Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri himself admitted that the upcoming encounter between the Old Lady and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge will only decide whether they stay atop of Champions League’s Group H. But manager Thomas Tuchel likely has a different idea as the Blues need at least a point this Tuesday to secure a playoff spot before their final match against Zenit St. Petersburg.
More than mere three points at the CL group stage, a win against Juventus is a way to send a message to our upcoming opponents and the rest of Europe that the Blues can keep up the title fight on more than one front. In fact, we have not lost a single match since our last meeting with Juve in Turin, almost two months ago.
Time for a dub, then.
Date / Time: Tuesday, November 23, 20.00 GMT; 3:00pm EST; 1:30am IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Srdjan Jovanovic (Serbia)
Forecast: Light cloud and light winds
On TV: BT Sport Ultimate, BT Sport 2 (UK); none (US); none (India); SuperSport MaXimo 1, SuperSport PSL, Canal+ Sport 4 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BTSport.com, BT Sport App (UK); TUDN App, TUDN.com, Paramount+ (US); JioTV, Sony LIV (India); DSTv Now (NGA)
Chelsea team news: The Blues are likely a few weeks away from a clean injury bill. Midfielder Mateo Kovacic is still out of contention with a hamstring issue, and he is a big absence considering his absolutely marvellous form since the beginning of the season. But on a positive note, we have Timo Werner back to potentially lead out attack as both Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz are doubtful for this Tuesday match. Meanwhile, Jorginho — who gave us an injury scare in the second half of our Leicester game last weekend — has no lasting issues and should be available to face the Old Lady.
The Blues have been on an incredible run since they last faced Juventus, which were the last team to beat us back in late September. We collected seven wins and only two (90-minute) draws, against Southampton and Burnley, from that point on. We have also scored 24 goals and conceded three (!!!) in this run.
Juventus team news: The 36-time Italian champions have yet to find their usual groove at home. Changing management from the largely unexperienced (in managerial terms) Andrea Pirlo back to multichampion Massimiliano Allegri has not kept Juventus in the fight for the title at least in the first third of Serie A, with Napoli, AC Milan and Inter Milan leading the charge instead.
It is too soon to say things will stay that way since Napoli might have lost their main striker, Victor Osimhen, to multiple facial fractures suffered during a clash against Milan. But that depends on Juventus avoiding weird results such as losing to Empoli, Sassuolo and Verona, all of which teams expected to finish in mid-table or below.
On the other hand Juventus kept a perfect record in the Champions League, which got them a spot in the CL’s round of 16 with two matches to go in the group stage. This means Allegri could opt to land a weaker team if he wants as midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Federico Bernardeschi, and defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Mattia De Sciglio, remain on the sideline. However, he will have defender Alex Sandro and attacker Paulo Dybala back from injury and available for the match.
Previously: Far from a good time for the Blues in Turin last September, as we paid dearly for horrible aim in front of the goal (one shot on target from 16 attempts!) a few seconds after the second half kickoff with a Federico Chiesa goal. The hosts would hold onto the 1-0 lead until the final whistle, and take top position in group H.