Chelsea hosts Valencia in round 1 of the Champions League group stage. The match will be played on Tuesday, September 17th at Stamford Bridge (London)
Under the management of a former Chelsea player (he played 13 seasons for the Blues) Frank Lampard, Chelsea underwhelmed in defense, to put it mildly. In the last round of the Premier League, the team conceded 2 goals from the Wolves. Before that, the Blues played 2 games in a row against the rookies of the league (Sheffield United and Norwich) and conceded 2 goals in both games. And they also conceded from Leicester earlier. In general, the Pensioners conceded in the last 11 games in a row. Even Reading, Japanese Kawasaki, and Irish Bohemians scored them in friendly matches. Well, this is not surprising because Hazard and the pivot of defense David Luis left the team. Now Rudiger (26 years old), Christensen (23), Tomori (21) play in the first eleven. They lack experience, hence the mistakes and goals conceded.
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Valencia also cannot boast of reliability in defense. The team conceded in 3 of 4 rounds played in LaLiga. Only a home match against Mallorca, which scored only 2 goals in 4 matches, ended with a clean sheet. Both Celta and Real Sociedad scored the Bats earlier. And Barcelona scored as many as 5 goals in the last round. But Valencia scores regularly either. Although it lost to Barcelona, it scored 2 goals in response. In general, the Bats played with the exchange of goals in 6 of their last 8 matches.
The home field made Chelsea a favorite of the upcoming game. And the Blues are ahead in terms of head-to-head matches. Opponents intersected quite often in the last 12 years, and the English gained 3 victories in 6 matches without losing any game. However, much water has flowed under the bridges since then. Both teams, especially the English one, have undergone big changes at the start of the new season. The squad is very rejuvenated, and Lampard has practically no experience in European competitions. In this situation, taking into account the available data on the scoring of teams, I think it is better and more reliable to bet on the fact that both opponents will be able to score. By the way, both Chelsea and Valencia scored in 4 out of 6 last head-to-head matches. Given the problems in defense and the aggressiveness of opponents in the attack, the same outcome will probably be recorded in the upcoming game.
Prediction for the match: Both teams to score - yes