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Champions League Predictions – Valencia vs. Chelsea FC Picks

The Mestalla is going to be the venue for Wednesday’s Champions League schedule, as Spanish giants Valencia take on the usual English suspects, Chelsea FC in a crucial Group E tilt that could help determine whether either of these sides is going to end up as a real competitor for the Champions League crown this year.

This is a huge match for a Valencia side which has gotten off to a respectable start this year in La Liga. No, it isn’t a club that is going to keep pace with Barcelona and Real Madrid this season, but there is no reason to not have another shot at the Champions League in 2012-13. This is a very, very talented side with a lot to look forward to, and even though this is a tough Group E, failure to progress would be considered a major disappointment.

Roberto Soldado has been the hero for this team this year, netting five goals to help Valencia to a 3-1-1 mark. The team’s first loss came just this past weekend on the road at Sevilla, a 1-0 loss that the team would love to have back.

Amongst the proud achievements for this Spanish side this year have been a 1-0 win at home against Atletico Madrid and a 2-2 draw against Barcelona after falling behind 2-0.

That being said, times are still not quite right at Stamford Bridge, as the Blues haven’t played the role of their normally dominating selves this year in the EPL. They have a lifeless draw at Stoke City to their resume, and a bad 3-1 loss at Manchester United in which the team really proved that it doesn’t have the chops to stick with the defending Premier League champions.

The good news is that Chelsea is coming off of a 4-1 win against Swansea City in which it truly put forth a superb, comprehensive victory. The bad news is that long time Blues player, Frank Lampard literally walked off of the bench area and back into the tunnel after not being used as a substitute in the game against the Swans. There is a real doubt as to whether or not Lampard will be making the trip with the team to Spain, and even if he does, whether he will get the nod in the starting 11 or whether he’ll even be on the bench with the squad.

Valencia played to a lifeless draw against Racing Genk in its first Champions League fixture of the year. Chelsea put forth a significantly better result, beating its old mate, Michael Ballack and Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

Posted in Champions League (UCL), Featured

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