Finally, Chelsea are back in the Champions League, the most famous club competition in the world. After winning the Europa league last season, Chelsea will turn their attention to Europe’s elite. When it comes to the Champions League, Chelsea have had some memorable nights to say the least. After losses in numerous semi finals and then a final in 2008, Chelsea won the competition in 2012 after beating Bayern in their own backyard. No Chelsea fan can forget that day.
This time Frank Lampard will be managing Chelsea in the Champions League after having so many memorable nights in this competition as a player, including lifting the trophy as captain in 2012. Hopefully he can do that one day as Chelsea manager. Chelsea will be hosting Spanish side Valencia in their first game of UCL campaign.
The Blues have just come off a terrific result against Wolves, as they beat them 5-2. Tammy Abraham scored his first hat-trick for the club and goals from Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount sealed the three points for Chelsea. On the other hand, Valencia have come off a hammering against Barcelona, losing the game 5-1. And just to make things worse for Valencia, they recently sacked their manager Marcelino in controversial circumstances. This decision made the fans and the players furious. They have hired a new manager, Albert Celades, who has no experience at club level. He has come into a club where he may not be welcomed by the fans and the players. His first game in charge will be against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. No matter what the issues have been with Valencia recently, they still are a top quality side with a lot of quality players and they will give Chelsea a fight in my opinion. Hopefully we can walk out with the three points in order to kick off their UCL campaign on a high.
Chelsea last faced Valencia in December 2011, and it was a very crucial game for the Blues in order to get through to the R16. We needed a win or a 0-0 draw to take us through, and Chelsea did that very well, as we won that game 3-0. Didier Drogba broke deadlock for the Blues in 3rd minute of the game. Ramires scored in the 22nd minute, and Drogba wrapped up by scoring the 3rd goal in the 76th minute. That result gave Chelsea qualification for the knockout stages, and we all know what ended up happening.
Lampard says he will be proud to make his Champions League debut as Chelsea manager tomorrow. He cites multiple incredible nights in the competition, particularly at Stamford Bridge. Frank finishes by saying he expects Valencia to be tough to break down and a threat on the counter-attack.
Rudiger and Emerson are injured and will miss the game tomorrow. Reece James and Hudson-Odoi are back in training but are not match fit. Kante is back but he needs more training in order to get match fit.
Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Tomori, Christensen, Alonso; Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Mount, Pulisic; Abraham.
Valencia: Cillessen; Wass, Gabriel, Garay, Gaya; Ferran Torres, Coquelin, Parejo, Guedes; Rodrigo, Gameiro.
UEFA Champions League
Chelsea vs Valencia
17th September 2019
Kick off: 8pm UK Time