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Team News: Valencia vs Chelsea

Reece James and Andreas Christensen come into defence for tonight’s big Champions League game in Valencia.

Emerson and Fikayo Tomori make way, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta expected to shift to left-back where he played after James’s introduction off the bench at Man City on Saturday.

Andreas Christensen starts his first game since late September.

Otherwise the team is unchanged from the weekend, with Christian Pulisic retaining his place in the front three alongside Tammy Abraham and Willian.

Chelsea Kepa; James, Christensen, Zouma, Azpilicueta (c); Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic.

Subs Caballero, Tomori, Emerson, Mount, Pedro, Giroud, Batshuayi.

Valencia Cillessen, Costa, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya, Torres, Parejo (c), Wass, Soler, Rodrigo, Gomez. 

Subs Domenech, Correia, Mangala, Vallejo, Coquelin, Lee, Gameiro.

Tonight's referee is Felix Zwayer from Germany.


Stats recap 

Chelsea and Valencia lock horns for the eighth occasion in European competition, all in the Champions League. This season’s match at Stamford Bridge is Valencia’s only victory to date.

Prior to matchday one, all of our past six meetings came in the space of four and a half years, four alone taking place in 2007. The Blues were 3-2 aggregate winners against Valencia in the 2006/07 Champions League quarter-finals, winning 2-1 at Mestalla after a 1-1 draw in west London; Chelsea went on to lose to Liverpool on penalties in the last four.

We also won 2-1 at Valencia in the following season's group stage before a goalless draw in London. We went on to finish first in the group with Valencia fourth, and went all the way to that season's final, losing on penalties to Manchester United in Moscow.

Chelsea's run to glory in the 2011/12 Champions League featured two games against Valencia in the group stage, Frank Lampard scoring in a 1-1 draw at Mestalla on matchday two before Andre Villas-Boas’ side won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on matchday six, our only home success against Valencia.

Chelsea's European Record

Chelsea have lost just one of our last 19 games in Europe (14 wins, four draws) in a run that includes winning the Europa League last season; our only defeat was on matchday one of this Champions League campaign at home to Valencia.

Chelsea are looking to record three consecutive away Champions League victories for the first time since winning five in a row during the 2003/04 campaign.

The Blues are unbeaten in a club-record nine European away matches since losing 0-3 to Barcelona at Camp Nou in March 2018 in a Champions League tie (seven wins, two draws).

Chelsea have lost just one of our past 11 away Champions League matches in Spain (three wins, seven draws, one defeat), though it came in our most recent visit in March 2018, a 0-3 reverse at Barcelona in the last 16.

Chelsea have only lost twice in our last 14 Champions League group stage games (eight wins, four draws, two defeats), with one of those defeats coming against Valencia this season.

Chelsea have won five of our last six away group games in the Champions League, scoring 13 and conceding five.

Lampard could become the seventh manager to win his first three away Champions League matches – the six to do so are Fabio Capello (AC Milan, 1993), Luis Fernandez (PSG, 1994), Antonio Oliveira (Porto, 1996), Claudio Ranieri (Chelsea, 2003), Pep Guardiola (Barcelona, 2008) and Santiago Solari (Real Madrid, 2019).
 

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