Chelsea travel to Juventus hoping to take advantage of the Serie A side’s stuttering form.
The defending champions have looked in fine form this season despite suffering a potentially damaging defeat to Premier League title-rivals Manchester City last week.
However, with Juventus struggling for fluency right now, the time appears ripe for Chelsea to take charge of their Champions League group.
When, where and how to watch
When: Wednesday, September 29, 8pm BST
Where: Allianz Stadium
How to watch: BT Sport
Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 16/5
Chelsea to score in both halves at 9/4
Romelu Lukaku to score anytime at 11/10
In past seasons this one would look like a much more difficult game to call, but the two sides appear to be on different trajectories right now.
Juventus have grown used to dominating Serie A in the last decade, but they lost their title to Inter Milan last season and they have not started this campaign strongly either.
Losing Cristiano Ronaldo late in the summer transfer window would not have helped, obviously, but you would still expect Juventus to doing better than 10th in Serie A.
They are only there due to a recent upturn in results too, although they have not convinced.
Back to back 3-2 wins over Spezia and Sampdoria were welcome results, but conceding four goals in those two games was far from ideal for a team that has always prided themselves on their defensive stability.
Chelsea, meanwhile, look to have taken an enormous stride forward since appointing Thomas Tuchel. They won the Champions League last season and harbour genuine Premier League title aspirations again.
Those hopes did suffer a blow last week as they lost 1-0 at home to Manchester City, but they look much stronger than Juventus right now and look like the team to back – although a clean sheet will be a big ask.
Previous three meetings
Juventus 3-0 Chelsea (Champions League – November 20, 2012)
These two sides have not met for nine years, so if you’re looking for some recent head-to-head stats you are out of luck.
The last time they did meet was a very good day for Juve, with them running out comfortable winners.
Fabio Quagliarella, Arturo Vidal, and Sebastian Giovinco scored the goals.
Chelsea 2-2 Juventus (Champions League – September 19, 2012)
Juventus proved their character in this one too in the same group stage, although Chelsea would be forgiven for still wondering today how they failed to win it.
Oscar scored twice in two first-half minutes for the Blues, although Vidal clawed one back almost immediately.
As the game developed, Chelsea were unable to hold on and Quagliarella levelled with just ten minutes remaining.
Juventus 2-2 Chelsea (Champions League – April 12, 2009)
It was another entertaining affair when Chelsea travelled to Turin in 2009, and this time it was Chelsea who benefited from some late drama.
Vincenzo Iaquinta and Michael Essien exchanged first-half goals, but Alesandro Del Piero looked like he had won it for Juventus with a late penalty.
However, Didier Drogba had other ideas, and he salvaged a point with seven minutes left.
Champions League head-to-head
Juventus wins: 1
Chelsea wins: 1
Juventus goals: 7
Chelsea goals: 5
Old Lady struggling at the back
You think of any top Italian team and defensive reliability is something that immediately comes to mind. That is even more so when you consider Juventus, who build their dominance on the foundation of Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon.
Of those three, only Bonnuci remains as a guaranteed starter, but Mattijs de Ligt has ensured there has not been a major drop in quality.
However, Juventus have looked defensively vulnerable and it is that more than anything that has hurt them this season.
It won’t last forever. They simply have too much quality both on the pitch and in the dugout for it to be a persistent problem, but expect Chelsea to take ruthless advantage while they are figuring it out.
Romelu Lukaku has firmly established himself as the fulcrum of the Chelsea attack since returning to the club during the summer, and he looks like the man to back here.
A word of warning would be that the Belgian failed to score from open play against Juventus in four matches for Inter Milan. However, Juventus were a different animal then.
Lukaku looks confident and is playing in a team creating chances, so he has to be worth some interest, even at just 11/10 to score anytime.
For Juventus, the 10/3 available for Frederico Chiesa to score anytime looks great value. The winger underlined at the Euros how tough he can be to contain and, with Chelsea linked with a move for the striker, won’t want to fail his audition.
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