Chelsea vs Juventus - Champions League preview and team news
Wednesday 19 September 2012
Chelsea begin their defence of their European title at home to Italian champions Juventus in yet another mouth-watering tie from this opening round of Champions League matches.
Roberto Di Matteo strengthened considerably in the summer to compensate for the loss of Didier Drogba, who’s goals led the Blues to that unlikely triumph in Munich back in May, bringing in the likes of Eden Hazard, who has taken the Premier League by storm so far this season, Oscar, Marko Marin, Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta.
As they aim to become the first side in the history of the Champions League to retain the competition, Chelsea should be able to call upon their captain John Terry, who despite picking up a knee injury late on in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at QPR, looks set to start.
Elsewhere, John Obi Mikel should be available despite picking up a slight back injury and could be partnered in midfield by Frank Lampard. Spain international Juan Mata sat out the QPR game but could make his return against the Italian heavyweights while Victor Moses is pushing for a start after an impressive debut off the bench at Loftus Road.
Juventus look set to be unchanged from the side that defeated Genoa 3-1 last Sunday to continue their 100% start to the league season, and preserve their 42-game unbeaten run despite the continued absence of manager Antonio Conte on the sidelines due to his 10 month ban for his involvement in match-fixing.
The Grand Old Lady of Italian football could rotate their side somewhat, with Lucio pushing for a recall as he recovers from an ankle problem. Elsewhere, Andrea Pirlo, who haunted the likes of Terry, Lampard and Ashley Cole in Euro 2012 looks set to start.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Chelsea v Juventus