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Champions League Tuesday: Tricky away trips for Valencia & Barcelona

Champions League Tuesday: Tricky away trips for Valencia & Barcelona

Valencia and Barcelona begin their Champions League campaigns on Tuesday evening as they face Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund, respectively.

The two La Liga sides met at the weekend with the Catalan club coming out on top with a 5-2 win, leaving Los Che fans to already question the sacking of Marcelino and appointment of Albert Celades.

Celades approaches his first European game in charge with a visit to Stamford Bridge to face Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, who beat Wolverhampton Wanderers comprehensively at the weekend.

Team news

Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger could start this game after recovering from a groin injury picked up in the win over Wolves, whilst N’Golo Kante is not expected to be fit in time.

Predicted XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Tomori, Christensen, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho; Willian, Mount, Pulisic; Abraham.

Valencia

Despite Celades taking over at the club last week – few changes have been made to the starting eleven and that is expected to remain the same for the trip to London.

Predicted XI: Cillessen; Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya; Torres, Coquelin, Parejo, Guedes; Gameiro, Rodrigo.

Barcelona will travel to Dortmund to begin their Champions League campaign and the Catalan side are determined to right the wrongs of their shock exit to Liverpool last season.

Ansu Fati has been in superb form for Ernesto Valverde’s side and he is expected to play a part, whilst Luis Suarez returned to goalscoring form at the weekend with a brace against Valencia.

Team news

Dortmund

Axel Witsel and Manuel Akanji should both start this game, whilst in-form Jadon Sancho is available after scoring an impressive brace for England over the international break.

Predicted XI: Burki; Hakimi, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Delaney, Witsel; Brandt, Reus, Sancho; Alcacer

Barcelona

The big news for Barca is that Lionel Messi has returned to full fitness and could potentially start. Ansu Fati is expected to make his first ever Champions League start.

Predicted XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Roberto; Griezmann, L Suarez, Perez