Chelsea return to the Champions League under new manager Frank Lampard with a home tie against Spanish side Valencia. The Blues won the Europa League last season, but also sealed qualification for the competition by finishing third in the Premier League. However, that was all under Maurizio Sarri.
Lampard won the competition as a player in 2012, the 41-year-old makes his managerial debut in the competition against the side the Blues beat on their way to their maiden Champions League triumph.
Their latest meeting came in the group stages of the 2011/12 Champions League campaign. The Blues earned a 1-1 draw away from home, before picking up a convincing 3-0 win over Valencia in the return leg thanks to goals from Ramires and Didier Drogba.
Chelsea’s form has been incredibly varied since Frank Lampard took control, they lost against both Manchester United and Sheffield United. They stormed to a 5-2 win over Wolves last time out with goals from Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, coupled with a Tammy Abraham hat-trick.
Valencia, sacked Marcelino who had one won, drawn one and lost one, and are now under the guidance of Albert Celades, Valencia recently fell to a 5-2 defeat against Barcelona.
Here’s how each side has got on in their last five games.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James,N’Golo Kante and Emerson face a race against time to recover from their respective injuries. There are also doubts about the fitness of Antonio Rudiger, who picked up a groin injury against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Valencia will be without long-term absentees Carlos Soler and Cristiano Piccini, but should otherwise be at full strength for their trip to Stamford Bridge.
|Chelsea||Arrizabalaga; Tomori, Christensen, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso; Pulisic, Mount, Abraham.|
|Valencia||Cillessen; Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya; Torres, Parejo, Coquelin, Guedes; Gameiro, Gomez.|