Frank Lampard and his team play host to opponents in turmoil as their Champions League campaign begins
Frank Lampard’s men had a welcome boost at the weekend as they produced a festival of offensive football to dismantle Wolves 5-2, with Tammy Abraham at the forefront with a hat-trick.
Meanwhile, Valencia were on the wrong side of an identical scoreline in Barcelona as they were picked apart by the Spanish champions. Goals from Kevin Gameiro and Maxi Gomez were little consolation.
With new boss Albert Celades placed in the eye of the storm, the conditions seem ideal for the Blues to get off to a winning start.
|Game||Chelsea vs Valencia|
|Date||Tuesday, September 17|
|Time||8:00pm BST / 3:00pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game will not be available on TV. However, it can be streamed via B/R Live and TUDNxtra.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||B/R Live / TUDNxtra|
In the UK, the match will be shown on BT Sport 3 and can be streamed via BT Sport Live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 3||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Kepa, Caballero, Cumming|
|Defenders||Alonso, Christensen, Azpiliueta, James, Zouma, Tomori, Guehi|
|Midfielders||Jorginho, Barkley, Pulisic, Kenedy, Kovacic, Mount, McEachran, Gilmour|
|Forwards||Pedro, Giroud, Willian, Abraham, Batshuayi|
Antonio Rudiger, who has just returned from long-term absence, will miss this game after tweaking his groin at the weekend. Kurt Zouma is in the lineup as his replacement.
Additionally, N’Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi will not feature as they are not yet match fit. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Emerson, meanwhile, are still sidelined.
Chelsea starting XI: Kepa; Zouma, Christensen, Tomori; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Willian, Abraham, Mount
|Goalkeepers||Cillessen, Domenech, Rivero|
|Defenders||Garay, Gabriel, Gaya, Diakhaby, Correia, Costa|
|Midfielders||Wass, Torres, Parejo, Kondogbia, Lee, Cheryshev, Coquelin|
|Forwards||Guedes, Rodrigo, Gameiro, Gomez|
Valencia miss a couple of regular players ahead of this game, with Cristiano Piccini and Carlos Soler set for the sidelines.
Valencia starting XI: Cillessen; Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya; Coquelin, Parejo, Kondogbia, Cheryshev; Rodrigo, Gameiro
Betting & Match Odds
Chelsea are the odds-on favourites to win at 4/5 with bet365 . Valencia are priced at 16/5 to cause an upset, while a draw is on offer at 14/5.
Frank Lampard’s first Champions League match as a manager will take place at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday as Chelsea tackle Valencia.
The Blues have a daunting match to come against Liverpool on Sunday, but thoughts of that encounter can be pushed to one side for the time being as the focus shifts into progressing in Europe.
Confidence is high around the London club this week, with the scintillating performances of youngsters Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham firing them to a 5-2 victory over Wolves at the weekend – easily the best display they have shown under their new management.
After seeing the academy graduates shine at the weekend in the Premier League, Lampard is confident they can replicate such form on Europe’s grandest stage against a renowned opponent.
“I think we have talent that can blossom in the Champions League,” he said. “I’m confident but very aware of the dangers.”
The Blues have been placed in an awkward group that also contains last season’s semi-finalists, Ajax, as well as a Lille side that impressed in finishing second in Ligue 1, and Lampard simply wants to ensure that his side finish in the top two come December.
“Our target is to qualify from a tough group,” he said. “It is different from league football; the main thing is that the concentration levels throughout the game have to be spot on. The different level can surprise you.”
Valencia travel to London in the midst of turmoil at the club following the dismissal of popular coach Marcelino, who led them to Copa del Rey success over Barcelona in May.
They had picked up a commendable four points from their opening three matches but under Albert Celades for the first time at the weekend, they conceded twice in the opening 10 minutes en route to a heavy loss in Barcelona.
“Of course the situation is not ideal but we will work on it and improve, we are playing in the best club competition in the world and must showcase ourselves,” the new coach said.
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“Chelsea are a great team and another big challenge for us.”
With rumours of discord already between the coach and squad – there was no first-team player put forward for a media interview on Tuesday – Celades has a mountain to climb.