The reigning Champions of Europe are back in action in Europe’s biggest competition. Off-pace Juventus stand in their way, as an away night in Turin awaits the Blues. Chelsea’s last UCL outing saw the defending champions see off a fierce Zenit side who were unbeaten since March. Zenit’s press was no match for a solid defence, and Romelu Lukaku’s 69th minute header gave the Blues the all important three points. Tonight’s opponents rattled Malmo FF by three goals to nil, with ex-Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata on the score sheet.
Chelsea’s former number 9 will be unavailable for tonight’s fixture due to a muscle injury. Juve’s other main threat Paulo Dybala will also miss the fixture, suffering a thigh injury after putting his side 1-0 up against Sampdoria. This will limit Juve’s attacking threat, with the side already struggling in the league since losing Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. The Italian side currently sit 8th in Serie A, despite winning their last two games.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are sitting pretty in 3rd in the Premier League, despite their first loss of the season on Saturday against Manchester City. Thomas Tuchel will hope his side can bounce back from a lacklustre showing at the weekend. Chelsea were dramatically off the pace against City, with little to no attacking threat which gave Ederson the day off. Chelsea’s last outing against Juventus saw the Italian side run out 3-0 victors in November of 2012. Hopefully Chelsea can provide a better defence of their trophy this time around.
Team news and updates:
Chelsea’s squad is being struck with injuries and illnesses across the board, with Reece James, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante all ruled out of action for this evening. Reece was substituted in the first half against City, with Tuchel stating “[It] will come down to pain management”, revealing we could miss James for another week. Last year’s Player of the Season Mason Mount is still nursing the knock he suffered against Villa in the Carabao Cup.
N’Golo has tested positive for Covid, which will impact the squad heavily, as we saw just how pivotal NG was in the UCL last season. Kante’s absence could provide a huge opportunity for Ruben Loftus Cheek, who’s cameo on Saturday was 76 minutes too short, with the Englishman giving Chelsea the bright spark they were seeking against City.
‘Obviously, tactically they are really strong. They know how to defend their box because they are very organised, Juventus is a big club and they’ve been there for many years.
‘We need to try to break them with speed, energy, and we know it’s going to be difficult. We respect them, but we’re going there to win.’Jorginho on how to approach the game against Juventus via Chelseafc.com
Christensen, Silva, Rudiger
Azpilicueta (C), Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso
Ziyech, Lukaku, Havertz
Lukaku will be required to force Juventus mistakes, and will hopefully provide more of an attacking threat, as Chelsea failed to register a shot on target on Saturday for the first time since 2019. RL worked well with Werner, but City’s defence had everything covered. This time around we see the big man alongside Havertz and Ziyech so it will be interesting to see how that pans out.
Players to watch:
Ruben Loftus Cheek: Even though Ruben doesn’t make start, I do still think he will see a cameo from him in some shape or form, and I for one am extremely excited about that. RLC completely upped our tempo on Saturday, and despite the loss, looked like he improved the side drastically. With Kante being unavailable and Saul struggling to take off in blue, I think this could be Ruben’s time to shine.
Manuel Locatelli: Locatelli scored against Sampdoria at the weekend, and will be looking to continue this form against Chelsea. Since his move to Turin, the World Cup winner has looked impressive in parts, but can still go up a level. He will be hoping he can do it this evening against the reigning European Champions.
Juventus 0-2 Chelsea
Written by @mashgreaves