2019-20 UEFA Champions League preview – Chelsea v Valencia – Group H – Stamford Bridge – September 17, 2019 – 20:00 hrs
Chelsea get ready to start their UEFA Champions League campaign against Spanish club Valencia on 17th September night at Stamford Bridge in an encounter of the Group H cluster which has teams like Ajax and Lille.
The Blues will be looking ahead with some amount of apprehension to the visiting La Liga outfit as it had managed to hold them to a draw in all of three previous trips to Stamford Bridge. However, Frank Lampard's boys have been going through a purple patch of late and seemed to have shrugged off the underserving 0-4 loss to Manchester United in their Premier League opener last month.
After two tame draws against Leicester City and an unfancied Sheffield United and a scraping 2-3 away win over Norwich city, the Blues have suddenly hit top form blanking a very tough Wolverhampton 2-5 at the Molineux stadium on Saturday.
Tammy Abraham was the pique of the scorers with a hattrick and he is the most likely player to score at any time against Valencia with odds of 13/10 (Bet365) riding on him.
Other likely folks to score anytime are Olivier Giroud (3/2), Michy Batshuayi (3/2), Mason Mount (9/4), Pedro (21/10), Christian Pulisic (11/4) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (23/10).
Lampard will probably start with the same XI that thrashed the Wolves. Mid-field star Ross Barkley who came in at the 70th minute to replace Mateo Kovacic does not look likely to start at the Stamford Bridge clash given his uninspiring show in recent internationals against Bulgaria and Kosovo while Batshuayi coud be introduced in the later stages of the game.
Chelsea's probable starting XI playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation:
Arrizabalaga (goal); Rudiger, Christensen, Tomori; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Alonso, Mount; Abraham.
Valencia, on the other hand, are coming out of a 2-5 crushing at the hands of la Liga champions Barcelona away at Nou Camp on Saturday. Los Ches have registered just a solitary win from their 4 La Liga outings so far in the 2019-20 season, losing two and drawing one.
The 2018-19 Copa del Rey winners have been struggling to find the back of the net, getting just 4 goals from as many games, but forwards Kevin Gameiro and Maxi Gomez showed that they are still threats when they scored against the run of play in the Barcelona defeat.
For the September 17th's game, both are tipped to score at anytime with Gameiro carrying odds of 3/1, Maxi Gomez at 14/5 and striker Rodrigo Moreno at 3/1.
At the heart of the visitor's defence will be the Dutch international goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen who was simply brilliant between the posts in his country's recent 4-2 win over Germany in the Euro Qualifiers.
Valencia's probable starting XI playing in a 4-4-2 formation:
Cillessen (goal); Wass, garay. Paulista, Gaya; Torres, Paerejo, Kondogbia, Gueres; Gameiro, Moreno/Maxi Gomez.
Los Che could be hard placed to repeat their past feats of drawn games at Stamford Bridge given their miserable recent form. In fact, Chelsea look the favourites on the back of their phenomenal resurgence at the Molineux on Saturday against the Wolves.
Chelsea win: 17/20
Valencia win: 31/10
No goals in the first half at 33/20 and 5/2 for a draw.
Correct score odds (Bet365)
(Bet365 Odds subject to change and correct as of 16/09/2019)
Draw 1-1: 11/2
Chelsea 1-0: 6/1
Chelsea 2-1: 15/2
Chelsea 2-0: 15/2
Draw 0-0: 9/1
Valencia 1-0: 11/1
Chelsea 3-1: 14/1
Valencia 2-1: 12/1
Draw 2-2: 14/1
Chelsea 3-0: 14/1
Valencia 2-0: 20/1
Chelsea 3-2: 25/1