Chelsea will look to continue their winning momentum as they host Valencia in their opening group game of this season’s UEFA Champions League tomorrow evening. The Blues are coming on the back of an emphatic 5-2 triumph over Wolverhampton Wanderers and will be full of confidence going into this game.
Here is how Frank Lampard’s men may line up in this highly important Champions League fixture on Tuesday.
Lampard opted for a 3-4-2-1 setup, which worked wonders against Wolves, who employ a similar setup. It was a smart move by the Chelsea boss. But he will likely revert to a 4-3-3 formation, especially against Valencia 4-4-2.
That means Fikayo Timori, despite impressing against the Wolves, might be sacrificed. His lack of experience at the highest level of football could be problematic for the Blues. Antonio Rudiger, however, has picked up a groin injury and has been ruled out. He will be replaced by Kurt Zouma, who will be partnered by Andreas Christensen at the heart of the four-man backline.
Cesar Azpilicueta operated as a wing-back on the weekend. But, he will be shifted back to his preferred right-back slot, with Marcos Alonso likely to start on the opposite flank, with Emerson still a doubt.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is the club’s undisputed number one and will retain his place in between the sticks this midweek, ahead of Willy Caballero.
The absence of N’Golo Kante will be a massive blow for Chelsea. The Frenchman is still struggling with an ankle injury and will remain out this week. That means Lampard will have limited options, meaning the duo of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho are guaranteed to retain their place in midfield.
These two players will form the double pivot, with Mason Mount operating in a much-advanced role. The youngster will be tasked with the responsibility of providing the creative essence going forward.
The Chelsea attack will be spearheaded by none other than Tammy Abraham. The young forward is in a great run of form, having netted seven goals in the Premier League and is also coming on the back of a hat-trick in the last game. He is the one to watch out for here.
Abraham will be supported by the wide-duo of Christian Pulisic, who will return to the side at the expense of Timori, and Willian. These two wingers have a lot of experience in the Champions League and will play a critical role in Chelsea’s chance creation in the final third.
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