The 2019/20 Champions League is upon us, and one of the most intriguing groups on paper has to be the four teams that make up Group H.
The two favourites to progress to the knockout phase, Chelsea and Valencia, meet in the opening gameweek at Stamford Bridge on September 17.
And they will be interested observers in the other Group H tie between Ajax and Lille; both of whom are more than capable of challenging for honours in what is a stacked group of equally-matched sides.
After a brief hiatus from this competition in which they would go on to win the Europa League, Chelsea are back in the continent’s premier competition with a brand-new look to them.
Maurizio Sarri has left for Juventus, and that has left rookie manager Frank Lampard in charge in just his second season as a manager. So far, he has opted to field bright young talents over his more established names, and the Blues have won just one of their four Premier League outings thus far as a consequence.
And so the door is ajar for Valencia, who themselves have got off to a mixed bag of a start in the La Liga campaign, but who certainly have the quality to really challenge Chelsea’s authority here.
So, our Champions League predictions will reveal two teams both of whom will fancy the job of taking three points from this Champions League opener.
Let’s take a look at the rest of our Chelsea vs Valencia preview, and see if we can unearth some betting value.
1. Chelsea vs Valencia Betting Odds
The bookies have released their Chelsea vs Valencia betting odds, and in them they make the English outfit a surprisingly comfortable favourite.
Punters can back the Blues at a price as short as 1.80, with Valencia sure to pique the interest of many at 4.85. The draw is available at odds of 3.50.
2. Chelsea vs Valencia Betting Tips
Usually when a new manager takes the helm of a club the overriding theory is one of evolution, rather than evolution, but Frank Lampard has torn up the rulebook at Chelsea.
The likes of David Luiz and Gary Cahill have been sold, while established names like Willian and Olivier Giroud have been left out in the cold with youngsters such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham taking their place.
As talented as Mount and Abraham are, they were playing in the Championship last season – now they are being tasked with restoring Chelsea as a force in the Champions League.
The Blues have locked decidedly dodgy in defence at times this term too, with Kurt Zouma not yet providing the evidence that he is ready to be an elite-level defender.
With Kepa less-than-reliable in the sticks and midfield general N’Golo Kante struggling with a catalogue of injuries, Chelsea are ripe for the picking.
But have Valencia got the quality to take advantage? The Spanish outfit at least have continental experience having played a full part in last season’s European programme.
First of all, they participated in the Champions League group phase, but having been unable to find a way past Juventus and Manchester United they were dumped in footballing purgatory: the Europa League.
There, they battled past an eclectic range of opponents in Celtic, Krasnodar and Spanish rivals Villarreal, before running into Arsenal in the semi-finals.
Their summer transfer business was agreeable enough too. They essentially swapped first-choice goalkeeper Neto for Jasper Cillessen with Barcelona, while Maxi Gomez – a striker with a career goal ratio of one-in-two – joined from Celta Vigo.
Perhaps most pertinently, there were no major departures from the Mestalla Stadium.
So for our money, that puts Los Ches in a stronger position than a Blues outfit in a state of flux and battling a long injury list. Our Chelsea vs Valencia betting tips have to reflect this, and we will be siding with the visitors in some capacity.
One of the more interesting markets when backing away teams is the Double Chance category, where we simply need our favoured side to win or draw for us to bank a profit. And with Valencia priced at 1.95 in the Double Chance market, that has to be the primary focus of our investment here.
But there could be goals at the Bridge too, with Chelsea looking far more dangerous in an attacking sense than they do solid at the back.
The same could be said for Valencia, who conceded in 66% of their La Liga games last term and in 5/6 in the Champions League group phase. Both Teams to Score, at odds of 1.90, also looks to be a wager to savour.
3. Chelsea vs Valencia Live Stream
A very hot topic before the season of Champions League starts is always a discussion where the fans can watch the matches.
When you have your Chelsea vs Valencia predictions all figured out, you can check the 1XBET streaming offer. They usually have a Champions League live streaming section, so we hope that this time will be no different and fans can watch football at its best for another season. All you need to do is register.