Defending champions Chelsea's Champions League campaign kicks off with a home game against Italian league winners Juventus, as they look to retain their stunning form in the European competition this season.
Chelsea (ENG) v Juventus (ITA) at Stamford Bridge
7:45 pm BST (6:45 pm GMT)
Where to Watch
Live coverage will be available, from 7 pm BST onwards, on Sky Sports HD 2. Live radio commentary will be available on BBC Radio 5 live. Live text updates and commentary will be available on UEFA's MatchCentre.
Chelsea have had a very unpredictable start to this new season, with an early loss to Premier League Champions Manchester City in the Community Shield, three back to back wins against Wigan Athletic, Reading and Newcastle in the English league and their embarrassing 1-4 loss to Europa League winners Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.
Also, their last Premier League against QPR, which was plagued by the pre-handshake issues between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand (where the latter was accused of racially abusing the former), also ended in a disappointing draw.
Although Chelsea are without Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, one of the key players responsible for Chelsea European success last season, the Blues now have Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, who has already proved his worth at Stamford Bridge.
However, the Blues will have to work on their defences if they are to avoid a repeat show of what happened at the Super Cup clash against Atletico Madrid.
Also, the Blues seem to be struggling with scoring in the last two games against Atlético Madrid in the Super Cup and Queen Park Rangers. Last season they had a similar problem, with the Blues relying more on their defence tactics rather than their attack power. Although Spanish striker Fernando looks better than last season, he still has not been able to replicate his Liverpool days form. The Blues have not won any game with a convincing scoreline this season and this may prove to be a grave problem for Di Matteo.
Juventus, on the other hand, have had a dream start to the new season with four successive victories against Napoli (in the Italian Super Cup), Parma, Udinese and Genoa (in the Serie A). The Old Lady, who are back to the Champions League after quite some time, have an unbeaten 42 games streak Serie A since their 0-1 loss to Parma on 15 May 2011.
They seem to be continuing their stunning form that saw them win the Serie A with a perfect unbeaten record last season. Also, the Le Zebre have further strengthened their squad this summer by investing around £50million in the transfers of Mauricio Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah (from Udinese), Lucio (from Inter Milan) and Sebastian Giovinco (from Parma).
The bad news for the Old Lady is that they will be without their manager Antonio Conte, who is currently serving a 10-month ban for failing to report a match-fixing scandal during a match between Siena and AlbinoLeffe.
Nonetheless, Juventus will be looking to get a positive result in this game.
- Last Five: W W W L D
- Most Recent: 0-0 v Queen Park Rangers (at Loftus Road) in Premier League
- Last Five: W W W W
- Most Recent: 3-1 v Genoa (at Luigi Ferraris) in Serie A
The Blues have no injury concerns and they go into this game with their full strength.
John Terry and Ashley Cole, who both featured during the Blues Premier League clash against Queen Park Rangers after coming back from ankle injuries, is expected to start for this fixture. Spanish midfielder Juan Mata, who had been on a holiday for a couple of weeks, will also be starting in this game.
Roberto Di Matteo's men will be probably sticking with their 4-2-3-1 formation, with John Terry, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic and Ashley Cole in the back line, Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikelin the defensive midfield. Mata and Eden Hazard in the attacking midfield and Torres will be the lone striker up front.
Juventus, on the other hand, will be without the services of Brazilian defender Lucio, who has been ruled out following an ankle problem. Apart from that, the Old Lady go into this game at their full strength.
Although, Juventus will be without their inspirational striker Alessandro Del Piero, new signing Kwadwo Asamoah has done very well, contributing goals in almost all of the Old Lady's games this season. As a result of his good form, Asamoah is expected to start ahead of Sebastian Giovinco.
Meanwhile, Juventus' other new signings Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner (from Arsenal) and French midfielder Paul Pogba (from Manchester United) could be making their debut for the Italian champions in this game.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Mikel, Lampard; Hazard, Torres, Mata
Juventus: Buffon; Lichsteiner, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini; Krasic, Vidal, Pirlo, Asamoah; Matri, Vucinic
On paper, Juventus look like the clear favouritesas they have been more successful this season so far. Also Chelsea's attack in the last two games have been poor and their defence has been looking shaky. So the Old Lady may be getting an upper hand in this game.
Chelsea 1 - Juventus 2