Sun, Dec 15, 2019

There’s a big battle brewing in Spain on Wednesday in the Champions League group stage. On Matchday 5, Valencia hosts Chelsea at Estadio Mestalla with plenty on the line. There’s currently a three-way tie in Group H with Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia all sitting at 2-1-0 with seven points. Ajax has the current head-to-head advantage over Valencia; the Spanish club has the advantage over Chelsea; and the Blues won the head-to-head battle over Ajax. This means nothing has been decided other than that two of those three will move on. 

But it’s fairly simple — if Valencia wins Wednsesday, it will clinch a spot in the round of 16 thanks to having the head-to-head advantage over the Blues as a result. Valencia won at Chelsea 1-0 in the UCL opener. A win for Chelsea would go a long way toward the Blues advancing, while a draw keeps both teams in contention but adds the pressure on Matchday 6, where Chelsea has the clear advantage of getting to host Lille as opposed to Valencia’s visit to Ajax. 

Here’s everything to know about this game:

Valencia vs. Chelsea

  • Date: Wednesday, Nov. 27
  • Time: 12:55 p.m. ET
  • Location: Estadio Mestalla
  • TV channel: TNT and UniMas
  • Streaming:  UCL fuboTV (Try for free) 

Storylines

Valencia: This is a team that won the Copa del Rey last season and has so much potential. Valencia can cause problems for Chelsea on the counter or off set pieces, but at times the squad isn’t as sharp at home as one would expect. Maxi Gomez is a big-time striker in attack who can finish any chance, and, combined with Rodrigo’s creativity, the attack can be lethal. But where this game will need to be won for Valencia is in the middle of the pitch, where central defensive midfielders Geoffrey Kondogbia and Francis Coquelin have been dealing with injuries.

Chelsea: If the Blues can dictate the pace of play and break the lines with diagonal passes, they should feel good about their chances. Valencia is a team that can produce an out-of-this-world performance one week and look completely out of sync the next. Chelsea’s quality on the ball in the middle of the field should result in some quality chances in attack.

Valencia vs. Chelsea prediction

The Blues get a good result on the road that puts them in position to advance, forcing Valencia to have to beat Ajax on Matchday 6.

Pick: Valencia 2, Chelsea 2

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