It's back! After a year away Chelsea return to Champions League action with a Tuesday evening home game against La Liga's Valencia. The build-up continues here with the important facts and figures...
Chelsea vs Valencia head to head
All of our past six meetings with Valencia came in the space of four-and-a-half years, four of those 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, 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 biggest home win in the Champions League
21/10/2014 Chelsea 6-0 Maribor Group stage12/09/2017 Chelsea 6-0 Qarabag Group stage
Valencia’s biggest away win in the Champions League
07/03/2001 Sturm Graz 0-5 Valencia Second group stage
LAST MEETING AT THE BRIDGE
CHELSEA 3 VALENCIA 0Champions League group stage matchday six, 06.12.11 7.45pm
Chelsea (4-3-3) Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry (c), A Cole; Ramires (Mikel 64), Romeu, Meireles; Sturridge Drogba (Torres 77), Mata (Malouda 82).Manager Andre Villa-BoasScorers Drogba 3, 75, Ramires 21
Valencia (4-2-3-1) Diego Alves; Barragan, Rami, Victor Ruiz, Jordi Alba (Aduriz 54); T Costa (Parejo 75), Albelda (c); Feghouli (Pablo Hernandez 64), Jonas, Mathieu; SoldadoManager Unai Emery
Referee Gianluca RocchiAttendance 41,109
Chelsea's European record
This is our 28th season in European competition and 16th in the Champions League.
We qualified for our first appearance in the Champions League 20 years ago this month. After defeating Skonto Riga in the third qualifying round we played our first group match at Stamford Bridge against AC Milan. We have an overall 50 per cent win rate in the Champions League.
Chelsea have lost only once in our last 12 Champions League matches at Stamford Bridge (six wins, five draws), with that defeat coming in the last 16 stage of the 2015/16 campaign against PSG (1-2).
A 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid on matchday two in 2017/18 is our only success in our past eight fixtures against La Liga clubs, home and away (four draws, three defeats).
No player was directly involved in more goals in European competition in 2018/19 than Olivier Giroud: 11 goals, four assists.
Chelsea are seeking to extend our club record 16-game unbeaten run in Europe (excluding shoot-outs) since our last defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League in March 2018.
The Blues have scored three goals or more in five of our last nine European matches including the Super Cup. Our tally of 36 goals in last season's Europa League was one short of the competition record set by Porto in 2010/11.
Of the 21 clubs to have played at least 100 games in the Champions League, Chelsea have the fourth best goals per game ratio (1.71) behind only Real Madrid (2.13), Barcelona (2.02) and Bayern Munich (1.90).
The Blues have scored in each of our past 38 home games in European competition, netting 99 goals in the process (2.6 per game). The last occasion we failed to score was against Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-final in April 2011.
Tuesday evening will be the 13th of 16 occasions and the 12th of the last 13 that our opening Champions League fixture has been at Stamford Bridge. Our only matchday one defeat in the competition was at home against Basel in 2013/14. We have won 10 and drawn four of the others.
Frank Lampard will take charge of a Champions League game for the first time in his managerial career. As a Chelsea player, only John Terry (109) made more than Lampard’s 102 appearances in the competition.
If selected, both Cesar Azpilicueta and Willian will make their 50th European appearance for the Blues. They will become the seventh and eighth overseas players to reach that milestone for the club after Cech 105, Drogba 74, Ivanovic 66, Mikel 65, E Hazard 55 and Ramires 55.
La Liga - fourthCopa del Rey - winnersChampions League - group stageEuropa League - semi-finalsTop scorer all competitions: Rodrigo 15
Last Wednesday Valencia replaced head coach Marcelino after just over two years at the helm, with former Spain Under-21 coach Albert Celades taking charge. It is Celades's first senior managerial role.
This is Valencia's 12th Champions League group stage campaign. Finalists in both 1999/2000 and 2000/01, they have not reached the last 16 since 2012/13.
Twelve months ago Los Blanquinegros were also in Group H, finishing third behind Juventus and Manchester United – whom they beat 2-1 at Mestalla on matchday six having earlier held out for a goalless draw at Old Trafford – to move into the Europa League. They overcame Celtic, Krasnodar and Villarreal to reach the semi-finals, where they came up short against Arsenal, losing 1-3 in London and 4-2 at home.
The Spanish side have won three of their 19 away games against English clubs, drawing 10, although they were on a run of three games unbeaten and three clean sheets before losing at Arsenal.
Valencia have won three of their past 10 Champions League away matches including qualifiers, but none of the last five.
They have scored once in their last five away Champions League matches.
Valencia have picked up four points from their first four fixtures and currently stand 13th in La Liga, six points behind leaders Sevilla.
VALENCIA’S LAST LINE UP
Saturday 14 SeptemberBarcelona 5 Valencia 2Team 4-4-2 Cillessen; Wass, Garay, Gabriel Paulista, Gaya; Torres (Lee), Coquelin, Parejo (c), Guedes (Cheryshev 67); Gameiro, Rodrigo (Gomez 72).Scorers: Gameiro 27, Gomez 90+2
VALENCIA’S MAJOR SUMMER MOVES
INJorge Saenz - TenerifeManu Vallejo - CadizJasper Cillessen - BarcelonaDenis Cheryshev - VillarrealJason Remeseiro - LevanteMaxi Gomez - Celta VigoEliaquim Mangala - Manchester CityJaume Costa - Villarreal, loanThierry Correia - Sporting Lisbon
OUTNeto - BarcelonaToni Lato - PSV, loanAymen Abdennour - KayserisporJeison Murillo - SampdoriaSanti Mina - Celta VigoJorge Saenz - Celta Vigo, loanNacho Gil - releasedFran Villalba - BirminghamUros Raviv - Famalicao, loanJason Remeseiro - Getafe, loan
There are no suspensions.
In the Champions League, three yellow cards will result in a one-match suspension in the competition.
Chelsea vs Valencia referee and VAR
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir and his assistants are from Turkey.
VAR: Mete Kalkavan and his assistant are also from Turkey.