Valencia v Chelsea: Mata returns but Torres can be the star
Chelsea’s European campaign began with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Bayer Leverkusen that was achieved with a minimum of fuss and was forgotten almost as soon as it was over.
Juan Mata will remember it fondly though as he bagged his first Champions League goal for the Blues.
And he’ll definitely remember his second Champions League appearance this Wednesday as he returns to Valencia – the club he left Chelsea for just a few months ago…
The sides have played each other four times in the Champions League with Chelsea drawing their two home games and winning twice at Valencia.
With Chelsea heading into this game on the back of a comfortable 4-1 victory against Swansea City – albeit having to perform with ten men for the entire second half after Fernando Torres’ sending-off – the Blues look worth considering at 7/5 to get the win.
However, Valencia held Barcelona to a 2-2 draw in their last home game and haven’t lost on home soil since a 6-3 defeat against Real Madrid in April.
Valencia can be backed at 7/5 to get their first ever victory against Chelsea.
Andres Villas-Boas has promised to bring attacking football to Chelsea and, so far, his attempt to deliver on that promise appears to leave them a little vulnerable at the back.
The Blues have kept just two clean sheets in their eight competitive games this season and those matches – against Stoke and Fulham – were also the only games in which Chelsea have failed to find the net themselves this term.
With Valencia keeping just two clean sheets in their previous eight Champions League games, backing over 2.5 goals looks very tempting at 6/5.
Meanwhile, Fernando Torres is set to start with a three game domestic ban waiting to start at the weekend following his dismissal against Swansea.
With two goals in his previous two games, Torres can be backed to make it three in three at 5/4.