Champions League Group E Match Preview: Chelsea Vs Juventus

Finally, after four months of eager anticipation, Europe's greatest clubs are set to duke it out on the biggest stage of them all - the UEFA Champions League.

Defending champions Chelsea are faced with an incredibly tough start to their campaign, with the high-flying Juventus challenging the Blues on Wednesday.

Juventus is currently on an incredible 42 game unbeaten streak in the Serie A, and is relishing its return to Europe's premier competition after almost 3 years.

Both sides are sitting on top of their respective tables, and Wednesday's game is shaping up to be a fascinating contest. Can Chelsea start the campaign with a win, or will the Italian Champions claim their first scalp?

Chelsea:
John Terry has been cleared of any injury despite looking very uncomfortable at the end of the recent game against QPR.  His experience and tactical awareness is the perfect Yang to David Luiz's oft-chaotic Yin.

Juan Mata is also set to start after taking a two-week break. Chelsea looked a little lost in the midfield against QPR, and the Spanish magician's creativity will add a much-needed spark against a slick Juve outfit. Chelsea has home ground advantage, and while it might not mean much, the Blues were undefeated at home in last season's campaign.

Player that will make or break: Fernando Torres.
He's has had two woeful performances in a row, and despite the old adage, "Form is temporary, class is permanent," he may be getting into the same slump that saw him struggle last season. Storming down the tunnel at Loftus Road on Saturday showed how frustrated he can get, and Chelsea will be in serious trouble if he has a sudden crisis in confidence. Again.

Juventus:
Juventus has only lost one competitive fixture since May 2011, and are looking like one of the favourites to take home the trophy.
Despite losing central defender Lucio to an ankle injury, Juventus has a solid backline that features the experience of  Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini. They also have one of the finest midfields in Europe; Andre Pirlo's influence in midfield can shape the course of a game, while newly signed Kwadwo Asamoah's pace, creativity and visoin will cause headaches to Chelsea's defence.

Player that will make or break: Mirko Vucinic
Unlike his Chelsea counterpart, Vucinic is not short of confidence at all. 
According to reports, he's stated that while he has respect for The European Champions, he and the rest of the team have no fear of Chelsea.  

He's had a sensational start of the season, and was instrumental in The Old Lady's victory against Genoa over the weekend. If he can continue his good form, Chelsea may crumble like they did against Atletico.

Team Form:
Chelsea: W W W L D
Last Fixture: 0-0 vs Queen Park Rangers

Juventus: W W W W
Last Fixture: 3-1 vs Genoa 

Potential Lineups:

Chelsea:
Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole;  Ramires, Mikel, Lampard; Hazard, Torres, Mata

Juventus:
Buffon; Lichsteiner, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini; Marchisio, Vidal, Pirlo, Asamoah; Matri, Vucinic

Verdict:
Despite Juventus looking the sharper side at present, Chelsea's humbling experience in the Super Cup and home advantage will get the most out of them. Juventus manager Antonio Conte is also currently serving a 10 month suspension from football  for match fixing related incidents -it could make things difficult for a relatively young team in their first game back in the Champions League. I predict a 1-1 draw. 

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