Champions League: Chelsea v Juventus match preview
Wednesday 19 September 2012
Roberto Di Matteo’s quest to become the first man to guide a team to back-to-back Champions League titles begins at Stamford Bridge tonight, against a Juventus team who are still acclimatising to matchdays without their manager.
Chelsea have an excellent home record in the group stages of the Champions League and have begun the season well although their thrashing by Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup, showed vulnerabilities.
Juventus have started the season well, winning all three league games as well as securing a 4-2 extra time victory over Napoli in the Italian Super Cup.
TV: Sky Sports 2
25/02/2009 – Chelsea 1-0 Juventus (Drogba 13)
10/03/2009 – Juventus 2-2 Chelsea (Iaquinta 19, Essien 45, Del Piero 74, Drogba 83)
Chelsea’s only major injury concern is new signing Marko Marin, who has not yet recovered full match fitness. There is speculation that following a less than impressive performance against QPR, Fernando Torres may be replaced in the starting line-up by Daniel Sturridge.
Juventus will be without coach Antonio Conte who is serving a ten-month ban for his role in not reporting match-fixing, but have no major injury problems. Mirko Vucinic and Kwadwo Asamoah, who were on the bench for the 3-1 win over Genoa at the weekend, look set to return.
Chelsea: Eden Hazard – Many questioned whether the £32m arrival would be able to replicate his sparkling form for Lille in the Premier League but the Belgian has made a promising start to his time at Stamford Bridge. However Hazard faces the toughest match so far in his Chelsea career against Juventus and he will be out to prove himself.
Juventus: Andrea Pirlo – Arguably the player of Euro 2012 and one of the best midfielders of his generation, Pirlo’s move to Juventus last season reinvigorated the Italian and brought Scudetto success to the club for the first time in nine years. Running the game from his deep-lying midfield position, he will be a major threat to Chelsea.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 26 Champions League group stage games at home (20 wins, six draws)
Juventus have picked up the most red cards in the Champions League: 19 (since 1992/93)
Juventus are making their 13th appearance in the Champions League and their first since the 2009/10 season. Only AC Milan have made more appearances among Italian sides.
This is Chelsea’s 10th consecutive participation in the Champions League. They’ve reached the semi-finals six times and the final twice, winning it for the first time in their history last season.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Latest in Sport
Anderlecht vs Arsenal match report: Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski pounce as Arsenal leave it late
Liverpool fans applaud Cristiano Ronaldo after master-class for Real Madrid, despite his Manchester United ties
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was shirt swapping the real reason?
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters