It is time for Chelsea to go about defending their European Crown, they begin their campaign at home to Italian Champions Juventus. Now, without the talismatic striker Didier Drogba, who played a pivotal role in winning them their first UEFA Champions League, this new look Chelsea side will want to get off to a winning start against tough opponents.
Juventus went the whole of last season in Serie A unbeaten, and have not left it there. Three games into the new season, and they are still unbeaten. A 42 game unbeaten streak in Serie A shows what sort of form they are in, Juve will be looking to carry on this form into Europe after almost 2 years out. Infact, the last time the Turin side played a fixture in Europes Elite competition, it was a 4-1 demoliton courtesy of Bayern Munich, all the way back in December 2010.
The Blues have no major injury concerns prior to this game.
John Terry and Ashley Cole both featured in last weekends draw against QPR and are expected to both feature in the crucial game against Italian Champions, Juventus. Juan Mata is also rumoured to return to the starting line up.
Juventus will be without Brazil international Lucio, who has been ruled out with an ankle problem. Apart from that, the Old Lady will have a full strength squad for the game at Stamford Bridge.
Probable Line Ups: -
Chelsea: Petr Cech – Branislav Ivanovic – Gary Cahill – John Terry – Ashley Cole – Ramires – John Obi Mikel – Frank Lampard – Eden Hazard – Fernando Torres – Juan Mata
Juventus: Buffon – Lichsteiner – Bonucci – Barzalgi – Chiellini – Claudio Marchisio - Vidal – Andrea Pirlo – Asamoah - Matri – Vucinic
Current Form -
Chelsea - Position: 1st
P:4 W:3 D:1 L:0 GF:8 GA:2 GD:6 PTS:10
W W W D
Juventus – Position: 1st
P:3 W:3 D:0 L:0 F:9 A:2 GD:7 PTS:9
W W W
Player To Watch: Chelsea – Eden Hazard
The first non-French player to win the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year, great things have been expected of Hazard.After arriving at Stamford Bridge for a fee believed to be £32million, the young Belgian has got off to a cracking start. Only four games into his first season in England's top flight, Hazard has 1 goal and 6 assist's. He has contributed towards 7 of Chelsea's 8 goals this season. Hazard will be keen to flaunt his talent on Europe's biggest stage, Chelsea will have to look for him for inspiration.
Player To Watch: Juventus – Andrea Pirlo
Pirlo has been one of the greatest midfielders in world football for years now, and the veteran still has the vision, skill & ability that helped Milan win so many trophies. AC Milan allowed Andrea Pirlo to move to Turin, and it is no surprise that with him in there side, The Old Lady went on to to win the league, unbeaten. He has been a key player for The Italian National side for years now, winning the 2006 World Cup. He then managed to carry his country to the final of EURO 2012. Juventus will rely on Pirlo's experience to dictate the game and win the midfield battle.
Juventus & Chelsea have met just once in their history in European
Football. A 1-0 victory to Chlesea followed by a 2-2 draw.