Valencia will host Chelsea at the Mestalla on Wednesday in what’s arguably a winner takes all UEFA Champions League encounter. It can be recalled that the La Liga outfit beat Chelsea 1 nil at Stamford Bridge in the first round of games of the group stage.
A win for the Blues will put them in good stead for a place in the UCL round of 16 stages and Valencia also know that they must not lose all 3 points in this one as they travel away to Ajax in the last group game. Chelsea, on the other hand, will host Lille at Stamford Bridge on the last day.
The Ligue 1 outfit have passed for the whipping boys in Group H. The game is definitely going to be one of the cracking UCL fixtures of the day. Chelsea have faced Valencia at their home turf twice and have won on the two occasions. However, Valencia’s win at Stamford Bridge is also a morale booster for them ahead of the Blues’ visit.
Mouctar Diakhaby will play no part in the game while Ezequiel Garay remains a doubt. Therefore, the duo of Gabriel Paulista and Eliaquim Mangala could start on the night. Denis Cheryshev is racing to be passed fit ahead of the game as Francis Coquelin is still doubtful.
However, the trio of Cristiano Piccini, Goncalo Guedes, and Geoffrey Kondogbia are all sidelined and have been effectively ruled out of this one.
Chelsea’s exciting young winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is hit with a hamstring problem and will play no part for Frank Lampard’s men. Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger and Ross Barkley didn’t travel with the squad.
This game is a tricky one as all top 3 sides in the group are tied on 7 points. Valencia have been impressive at the Mestalla with just 1 defeat in their last 9 games. However, the injury worries could work to Chelsea’s advantage.
Chelsea have been very impressive away from home, winning 7 straight away games before the 2:1 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad.
Regardless, I’ll stand on the fence for this one, although I see both sides scoring. VERY TRICKY!!