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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chelsea vs Juventus CL 2008-09: Preview and Live Score

English club Chelsea will face Italian club Juventus in the opening leg of the first knockout round of UEFA Champions League 2008-09 on Wednesday (25 February) at Stamford Bridge. Neither side is enjoying their best form at this moment in their domestic leagues. Chelsea sits at the third place in premier league with 10 points adrift of leader Manchester United. Juventus is 9 points behind leader Inter Milan in Serie A. So, both sides seem to be out of the title race in their respective domestic leagues and that is why, Champions League seems to be best option for both clubs to win silverware this season. Another interesting thing is that the manager Claudio Ranieri will face his former club when the it travels to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Match: Chelsea vs Juventus, First Knockout Round, UEFA Champions League 08-09

Date: 25 February 2009, Wednesday

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, England

Kick off: 19:45 GMT (British Standard Time)

Live TV: Ten Sports

Chelsea is not anywhere close to their best at this moment, having suffered a number of morale-denting defeats against Manchester United and Liverpool, and struggled against low-profile teams like Burnley and Southend United at home. So, Stamford Bridge is no more an unattainable fortress for the other teams. Chelsea kick started their mission under new manager Guus Hiddink with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa last weekend. Now, Chelsea fans will look to similar success against the Italian opponent.

The main problem of The Blues squad is that they lost the depth of the squad following the departure of a number of key players since last Summer and they have suffered a lot due to a series of injury blows in the first half of the season and I do not see any justification of sacking a coach halfway through the season. However, Hiddink is also a world class coach and he has showed his managerial talent earlier with South Korea. So, I think, it now need to be confident as they do not have any major injury woe and some of their players like Nicolas Anelka are currently playing at their best. The former Arsenal striker scored 21 goals so far this season and is currently leading the top scorers’ list in premier league with 15 goals to his credit.

Juventus is also struggling in domestic league mainly because of their indifferent form. However, after their 2-0 victory over Palermo last weekend, Juventus is expected to go into the Chelsea showdown full of confidence. Moreover, Juventus has not lost any of their last 7 Champions League matches and reached the first knockout round as Group H champion with 3 wins and 3 draws. There are unbeaten in their last three away fixtures in Europe and this indicates their away form.

Juventus has some key players like striker Alessandro Del Piero and his striking pair Amauri who is the highest scorer for Juventus in Serie A so far with 12 goals. They have defenders like Olof Mellberg and most importantly, they have one of today’s best goalkeepers Gianluigi Buffon. Chelsea is expected to deploy both Didier Drogba and French striker Nicolas Anelka up front together as they did against Aston Villa successfully. Captain John Terry will lead their defense that was tested severely on a number of occasions over the last couple of months. Chelsea’s performance in the group stage of Champions league was not ordinary as they could manage to clinch a last 16 spot with 3 wins, 2 draws and a defeat to Roma on the road. However, there is one statistics that would surely make the Blues hopeful about their upcoming match against Juventus. Chelsea is now unbeaten in their last 15 Champions league matches at home. Moreover, Juventus’ record in England is really very poor as the Italian giants could manage to win only 2 out of their 17 games in England and lost each of their last five away matches against English clubs.

I think, it is going to be an exciting match with both sides looking to regain their top form, knowing the fact that Champions league is their most realistic option to win silverware this season. Chelsea will have home advantage, but they will be under pressure to win that match in what would give them an advantage while traveling to Turin in the return leg. Juventus, on the other hand, would not be disappointed with a scored draw at Stamford Bridge and in this sense, they might feel less pressure on the ground. Overall, Juventus seems to be very balanced considering their excellent mix of experience and youth. Chelsea seems to have found some rhythm in the last match and looked very organized and is expected to show the same against Juventus if they want to have some advantage before the second leg in Italy.

Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving some live score websites from where you can get the live score and updates of the match:

Live Score


Live Football Scores


Footie Scorez

I would not pick up any favorite for the match because I think, both sides are currently in the same state of condition, considering their recent form and performance. What I would like to say is that the team who will show more guile and confidence on the pitch will be the winner of the match.

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