Valencia vs ChelseaUEFA Champions League, KO: 17:55 Nov 27, 2019, Mestalla Stadium
Group H could hardly be any tighter with three teams locked on seven points, and two of those sides – Valencia and Chelsea – will meet inside the Mestalla on Wednesday evening.
Valencia were victorious in the reverse fixture on matchday one when they squeezed out a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge and Los Ches have since landed a further four points that were secured during a double-header with basement boys Lille.
Meanwhile, the Blues have bounced back from their opening night setback by winning away at both Lille and Ajax, before playing out a 4-4 thriller with the Amsterdam outfit in London last time out.
Consequently, a win on Wednesday night for either the La Liga outfit or Frank Lampard's young-guns could prove pivotal to each sides respective chances of reaching the last-16.
Both teams will go into this battle off the back of weekend defeats after Valencia were on the wrong end of a 2-1 reverse away at Real Betis, meanwhile Chelsea left the Etihad empty handed after being edged out 2-1 by Man City.
Saturdays defeat at the hands of the Citizens represented Chelsea's firsts loss in 11 matches and the bookmakers believe that the Blues will get back to winning ways in southern Spain by pricing an away win at 6/5 (Ladbrokes)
With Lille still to visit west London on matchday six, a share of the spoils would probably suit Chelsea on Wednesday night – that outcome pays 11/4 (UniBet) – whereas Valencia finish up away at Ajax and as such they will be desperately targeting maximum points in the Mestalla – a home win pays 23/10 (SportingBet)
Valencia are one of the few teams that Chelsea have failed to score against this season, however, Lampard's fearless Blues have come a long win since these two sides last locked horns back in September.
There is much to be admired about seeing Chelsea's youngsters attacking with plenty of spirit, however, their adventurous approach can often leave them exposed at the back – the Blues are conceding an average of two goals-per game away from Stamford Bridge.
Valencia themselves are defensively vulnerable – the hosts have only picked up one clean-sheet in their last nine attempts – and that perhaps explains why there is no value in backing both teams to score at 1/2 (Ladbrokes)
However, backing over 2.5 match goals at 69/100 (Marathonbet) is a lot more enticing – a bet that would have generated profit in eight out of nine Chelsea away games this season to date.
Switching gears, I'm also going to tap into another recurring theme of Chelsea's season, namely midfielder Jorginho being shown a yellow card.
The ill-disciplined Italian has been booked six times in 12 league appearances for the Londoners this term, not to mention he had his name taken when these two sides last squared off – and I fancy a repeat of that at tempting 2/1 (Bet 365)
In considering who will come out on top – this is a tough one to call, however, I would look to get Chelsea on side here given their pedigree at this level as well as the superior talent that Lampard has at his disposal.
Furthermore, the home side have shipped 10 goals in their last six matches in their own backyard and given what's at stake Chelsea can ill-afford a damaging defeat that would leave their qualification hopes hanging by a thread.
However, over the years a number of European giants have fallen inside the hostile Mestalla and with that in mind I'm not tempted enough to back the Blues to win, however, an alternative angle that I do like the look of is combining Chelsea on the double chance in match that sees both teams score at 21/20 (Bet 365)
This UEFA Champions League match between Valencia and Chelsea will be played on Nov 27, 2019 and kick off at 17:55