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Chelsea begin title defence against Juventus

Holders Chelsea FC kick off with a home game against Juventus, boosted by the knowledge that they traditionally start the UEFA Champions League campaign with a win.

Chelsea's victory parade after the 2011/12 triumph
Chelsea's victory parade after the 2011/12 triumph ©AFP/Getty Images

Chelsea FC begin the defence of the UEFA Champions League trophy they won so dramatically in May with a home game against Juventus.

Previous meetings
• The teams met in the 2008/09 round of 16 when a 12th-minute Didier Drogba goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 first-leg victory in London before a 2-2 draw in Turin.

• The lineups at Stamford Bridge on 25 February 2009 were:
Chelsea: Čech, Bosingwa, Terry, Alex, A Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Ballack (Mancienne 81), Kalou (Malouda 72), Anelka, Drogba.
Juventus: Buffon, Chiellini, Mellberg, Amauri, Del Piero, Nedvěd, Camoranesi (Marchionni 52), Sissoko (Trezeguet 86), Molinaro, Tiago (Marchisio 62), Legrottaglie.

• Chelsea overcame Italian opponents in the 2011/12 round of 16, beating SSC Napoli 4-1 at home after a 3-1 away defeat. They have won five and drawn one of their eight home games against Serie A clubs, losing 1-0 against FC Internazionale Milano in the 2009/10 round of 16 and 2-1 against S.S. Lazio in the 1999/2000 second group stage.

• Juventus have not won on their last 11 competitive outings in England, losing eight and drawing three, including their 2003 UEFA Champions League final penalty shoot-out defeat by AC Milan.

• Juve have triumphed just twice in 19 contests away to English opposition: 2-1 against Aston Villa FC in the 1982/83 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals and 1-0 at Manchester United FC in the 1996/97 group stage.

Match background
• Last season Chelsea finally tasted UEFA Champions League glory at the tenth attempt, overcoming FC Bayern München on the German side's own ground. Drogba scored a late equaliser to take the final to extra time and then converted the decisive penalty to win the shoot-out 4-3, the Ivorian striker's last kick for the club as he joined Chinese side FC Shanghai Shenhua in June.

• Chelsea have finished as group winners in seven of their last nine campaigns, qualifying for the knockout rounds as runners-up in the other two years.

• Last season's 2-0 home win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen was the Blues' eighth success in ten matchday one fixtures (the other two were draws). They won all three home games in their 2011/12 group, scoring ten goals without conceding, and recorded three more home victories in the knockout stages.

• Juventus, winners of the Scudetto in 2011/12 and unbeaten in the 38-game season, were last in the UEFA Champions League in 2009/10 when they began with a 1-1 home draw against FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

Team ties
• Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo made 34 appearances for Italy and played in Serie A for Lazio between 1993 and 1996. He scored the opening goal as Lazio beat Juventus 3-0 in Turin on 7 May 1995.

• Di Matteo was playing for Italy when Gianluigi Buffon made his international debut in a 1-1 draw against Russia in Moscow in the first leg of the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-offs.

• Fernando Torres and Juan Mata scored past Buffon in Spain's 4-0 win against Italy in the UEFA EURO 2012 final. Andrea Pirlo, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Claudio Marchisio also played for the Azzurri.

• Pirlo scored in a shoot-out against England in the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2012 as the Azzurri won 4-2 on penalties, Buffon saving England's fourth kick from Ashley Cole. Barzagli, Bonucci and Marchisio also played for Italy while John Terry was in the England lineup.

• Pirlo scored a penalty against Petr Čech in the semi-finals of the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Championships but Italy went down 3-2 in extra time against the Czech Republic.

• Paul Pogba made three Premier League appearances for Manchester United in 2011/12.

• Nicklas Bendtner had spent his entire career in England before joining Juventus on loan from Arsenal FC in the summer. He had loan spells at Birmingham City FC and Sunderland AFC and was on the winning side twice in seven appearances against Chelsea. On 10 May 2009 he scored Arsenal's goal in a 4-1 home league defeat by Chelsea.

• David Luiz and Ramires have played for Brazil alongside Lúcio.

• Stephan Lichtsteiner and Eden Hazard played together at LOSC Lille in 2007/08.

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