Valencia were surprise winners at Chelsea on Matchday 1 and are in a three-way tie with their English opponents – and Ajax – ahead of the reverse fixture at Mestalla, where the English side have never lost.

• Valencia spoiled Frank Lampard’s European debut as Chelsea manager with a first victory against the Blues at the seventh attempt on Matchday 1. Rodrigo scored what proved to be the only goal of the game at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s Ross Barkley missing a late chance to equalise from the penalty spot.

• With Valencia, Chelsea and Ajax all on seven points in Group H, either Valencia or Chelsea will be through if they win due to their favourable head-to-head record in a potential three-way tie also involving the Dutch club.

Highlights: Chelsea 0-1 Valencia


Highlights: Chelsea 0-1 Valencia

Previous meetings
• All of the sides’ encounters before this season came in the space of four and a half years, four alone taking place in 2007. The English club were 3-2 aggregate winners against Valencia in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, winning 2-1 at Mestalla after a 1-1 draw in west London; Chelsea went on to lose to Liverpool on penalties in the last four.

• Chelsea also won 2-1 at Valencia in the following season’s group stage before a goalless draw in London. They went on to finish first in the section with Valencia fourth, and progressed all the way to that season’s final, losing to Manchester United – also in a shoot-out – in Moscow.

• Chelsea’s run to glory in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League featured two games against Valencia in the group stage, Lampard scoring in a 1-1 draw at Mestalla on Matchday 2 before the English club won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Matchday 6, their sole home success against Valencia.

Highlights: Valencia 4-1 LOSC


Highlights: Valencia 4-1 LOSC

Form guide
Valencia
• Valencia went down 3-0 at home to Ajax on Matchday 2, a second successive European defeat at Mestalla, and conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at LOSC Lille in their third fixture before overturning a half-time deficit to beat the French side 4-1 last time out.

• Fourth in the Spanish Liga in 2018/19, this is Valencia’s 12th UEFA Champions League group stage campaign. Finalists in both 1999/2000 and 2000/01, they have not reached the last 16 since 2012/13.

• Twelve months ago Los Blanquinegros were also in Group H, finishing third behind Juventus and Manchester United – who they beat 2-1 at Mestalla on Matchday 6 having earlier held out for a goalless draw at Old Trafford – to move into the UEFA Europa League. There they overcame Celtic (3-0 on aggregate), Krasnodar (3-2) and Villarreal (5-1) to reach the semi-finals, where they came up short against Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal, losing 3-1 in London and 4-2 at home.

Highlights: Valencia 0-3 Ajax


Highlights: Valencia 0-3 Ajax

• Valencia had won five successive home European matches before losing to Arsenal last season. They have won 13 of their last 18 continental fixtures at Mestalla, losing the other five. They last drew a European home game in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 32, 0-0 against Dynamo Kyiv.

• Valencia have won nine of their 19 matches against clubs representing England, losing five, although all of those defeats have come in the last eight such fixtures.

Chelsea
• Lampard’s side responded to their opening loss against Valencia with a 2-1 victory at LOSC Lille before a 1-0 win at Ajax and a remarkable 4-4 draw at home to the Dutch club last time out in which Chelsea recovered from being 4-1 down.

Highlights: Chelsea 4-4 Ajax


Highlights: Chelsea 4-4 Ajax

• The Matchday 3 win at Ajax extended Chelsea’s unbeaten run in European away matches to nine (W7 D2).

• Third in last season’s Premier League, Chelsea also qualified for the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage as the winners of the UEFA Europa League, and are taking part for the 16th time; only once, as holders in 2012/13, have they failed to reach the knockout stages.

• The Blues were UEFA Europa League winners under Maurizio Sarri in 2018/19, beating Arsenal 4-1 in the competition’s first all-English final since Tottenham overcame Wolves in the 1972 UEFA Cup. Eden Hazard scored twice at the Baku Olympic Stadium, Olivier Giroud and Pedro Rodríguez also finding the net as Chelsea claimed their second UEFA Europa League title having also triumphed in 2013, their only other appearance in the competition.

• The London club have scored three goals or more in six of their last 12 European matches. Their tally of 36 goals in last season’s UEFA Europa League was one short of the competition record set by Porto in 2010/11.

Highlights: Ajax 0-1 Chelsea


Highlights: Ajax 0-1 Chelsea

• Chelsea were unbeaten in European competition last season, claiming the UEFA Europa League with a record of W12 D3 F36 A10. Before losing to Valencia on Matchday 1, their last continental defeat had come at Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg in March 2018 (0-3), although they did lose on penalties against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup this August following a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes in Istanbul.

• That defeat at Barcelona’s was Chelsea’s most recent trip to Spain, and ended a ten-match unbeaten run away to Liga clubs (W3 D7).

• A 2-1 victory at Atlético Madrid on Matchday 2 in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League is Chelsea’s only success in their last nine fixtures against Liga clubs (D4 L4).

Azpilicueta on 'crazy' Stamford Bridge draw


Azpilicueta on ‘crazy’ Stamford Bridge draw

Links and trivia
• Have played in England:
Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal 2015–17)
Francis Coquelin (Arsenal 2011–17)
Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City 2014–19, Everton 2018 (loan))
Daniel Parejo (QPR 2008 (loan))

• Gabriel lost all three games against Chelsea for the Gunners, and was sent off in a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on 19 September 2015.

• International team-mates:
José Gayà, Daniel Parejo, Rodrigo & Kepa Arrizabalaga (Spain)
Cristiano Piccini & Emerson Palmieri, Jorginho (Italy)