Chelsea will be looking to secure their spot in the Champions League knockout stages when they face Valencia in Spain on Wednesday night.
The Blues are joint level on points with Valencia and Ajax with two games to go, but know a win will see them qualify for the last-16 due to their head-to-head record among the trio.
However, Valencia are also in the same position. A win would see Los Che guaranteed to qualify owing to their head-to-head with the Blues directly, and against both Chelsea and Ajax as a trio.
It was tipped to be one of the most even groups in the Champions League this season and it has certainly delivered. Read on for Valencia vs Chelsea preview, predictions team news, TV info and more.
When is Valencia vs Chelsea and where can I watch live?
Competition: Champions League
Venue: Mestalla Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Kick-off: 5:55 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 3
Frank Lampard praises Reece James
Last five meetings: Valencia vs Chelsea
17 September 2019: Chelsea 0-1 Valencia (Champions League)
06 December 2011: Chelsea 3-0 Valencia (Champions League)
28 September 2011: Valencia 1-1 Chelsea (Champions League)
11 December 2007: Chelsea 0-0 Valencia (Champions League)
03 October 2007: Valencia 1-2 Chelsea (Champions League)
Aggregate Score: Valencia (WLDDL) 3-6 Chelsea (LWDDW)
Ones to watch
Valencia: Gabriel Paulista
Valencia have only kept one clean sheet in their four Champions League games this season, but that did come against Chelsea in the group opener.
Then, former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista was key to keeping Tammy Abraham quiet with help from Ezequiel Garay. Should Valencia wish to advance to the knockout stages this week, then they will need Gabriel to be on his game once more with Abraham certainly having improved his game since that defeat.
Los Che will also need to keep the likes of Willian and Christian Pulisic quiet but, as Valencia showed in the first meeting, it can be done.
Key stat: Gabriel Paulista (24) has made more clearances than any other Valencia player in the Champions League this season.
Despite the positives in their recent defeat to Manchester City, Chelsea once again showed they do have some problems breaking down tough defences.
If they are to change that on Wednesday, en route to securing a last-16 spot, then Willian will need to be at his very best. The Brazilian has been key for Chelsea in trying to replace Eden Hazard this season, creating 14 chances in the Champions League – more than any other Blues player.
However, he is yet to record an assist, going closest when his corner was headed onto the crossbar by Kurt Zouma in the build up to Reece James’ goal in the bizarre 4-4 draw with Ajax.
Key stat: No player have created more chances in the Champions League group stage without recording an assist this season than Willian (14).
Valencia were stunned by Real Betis at the weekend but have stuck with a fairly similar team for the visit of Chelsea.
Rodrigo, whose strike won the first game at Stamford Bridge, starts up front alongside Maxi Gomez – who scored at the weekend. There is also a return for Ezequiel Garay in defence, with the centre-back recovering from muscular problems to replace Eliaquim Mangala alongside Gabriel.
Confirmed XI: Cillessen; Costa, Gabriel, Garay, Gaya; Torres, Parejo, Wass, Soler; Rodrigo, Gomez.
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Frank Lampard has no new injury concerns following the defeat to Manchester City at the weekend, with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ross Barkley, Antonio Rudiger and Ruben Loftus-Cheek the only absentees.
The Blues boss has made just two changes from the team that lost to Man City at the weekend, bringing Reece James and Andreas Christensen into the defence, replacing Emerson and Fikayo Tomori.
James’ addition will likely see Cesar Azpilicueta pushed over to left-back, while the teenager operates the right flank.
Confirmed XI: Arrizabalaga; James, Zouma, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic.
With both teams able to qualify with a win, this will either be a tight game or a goalfest. With Chelsea involved, the latter might be expected but the Blues have not been too prolific in the Champions League.
Four of their seven goals came in the entertaining draw with Ajax and they previously failed to score against Valencia at Stamford Bridge, with Los Che boasting a decent defence.
However, Lampard’s men should still have just about enough to edge the game and secure their progression.
Scoreline prediction: Valencia 1-2 Chelsea