English Premier League side Chelsea travels to Spain on Sept. 28th to take on Valencia in a Champions League Group E game at Mestalla. Chelsea will have former Valencia player Juan Mata in their squad for the match. He joined the EPL club in august and has made a favourable impression in London so far this season.
Chelsea leads the group after winning their first Champions League contest 2-0 over Bayer 04 Leverkusen of Germany at Stamford Bridge, Valencia is in second place after drawing away 0-0 with KRC Genk. Mata managed to hit the back of the net for Chelsea in their opening game.
The two teams have met each other four times since 2007 with Chelsea winning twice in Valencia by scores of 2-1. The only managed draws at home though by scores of 0-0 and 1-1. Prior to 2007 Valencia hadn’t lost a game at home to an English team, but has now lost their last three to them, twice to Chelsea and once to Manchester United. Overall, at home against English clubs they’ve won seven, lost three and drawn four.
Chelsea lost their last away group game last season 1-0 to Olympique de Marseille, but before that they were undefeated in six straight, winning four of them. Chelsea is also unbeaten during their past six games in Spain, with two wins and four draws. Overall, they’ve won three, lost five and drawn four games in Spain.
Valencia has two wins, two draws and a loss in their last five games overall while Chelsea has three wins, a draw and a loss. Chelsea beat Swansea 4-1 at home on the weekend in an EPL game while Valencia lost 1-0 away to Sevilla.
Chelsea has strength up front with Mata, Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba, and Daniel Sturridge. Drogba returned on the weekend after being out with a concussion and scored against Swansea. However, there’s some discontent in the team’s camp as Frank Lampard is unhappy with the way he’s being used and left the bench after he wasn’t used as a substitute against Swansea.
If Lampard does play look for him to have a good game as it looks like he’ll have to be fighting for his spot in the team from now on. Look for Torres to start because he’s out for the next three league games after being red carded in the 39th minute against Swansea for a brutal-two-foot tackle.
Valencia has been in fine form in the league and drew 2-2 at home with Barcelona last week in a mid-week match. Look for this to be a close game that ends in a draw.
Sportsbook William Hill has the odds of a Valencia win at 2/1 and a Chelsea victory at 7/5. A draw is listed at 11/5.