Football Predictions

Chelsea vs Valencia preview, predictions & possible XIs for Champions League opener

By Harry Edwards

Published: 13:04, 15 September 2019

The Champions League group stage returns this week, with Chelsea hosting Valencia at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard’s men are in Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 2017/18 after a year in the Europa League, which they won.

The Blues have been placed in a tough group alongside Valencia, Ajax and Lille and it is against the former that they kick off their campaign.

Valencia will be hoping to improve on their Champions League journey last season, which saw them go out at the group stages, finishing behind Juventus and Manchester United.

Los Che have endured a strange start to the new campaign, sacking Marcelino last week and replacing him with Albert Celades – his first senior management role.

So who will come out on top in the clash between two relative new boys in the management game?

Read on for our predictions, key players, TV info and team news ahead of Chelsea vs Valencia.

When is Chelsea v Valencia and where can I watch live?

Competition: Champions League

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Tuesday, 17 September

Kick-off: 8PM BST

TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 3

Last five meetings: Chelsea v Valencia

6 December 2011: Chelsea 3-0 Valencia

28 September 2011: Valencia 1-1 Chelsea

11 December 2007: Chelsea 0-0 Valencia

3 October 2007: Valencia 1-2 Chelsea

10 April 2007: Valencia 1-2 Chelsea

Aggregate score: Chelsea (WDDWW) 8-3 Valencia (LDDLL)

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Ones to watch

Chelsea: Tammy Abraham

Chelsea's Tammy Abraham celebrates scoring his hat-trick against Wolves

What a season Tammy Abraham is having. The Englishman is Chelsea’s starting striker having spent the past three seasons out on loan and has wasted little time in repaying Lampard’s faith in his ability.

Abraham has led the line well for the Blues, scoring seven goals in five Premier League games so far including a hat-trick in their 5-2 win over Wolves. Now is the time for Abraham to show he can carry that goalscoring form into the Champions League.

Key stat: No Premier League player has scored more goals than Tammy Abraham (seven) this season.

Valencia: Dani Parejo

New manager or not, there is no denying who Valencia’s key player will be in the Champions League. The 30-year-old provided the calm head amid the Marcelino storm and will look to carry his La Liga form into Europe, having scored two of Valencia’s five LaLiga goals so far.

Key stat: Dani Parejo has scored 55 goals in 338 appearances for Valencia across all competitions.

Team news

Chelsea

The Blues will be hoping Antonio Rudiger can recover from a groin injury picked up in their 5-2 win over Wolves at the weekend. Emerson will also be a doubt, while N’Golo Kante is not expected to be ready in time.

Lampard will also need to decide whether to rotate his thin squad with a Premier League clash against Liverpool coming next weekend.

Predicted XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Tomori, Christensen, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho; Willian, Mount, Pulisic; Abraham.

Valencia

Despite the change in manager, Valencia appear to be keeping their team relatively similar if their Barcelona XI is anything to go by. That means Kevin Gameiro is likely to start up front alongside Rodrigo, with a four-man midfield.

Predicted XI: Cillessen; Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya; Torres, Coquelin, Parejo, Guedes; Gameiro, Rodrigo.

Squawka Prediction

Chelsea did show some signs of weakness at Molineux, but Valencia looked unconvincing in their defeat to Barcelona in their first game post-Marcelino. Expect Tuesday to not go too much better for the Spaniards.

Scoreline prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Valencia