST