Having won the Champions League as a player with Chelsea in 2012, Frank Lampard now makes his managerial bow in European competition as his Blues take on Valencia at Stamford Bridge.
Team newsEmbed from Getty Images
Chelsea are missing Antonio Rudiger after the defender sustained a groin injury in training.
Tammy Abraham however is available after suffering cramp during the Blues’ 5-2 away win over Wolves on Saturday.
Emerson (thigh), N’Golo Kante, Reece James (both ankle), Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (both Achilles) and Marco Van Ginkel (knee) all remain sidelined.
Valencia have no fresh injury concerns as Carlos Soler (ankle) and Cristiano Piccini (knee) remain ruled out for the foreseeable future.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in six meetings against Valencia (W3, D3).
- Two of their three meetings at Stamford Bridge have finished in draws (1-1 in April 2007, 0-0 in December 2007).
- Valencia’s Dani Parejo is the only remaining player from either side to still feature for their club nearly eight years after their last meeting in December 2011.
After a shaky start, Chelsea are finally finding their best style under Lampard with Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham two dangerous players to watch out for on the attack.
Valencia however are adjusting to their new manager – Albert Celades and after Saturday’s 5-2 defeat at Barcelona, this could get tasty because Chelsea will want to keep their form going whilst Los Ches will be wary and probably playing more defensively.
I therefore can see both teams scoring given their defensive fragilities but Chelsea should comfortably win this if Abraham is at his best.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Valencia