Match Preview: Chelsea Vs Juventus - Top two from Group H of UCL, clash, as both teams battle it out for top-spot

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It’s first versus second in Group H of the Champions League, where unbeaten visitors face the defending champions in London, in a battle for top spot.

The last time these two clubs met, it was in the reverse fixture, where the Old Lady edged past The Blues courtesy of a single Chiesa goal. While the Turin outfit have booked their place in the last 16 of the competition, Chelsea are just a point away from confirming their own place for the knockouts.

 

 

Chelsea have been formidable this season, and that reflects in their league standings. The European Champions have been scoring for fun, even when their only two strikers haven’t been on the pitch for almost two months now.

Those goals have been coming from all quarters of a confident side, as Chelsea’s 30 Premier League strikes this term have been scored by 15 different players. The Blues’ only defeat this season in the UCL came against their next opponents in the reverse fixture.

 

 

Not only that, but they are also yet to concede more than once in any game during the 2021-22 campaign.

Massimiliano Allegriโ€™s side currently sit eighth in Italyโ€™s top-flight and 11 points off the title pace, but they have bounced back from successive defeats in the space of three days in late October to record three straight victories against Zenit, Fiorentina and Lazio.

Juventus and Allegri know, they have to be at their best while facing Chelsea, and a second victory against The Blues will go a long way in gaining some confidence ahead of a long season.

 

 

TEAM NEWS

Chelsea have been playing without a recognised no.9 for the best part of the last two months. Both and Timo Werner were injured in the same match against Malmo, in the Champions League. Since then, both the forwards have returned to training, although the Belgian isn’t yet declared fit to start.

Werner meanwhile, was named in the squad for the first time since his injury, but was an unused substitute. Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Alonso are also yet to recover from their respective injuries.

Kai Havertz is the only fresh injury concern for Thomas Tuchel, as the attacker picked up a hamstring injury against Leicester in the Premier League.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Rudiger, Christensen, Silva; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Hudson-Odoi, Mount; Pulisic

 

 

For Juventus and Allegri, midfielder Ramsey is still sidelined, while, Bernardeschi and captain Chiellini are also doubts for the Stamford Bridge clash.

Juventus predicted starting lineup:
Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro; Cuadrado, McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot; Morata, Chiesa

 

GAME CHANGERS

N’Golo Kante

The diminutive Frenchman was an integral part of Chelsea’s UCL winning squad last season. He was named Man of the Match in each of the Knockout rounds of the last Champions League edition.

The World Cup winner scored a peach of a goal last time out against his former club Leicester City and ran the show in midfield for The Blues. He might end up doing the same against this somewhat at times lethargic Juventus team.

 

 

Federico Chiesa

Italian winger Chiesa has carried his Euro 2020 form into the new season and does not look to slow down. He has many a time single-handedly saved the Turin side from despair and produced some match-winning performances along the way.

The last time these two clubs met, it was Chiesa’s goal that proved to be the difference between the two teams, and Allegri would hope he produces a similar performance once again in London.

 

PREDICTION

Chelsea will be licking their lips ahead of this top of the table clash with Juventus, and will have revenge on their minds. The Blues have been in scintillating form and have been bossing teams left and right.

 

 

Meanwhile, Juventus have been nowhere near the quality the West-London outfit have produced this season, but have given a good measure of themselves in Europe’s premier competition.

It will certainly be a close contest, but with the depth Chelsea have and the form they are in, plus added the fact this is a home encounter for them, it’s hard to look past a win for the Blues. FootTheBall says, Chelsea 2-0 Juventus.

 

 

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