Chelsea vs Valencia preview: Blues look to begin return with three points
(Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images}

Chelsea welcome Valencia to Stamford Bridge as the Blues look to kick off their return to the Champions League is considerable fashion.

The Blues earned their spot in this year’s campaign through a successful run in the Europa League defeating Arsenal 4-1 in the final. Meanwhile, Valencia’s path to the Champions League was dismissed by the Gunners in the semi-final as they won 7-3 on aggregate.

However, ‘Los Ches’ rescued a place amongst Europe’s elite, after finishing fourth in La Liga just two points above Getafe CF.

Frank Lampard’s side have been placed in a fairly competitive group with all sides having successful campaigns last season. In Group H they face Valencia, Ajax and Lille OSC.

Match Information

What day is the match? Tuesday 
What time is kick off? 20:00 BST
Where is it being held? Stamford Bridge
Where can I watch it? BT Sport 3 HD
Live Updates? VAVEL Live Feed
Referee? Cüneyt Çakir

Prior Meetings

Chelsea and Valencia have only ever faced each other in the Champions League with the first in 2007 and the last in 2011.

The two European outfits have faced each other just six times in their history with the Blues yet to lose.

The last clash between the two saw Chelsea waltz past their visitors 3-0 as they advanced from Group E into the knockout rounds. Chelsea soon went on to lift the prestigious trophy in Munich.

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Didier Drogba opened the scoring just three minutes in, before Ramires doubled the Blues’ lead after 22 minutes. Chelsea looked to be in cruise control and remained comfortable after Drogba doubled his tally for the game sealing a 3-0 win.

Team News

Lampard confirmed in a post-match interview with Chelsea FC website that N’Golo Kante, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James are doubts for the game - but are beginning to make significant progress back to full fitness.

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Hudson-Odoi is ‘not far off’ a return but Lampard will look to potentially utilise the winger in the upcoming Carabao Cup fixture.

Tammy Abraham was brought off due to a suspected injury at Molineux, but Lampard confirmed the striker picked up ‘a bit of cramp’.

Antonio Rudiger suffered a minor groin injury that brought the defender off at half-time against Wolves - Lampard explained the change was precautionary and is hopeful he will feature. 

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains out of action and is still undergoing rehabilitation as he works towards full fitness.

Emerson Palmeiri is a doubt after he suffered a minor injury on international duty with Italy after just seven minutes.

Consequently, Lampard started Marcos Alonso, as Chelsea’s all-time top goal scorer debuted his 3-4-3 in the absence of the Italian.