MX23RW : Wednesday, October 16 10:27:08| >> :600:2173772:2173772:
Sep 17, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 39,469
FT(HT: 0-0)
Rodrigo (75')

Preview: Chelsea vs. Valencia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Tuesday's Champions League clash between Chelsea and Valencia.

Chelsea head into their first Champions League fixture of the season against Valencia on the back of an impressive 5-2 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday night.

Valencia, meanwhile, found themselves on the receiving end of the same scoreline as Albert Celades witnessed his new side suffer a heavy defeat to Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Match preview

Chelsea's Tammy Abraham celebrates scoring against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on September 14, 2019.© Reuters

While Chelsea begin their European campaign far from the finished article under Frank Lampard, the Blues can at least start their bid to qualify for the knockout stages having put together a four-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.

The home draws against Leicester City and Sheffield United came as disappointments, but their demolition of Wolves at the weekend has shown what this young side is capable of when it all comes together.

Tammy Abraham's hat-trick, taking his overall tally to seven goals from three games, deservedly dominated the headlines, although another eye-catching display from Mason Mount has left the club's supporters salivating at the prospect of the academy graduate making his bow in Europe.

Considerable doubts remain over the defence, which has now shipped 13 goals in six outings, but Chelsea's short-term progression is all about getting results on the board, rather than fixating on a shaky backline.

Just hours after the English side had hit five in the West Midlands, Valencia conceded the same number of goals against Barcelona in what transpired to be a humbling start for Celades.

The club's fans were still reeling from the surprise dismissal of Marcelino when they watched their team concede two goals in the opening seven minutes at Camp Nou.

While some will point to the positives of restricting the Catalan giants to just three more goals, as well as scoring two of their own, Celades and his players are under pressure to get a result on the board at Stamford Bridge.

Celades will perhaps be already looking ahead to a generous run of four home matches in five outings on their return to Spain, although he will acknowledge that his squad cannot afford another defeat at an important stage of his reign and the club's season.

Chelsea form: LDDWDW

Valencia form: DLWL

Team News

Christian Pulisic celebrates scoring for Chelsea on July 31, 2019© Reuters

Despite Lampard acknowledging that he only went with a three-man defence against Wolves in order to adapt to their opponents, the club legend may opt against switching strategies for a game scheduled three days later.

Antonio Rudiger will miss out with a groin injury, leaving Kurt Zouma to return to the side alongside Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori.

With N'Golo Kante still trying to shake off an ankle sprain, the midfield four should remain the same, with perhaps just one alteration being made further forward.

Christian Pulisic could potentially come back into the starting lineup in place of Willian, who came through his first 90 minutes of the season against Wolves.

Celades may also decide against making major changes to his Valencia team, although the newly-appointed boss could move away from naming two forwards.

Geoffrey Kondogbia is in line to be handed a recall in midfield, with Kevin Gameiro likely to be the player to miss out.

Chelsea possible starting lineup: Arrizabalaga; Zouma, Christensen, Tomori; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Pulisic; Abraham

Valencia possible starting lineup: Cillessen; Wass, Garay, Paulista, Gaya; Torres, Coquelin, Kondogbia, Parejo, Guedes; Rodrigo

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We say: Chelsea 2-2 Valencia

If ever a game was guaranteed goals, this would probably be it. While both managers will be striving for improved defensive performances, they are unlikely to materialise overnight, and we feel that the two teams will cancel each other out in an entertaining tussle in England's capital.

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Who will win Tuesday's Champions League clash between Chelsea and Valencia?

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General view of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge taken April 2018
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