UCL Group H: Chelsea v/s Juventus

INTRODUCTION

Chelsea faces Juventus on matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League. Chelsea is currently leading the pack in the Premiership while Juventus are 11 points adrift of Napoli and AC Milan who are leading the Serie A race. Juventus won over the weekend but not quite convincingly, Bonnucci netting two penalties meanwhile Chelsea could have run away 7-0 winners over Leicester if not for wastefulness in front of goal and two offsides. The 3-0 result is still pretty impressive.

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WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

Chelsea has only lost two games this season: Manchester City and Juventus. Juventus’ one-nil win at the Allianz Arena during September was the last time Chelsea lost a game. Chelsea would be looking to go top of the group by inflicting Juventu’s first loss in the Champions League and scoring at least two goals against the Italian giants.

BUILD UP

Chelsea

Kai Havertz and Kovacic will sit this fixture out due to injuries. Lukaku is said to be back to full fitness having participated in the team’s training while Werner who was an unused substitute against Leicester City could make the first team as Havertzz would be unavailable for selection. Pulisic got a goal last weekend and put in a great performance from bench and would look to be rewarded with a starting shirt. However, Odoi is on a fantastic run of form that cannot be ignored. The front three selection would be a dilemma for Tuchel as he has a plethora of talents to pick from.

Jorginho seemed to pick up an injury against Leicester City during the weekend but Tuchel confirmed that he is fit and ready for selection against Juventus in his pre-match conference.

Form (in all competitions from the most recent): WDWWW

Juventus

Federico Bernadeschi is likely to miss the fixture due to the injury he picked up in the international break. Chiellini is also out due to an Achilles injury. Paulo Dybala is also in doubt for the fixture which means the attack would most likely be spearheaded by Alvaro Morata and Federico Chiesa, who was the goalscorer in the reverse fixture. Moise Kean is also available and could be an option for the Old ladies.

Form (in all competitions from the most recent): WWWLL

Predicted Line Ups

Chelsea

GK: Mendy

Defense: Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger

Midfield: Reece James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell

Atack: Mount, Werner, Pulisic

Juventus

GK: Szczesny

Defense: Danilo, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro

Midfield: Cuadrado, McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot

Attack: Morata, Chiesa

WHO TO WATCH OUT FOR

Chelsea

Ngolo Kante

He had a tremendous game against Leicester City and got a very rare goal. It could easily be said it was his best game of the season so far. He moved the ball excellently, glided past opponents and he was simply a beauty to watch. Kante could be a real menace to Juventus both on the ball and off the ball.

Mendy and Kante (Chelsea)
Mendy and Kante (Chelsea)

Mendy

A lot of goals are not expected from this encounter excepted the unexpected happens. This means that Mendy could be key to keeping their hopes of victory alive in this tie. If he can replicate the form he has had all season long in this encounter, Juventus might find it really hard finding the back of the net.

Juventus

Chiesa

With the departure of Ronaldo, a lot of responsibility has fallen to the shoulder of this new superstar of Turin. Frankly speaking, he has been living up to expectations, however, more output will be required from him in both goals and assists. After the first leg, Chelsea should have recognized what damage the Italian could cause.

Morata and Chiesa (Juventus)
Morata and Chiesa (Juventus)

Morata

Yes, Morata. The return of Morata to Stanford Bridge. Morata did not live up to expectations in his short-lived stay in the Premiership and was hurriedly disposed of after two seasons. With Juventus, he would love to shut his London haters up who did not believe in him. However, Stanford bridge is not the best ground for that.

CONCLUSION

Whatever the result of this fixture would be, Juventus have already qualified for the next stage while Chelsea simply needs a point to nail down their status. However, a win for Chelsea could help them secure the top spot at the end of the group stage but without a win, Chelsea could see themselves facing the likes of Bayern, Real Madrid, Ajax, or possibly PSG in the next stage of the competition. It will definitely be an exciting game to watch.

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