Chelsea vs Valencia: UEFA Champions League returns tonight and Chelsea are back in the competition. The Blues qualified for this season’s edition after finishing 3rd in the Premier League last season and also winning the UEFA Europa League.
Valencia, on the other hand, finished 4th in La Liga last season and qualified for the tournament. They were in it last season as well but were knockout out at the group stage and played in the Europa League knockout stages.
Both teams were involved in matches that ended 5-2 over the weekend in their respective leagues. While Chelsea won 5-2 at Wolverhampton, Valencia lost at Barcelona to the same scoreline.
The Spanish side have a new manager in charge of them following the sacking of Marcelinho. Albert Celades has taken charge but the players are reportedly having a silent protest at the club right now.
Chelsea Team News
Frank Lampard has confirmed that Chelsea will be without 6 first-team players for their clash tonight. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected back in a few months while Emerson and Rudiger suffered injuries last week to keep them out of the match.
N’Golo Kante, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James are fit but not match-fit as per the manager. They are also out of the match tonight against the Spanish side.
Valencia Team News
Albert Celades has a tough task at hand and his start at Valencia is not going to be easy. Not only does he have to win over the players, but he also faces a difficult task of taking points away from Chelsea who are high on confidence.
Carlos Soler and Cristiano Piccini are ruled for the Spanish side in this clash. Ferran Torres is expected to start as the right-winger while Daniel Wass could be the right-back with Piccinni out.
Chelsea vs Valencia Predicted XI
Lampard went in with a 3-4-3 formation at Wolverhampton to counter their style but could switch back to 4-2-3-1 tonight.
Possible XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Tomori, Zouma, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho; Pedro, Mount, Pulisic; Giroud.
Geoffrey Kondogbia will be hoping to start over Francis Coquelin with Daniel Parejo alongside him. Maxi Gomez has not had a great start and he will be hungry for a goal tonight.
Possible XI: Cillessen; Wass, Garay, Paulista, Gaya; Torres, Parejo, Kondogbia, Guedes; Gomez, Moreno.
Chelsea vs Valencia Prediction
We are going with a 3-1 Chelsea win as they are in the better form right now. However, they have been leaking goals, so Valencia could score one.
Stay tuned for more Champions League coverage.