Background: Chelsea welcome returning Maccabi

Defeat in the round of 16 signalled an early departure for Chelsea FC last time and their bid to improves starts at home to Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, back after ten years.

José Mourinho reached four successive semi-finals before last season's round of 16 exit
José Mourinho reached four successive semi-finals before last season's round of 16 exit ©Getty Images

Chelsea FC have not won on their last three UEFA Champions League matchday one fixtures and will be looking to get three points on the board straight away against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC.

• Maccabi coach Slaviša Jokanović faces one of his former clubs, as does Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim, but the teams have never met on a competitive stage before. 

Match background

Chelsea
• The London side are in their 14th group stage campaign and traditionally start well: eight wins and three draws on matchday one before 2013, when they lost at home to FC Basel 1893.

• Last year they began with a 1-1 draw at home to FC Schalke 04 but went on to win their group for the ninth time in their last 12 campaigns. They finished runners-up in two other years and were eliminated in the group stage only once, as holders in 2012/13.

• The Blues beat NK Maribor (6-0) and Sporting Clube de Portugal (3-1) in their other group home matches last season but in the round of 16 a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge against Paris Saint-Germain (agg: 3-3) meant they went out on away goals.

• Chelsea's only previous visit to Israel was a 2-0 loss at Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup second round, preceding a 1-1 home draw. Jokanović was in the lineup in Tel Aviv while John Terry played in both matches.

Maccabi
• The Israeli double winners clinched only their second place in the UEFA Champions League group stage with a 1-1 draw at home to Basel after the play-off first leg had ended 2-2.

• Eran Zahavi scored seven goals in the qualifying rounds, in which Maccabi first emerged triumphant against Hibernians FC, winning 5-1 at home after a 2-1 away defeat.

• In the third qualifying round Maccabi again lost the first leg, 2-1 at home to FC Viktoria Plzeň before winning 2-0 away, Zahavi twice on the scoresheet.

• The last time Maccabi were in this elite company, in 2004/05, they had the misfortune of sharing a group with three former winners: FC Bayern München, Juventus and AFC Ajax.

• They finished in bottom place but some consolation came at home with a win over Ajax and a draw with Juve.

• Maccabi's only previous meeting with English opponents brought two defeats against Stoke City FC (0-3 away, 1-2 home) in the 2011/2012 UEFA Europa League group stage. 

Coach and player links
• Ben Haim had a year at Chelsea in 2007/08, beginning the season under José Mourinho before the latter's departure in September. He made two UEFA Champions League appearances and partnered Terry in defence. He made 17 appearances plus six as substitute.

• Jokanović also played alongside a young Terry in his days at Stamford Bridge. He started 28 games in a two-year spell with 25 substitute appearances. 

• Asmir Begović conceded four goals against Israel in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers as Bosnia and Herzegovina lost 3-0 in Haifa on 16 November 2014 before winning 3-1 in Zenica on 12 June 2015. Three of the goals were scored by Maccabi players: Tal Ben Haim II, Gil Vermouth and Zahavi.

• John Obi Mikel and Nosa Igiebor have played together for Nigeria.

Match facts

Chelsea
• Chelsea have won just one of their six matches in all competitions this season – a 3-2 victory at West Bromwich Albion FC on 23 August in which debutant Pedro Rodríguez scored one and set up another.

• The Blues have yet to win either of their two home fixtures. The 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace on 29 August was only Mourinho's second Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge in 100 games. It was also his 200th top-flight encounter as Chelsea manager.

• Loan signing Radamel Falcao equalised against Palace with what was his first goal at club level since 31 January.

• Chelsea's four-point total after five games marks their worst start to a top-flight season since 1986.

• The west Londoners have conceded 12 league goals this season; they did not ship as many last term until their 15th game.

• Gary Cahill was an unused substitute as England qualified for UEFA EURO 2016 with a 6-0 win in San Marino on 5 September but was restored to the team three days later for the 2-0 defeat of Switzerland.

• Eden Hazard scored in Belgium's 3-1 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina, for whom Asmir Begović was in goal, and the 1-0 triumph in Cyprus.

• Thibaut Courtois sustained a right knee injury in training on 9 September, with Mourinho confirming the Belgium No1 will be "out for quite some time".

Maccabi
• Eliazer Dasa is suspended having been sent off in Beitar Jerusalem's UEFA Europa League second qualifying round second leg with Charleroi on 16 July.

• Maccabi are seven games unbeaten in the league and in Europe since losing 2-1 at home to Viktoria Plzeň in the second leg of their third qualifying round tie, although they did lose to Maccabi Petach Tikva in the Israeli Toto Cup.

• Zahavi has scored in seven of Maccabi's ten league and European matches this term and has 12 goals overall.

• He also found the net in Israel's 4-0 victory over Andorra in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying on 3 September.

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