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Chelsea aim to finish on a flourish

Chelsea FC have already secured first place in Group B but will be keen for another win against a Valencia CF side who are setting their sights on the UEFA Cup.

Chelsea have had plenty to celebrate so far
Chelsea have had plenty to celebrate so far ©Getty Images

In their sixth UEFA Champions League campaign, Chelsea FC have maintained their record of always qualifying for the knockout rounds and for the fifth time in six attempts they will finish as group winners. They are in the fortunate position of completing the first phase without pressure while Valencia CF have to hope they can win in London and the result in the section's other game goes their way to enable the Spanish side to claim third place and a ticket to the UEFA Cup.

• The way Chelsea sealed qualification two weeks ago – a 4-0 victory in Trondheim courtesy of two early goals from Didier Drogba and further strikes from Alex and Joe Cole – was in contrast to their first game in Group B. It ended 1-1 at home to Rosenborg BK, a match that was to be José Mourinho's last in charge. The London club have subsequently mended the damage in impressive fashion, winning three of their games and drawing the other, 0-0 away to FC Schalke 04.

• In this game they will be defending an outstanding home record in the group stage of Europe's premier club competition. In 13 games in their own stadium since 1 October 2003 they have only dropped eight points having drawn four games. In last season's competition they failed to win only one of their six games at Stamford Bridge – the quarter-final first leg at home to Valencia. In the last 23 UEFA Champions League matches on their own soil they have lost just once and have conceded in only four of the last 13.

• That lone defeat came against FC Barcelona in the first knockout round of the 2005/06 season and it was also Chelsea's first home reverse against Spanish opponents in UEFA competition; their record now reads P9 W6 D2 L1.

• Two significant victories against Spanish opponents came on neutral soil. Chelsea played Real Madrid CF in the 1970/71 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final in Athens and prevailed in the replay 2-1 after a 1-1 draw. The teams also met in the 1998 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco, Chelsea winning 1-0.

• Valencia bowed out of contention for the knockout rounds following a 0-0 draw against Schalke at the Mestalla Stadium on 28 November. It was an improvement on their previous three results – all defeats – but it left them at the foot of the table with four points from five games. A win at Stamford Bridge would ensure they finish in third place and enter the UEFA Cup as long as Schalke do not beat Rosenborg at home. A draw would also suffice should Schalke lose because of a superior head-to-head record with the German side.

• Los Che won their opening away fixture in this season's competition, 1-0 at Schalke, but their second proved a disaster as Rosenborg beat them 2-0, a result which was followed by the departure of coach Quique Sánchez Flores.

• On their visit to London last season, a breathtaking strike from David Silva put the Spanish side ahead before Drogba equalised early in the second half. In the return leg Fernando Morientes scored to give Valencia the aggregate lead but back came Mourinho's side again with goals from Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Essien booking Chelsea's place in the semi-finals for the third time in four years.

• In the first game between the sides in this season's campaign, Valencia again took the lead on the night, this time through an early strike from David Villa. But the power of Chelsea's recovery proved irresistible once more as Joe Cole and Drogba found the net.

• Last season's draw at Stamford Bridge continued the pattern of Valencia's visits to England. Of the 12 trips they have made in UEFA competition, seven have ended all-square. They have tasted victory on only one occasion, winning 1-0 at Liverpool FC in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage. They were back in England for the second group stage when they drew 0-0 away to Arsenal FC.

• Two seasons previously they had drawn 0-0 at the home of Leeds United AFC in the UEFA Champions League semi-final before winning the home leg 3-0. Leeds were Valencia's third English opponents in that campaign. They had drawn 1-1 away to Manchester United FC in the second group stage before losing 2-1 away to Arsenal in the quarter-finals, a result which did not impair their progress as they won the home leg 1-0 to go through on away goals.

• Valencia owed their first two European trophies – the 1979/80 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Super Cup the following season – to victories against English opposition, seeing off Arsenal in the first instance following a penalty shoot-out, and then triumphing on away goals against Nottingham Forest FC.