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Chelsea vs Valencia betting preview
Chelsea are rapidly improving under Lampard but defense remains a concernChelsea enter this match on the back of an impressive 5-2 victory at Wolves on Saturday night. The Blues are playing very entertaining football under Frank Lampard, as they have scored 13 and conceded 13 goals in six fixtures with the former Derby County manager in command. They now sit 3rd in the Premier League standings - alonside five other teams - trailing Man City by 2 and Liverpool by 5 points. A remarkable fact is that all of their goals coming from Under-21 eligible English players. On the other hand, anyway, the Blues have conceded at least twice in each of their last three matches.
N’Golo Kante is unlikely to play due a persistent ankle injury whilst Antonio Rudiger is a also doubt after coming off with a groin strain last time out. That will see Kurt Zouma returning to the side alongside Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori. Up front, Christian Pulisic could potentially come back into the starting lineup in place of Willian, while the in-form Tammy Abraham should get the nod over Olivier Giroud once again. Mason Mount will retain his berth in the front trio while Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic should start in the engine room.
Valencia has not started the season in sparkling form (W1 D1 L2)Newly-appointed Albert Celades suffered a heavy 5-2 loss at Barcelona in his first match in charge of Los Che last Saturday. They conceded two goals in the opening seven minutes at Camp Nou. Los Che are down in 14th place in the table after a poor start who determined the sacking of Marcelino Garcia Toral. Los Che's only victory came before the international break against Mallorca (2-0 at home). Prior to that, they opened La liga season with a 1-1 home draw against Real Sociedad and were narrowly beaten 1-0 at Celta Vigo. Valencia finished third behind Juventus and Manchester United at this stage last season but were very resilient on the road. This year, they are struggling at both ends of the pitch.
The Spanish outfit will be without long-term absentees Carlos Soler and Cristiano Piccini. Celades could name a more defensive starting line-up. As a result, Geoffrey Kondogbia is in line to be handed a recall in midfield, with striker Kevin Gameiro likely to be the player to miss out. Ferrán Torres should get the nod on the right wing with Daniel Wass required at right-back. Rodrigo Moreno is likley to spearhead the attack, supported by Goncalo Guedes out wide. Gabriel Paulista and Ezequiel Garay are expected to form the centre-back pair while former Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will start between the sticks.
Chelsea vs Valencia Starting LineupsChelsea (3-4-2-1): Arrizabalaga; Zouma, Christensen, Tomori; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Pulisic; Abraham
Valencia (4-5-1): Cillessen; Wass, Garay, Paulista, Gaya; Torres, Coquelin, Kondogbia, Parejo, Guedes; Rodrigo
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