Chelsea won the UEFA Europa League last season, beating an Arsenal side who had ousted Valencia in the semi-finals.
Article top media content
Last season's UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea make their return to the UEFA Champions League against familiar foes as Valencia travel to Stamford Bridge on matchday one.
• The Blues are under new management in the form of all-time record goalscorer Frank Lampard, and kick off against a Valencia side who have never beaten their London rivals in six previous attempts and who also have a new coach, Albert Celades.
• All of the sides' past encounters 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 went 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 two before the English club won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on matchday six, their sole home success against Valencia.
• 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 five of their last eight 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.
• Chelsea were unbeaten in European competition last season, claiming the UEFA Europa League with a record of W12 D3 F36 A10. Their last continental defeat came at Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg in March 2018 (0-3), although they did go down to a defeat on penalties against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup in August following a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes in Istanbul.
• A 2-1 victory at Atlético Madrid on matchday two in 2017/18 is Chelsea's only success in their last eight fixtures against Liga clubs, home and away (D4 L3).
• Before losing at Barcelona in 2018 Chelsea were unbeaten in ten trips to Spain (W3 D7), since a 1-0 group stage loss at Real Betis on 1 November 2005. The Londoners' overall record away to Spanish clubs is W4 D7 L6.
• The Blues have lost only three of their last 22 matches against Spanish opponents, home and away (W7 D12).
• 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 six having earlier held out for a goalless draw at Old Trafford – to move into the UEFA Europa League. There they overcame Celtic (3-0 aggregate), Krasnodar (3-2) and Villarreal (5-1) to reach the semi-finals, where they came up short against Arsenal, losing 3-1 in London and 4-2 at home.
• The Spanish side have won only three of their 19 away games against clubs representing England (D10 L6), although they were on a run of three games unbeaten (W2 D1) and three clean sheets before losing at Arsenal.
• Valencia have won three of their last ten UEFA Champions League away matches, qualifying included (D3 L4), but none of the last five (D2 L3).
• Valencia have scored only once in their last five away UEFA Champions League matches.
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:
Kepa Arrizabalaga & José Gayà, Daniel Parejo, Rodrigo (Spain)
Emerson Palmieri, Jorginho & Cristiano Piccini (Italy)
• Summer transfers
In: Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid)
Out: Eduardo (Braga), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Kylian Hazard (Cercle Brugge), Ola Aina (Torino), Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace), Rob Green (retired), Marcin Bulka (Paris Saint-Germain), Ethan Ampadu (Leipzig, loan), Jay Dasilva (Bristol City), Tomáš Kalas (Bristol City), Daishawn Redan (Hertha Berlin), Jake Clarke-Salter (Birmingham City, loan), Lewis Baker (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Danny Drinkwater (Burnley, loan), Trevor Chalobah (Huddersfield, loan), Izzy Brown (Luton, loan), David Luiz (Arsenal), Davide Zappacosta (Roma, loan), Tiémoué Bakayoko (Monaco, loan), Danilo Pantić (Fehérvár, loan), Lucas Piazon (Rio Ave, loan)
• The Blues drew 2-2 against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup on 14 August, losing 5-4 on penalties in Istanbul.
• Chelsea have won two of their first five Premier League fixtures, both away from home: a 3-2 success at Norwich on 24 August and Saturday's 5-2 success at Wolves. Their sole defeat came on the opening weekend, a 4-0 loss at Manchester United.
• Frank Lampard's side have scored 11 goals and conceded the same number in those five league matches.
• Tammy Abraham scored a hat-trick, and an own goal, in Saturday's win at Wolves, the youngest Chelsea player to notch a Premier League treble. Aged 21 years 347 days, the striker is the youngest player to hit three in a Premier League game since Raheem Sterling in October 2015.
• Abraham also scored twice at both Norwich and in the 2-2 home draw against Sheffield United on 31 August – his first goals for Chelsea.
• Mason Mount scored his first Chelsea goal in a 1-1 home draw against Leicester on 18 August, and was also on target at Wolves.
• Fikayo Tomori got his first Chelsea goal at Wolves.
• The average age of Chelsea's league goalscorers this season is 21 years 124 days.
• Jorginho's late penalty gave Italy a 2-1 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying win in Finland on 8 September.
• Olivier Giroud was on target in France's 4-1 home victory against Albania on 7 September, his 36th international goal.
• Also on 7 September, Mount made his international debut as a second-half substitute as England beat Bulgaria 4-0, also featuring in the subsequent 5-3 defeat of Kosovo.
• Ruben Loftus-Cheek (out since 16 May) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (22 April) have both been sidelined with Achilles tendon injuries.
• Antonio Rüdiger had not played since 28 April due to a knee injury before returning at Wolves; he was withdrawn at half-time with a groin strain.
• N'Golo Kanté (ankle) and Pedro Rodríguez (hamstring) have not played since 18 August, although the latter was on the bench at Wolves.
• Emerson Palmieri limped off eight minutes into Italy's game in Finland on 8 September having suffered a thigh injury and missed the win at Wolves. Mateo Kovačić missed Croatia's recent internationals with an Achilles problem but played 70 minutes on Saturday.
• Summer transfers
In: Jorge Sáenz (Tenerife), Manu Vallejo (Cádiz), Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal), Jason Remeseiro (Levante), Maxi Gómez (Celta Vigo), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Jaume Costa (Villarreal, loan), Thierry Correia (Sporting CP)
Out: Neto (Barcelona), Toni Lato (PSV, loan), Aymen Abdennour (Kayserispor), Jeison Murillo (Sampdoria), Santi Mina (Celta Vigo), Jorge Sáenz (Celta Vigo, loan), Nacho Gil (released), Fran Villalba (Birmingham City), Uroš Račić (Famalicão, loan), Jason Remeseiro (Getafe, loan)
• On 11 September Valencia replaced head coach Marcelino after just over two years at the helm, with former Spain Under-21 coach Albert Celades taking charge. It is Celades's first senior managerial role.
• Valencia had picked up four points from their first three Liga fixtures of the season under Marcelino, getting their first victory with a 2-0 defeat of Mallorca on 1 September.
• Celades' first game as coach ended in a 5-2 loss at Barcelona on Saturday, Valencia's heaviest away defeat in all competitions since a 3-0 reverse at Atlético Madrid on 5 March 2017. Summer signing Jasper Cillessen conceded five goals back at the Camp Nou, his home ground last season.
• Dani Parejo scored both goals against Mallorca, both from the penalty spot.
• Rodrigo scored twice in Spain's 4-0 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying victory against the Faroe Islands on 8 September.
• Gonçalo Guedes was on target as Portugal won 4-2 in Serbia on 7 September.
• Carlos Soler has not played since 17 August due to an ankle injury while Cristiano Piccini (knee) has been out since 24 August.