Chelsea kick off their UEFA Champions League campaign by taking on Valencia at Stamford Bridge this Tuesday and by the looks of it, the manager will be without some key players.
The Blues picked up an emphatic win vs Wolves beating Santo’s men 5-2 at Molineux but the Chelsea vs Valencia game will be a totally different ball-game for new manager Frank Lampard.
While Valencia will also be under the guidance of a new boss but some pundits expect the La Liga side to throw the kitchen sink at Chelsea especially since they have been pitched in a rather tough group in the Champions League and this is the very first matchweek.
As per the latest rumours, the Blues boss will be without a number of his key players but given that the likes of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount as in such fine form, Lampard will be relying on his youngsters to pick up all three points.
Chelsea team news vs Valencia:
The first and the most important team news for the Chelsea vs Valencia clash is that the Blues are set to miss Antonio Rudiger who has been ruled out with a groin injury.
Rudiger made a comeback to the Blues’ first XI this past weekend but the centre-back only lasted 45 minutes and now the club have confirmed that the defender will not be part of the Champions League squad.
“Toni is injured. He’s bothered a small groin problem that he’s been carrying for a few weeks and will have a scan later today.” Lampard said.
Emerson missed the Wolves game due to an injury scare and the player did not join the rest of his teammates for training on Monday which has led many people to believe that the Italian could miss the UCL clash as well.
If Emerson is absent then it will be Marcos Alonso who will feature in left-back for Chelsea on Tuesday.
N’Golo Kante is still out with an ankle injury which means Jorginho will be partnered by Ross Barkley in central midfield.
Christian Pulisic started on the bench vs Wolves but for the Chelsea vs Valencia clash, the new boy could be named in the first XI meaning Willian will drop back onto the bench.
Pedro has also been in decent form for the Blues this season but we don’t think the manager will risk resting Mason Mount on Tuesday.
But if the manager does go for a change in formation which we think he will do then both Mount and Pedro can fit into the first XI. In such a scenario, Mount will push back into midfield while Pedro operates down the right flank.
Tammy Abraham was in fine form at Molineux but we expect him to be rested on Tuesday meaning Olivier Giroud will come into the first XI.
Chelsea vs Valencia: Blues predicted XI
Starting XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso; Barkley, Jorginho, Mason Mount; Pulisic, Giroud, Pedro.