Chelsea will visit the Juventus Stadium for their Group H clash against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League. Both teams have won their opening fixture of the prestigious tournament and both sitting on three points. While Juventus defeated Malmo with a dominating performance, Chelsea had to work hard to find a goal against Zenit.
Romelu Lukaku scored the all important goal for Chelsea in their win against Zenit. It was a frustrating game for Chelsea as they were able to create a number of opportunities but were unable to find the target with their attempts.
Chelsea dominated possession of the ball for majority of the game and completed a massive 790 passes throughout the game. Despite dominating possession and having twice the number of attempts on goal their opposition had, Chelsea still recorded a lower xG. They attempted 12 shots on goal, but only had two of these shots on target.
As seen in the above viz, Chelsea only had two of their 12 attempts on target. They failed to keep most of their shots on target which was one of the main reasons why they won only by a margin of one goal.
Zenit had come to Stamford Bridge with an objective of trying to secure at least one point from the game. It was observed that Zenit were comfortable with Chelsea players passing around the ball in their own half and did not press them higher up the pitch. Zenit had a PPDA of 29.1 which means they allowed nearly 30 passes before attempting any defensive action to win the ball. They also had more number of defensive actions which means Chelsea made more number of attempts to attack the opposition goal.
Chelsea had the third highest number of touches in the box. Romelu Lukaku had the most number of touches in the penalty box than any other player in the first gameweek of the Champions League. Since arriving from Inter Milan, Lukaku has been the target man for most of Chelsea’s crosses and through balls. He possesses the ability and physical prowess to receive the ball to either turn and shoot or lay it off to a teammate. Lukaku has faced Juventus numerous times at his time with Inter Milan, and will use all of his experience against them to his advantage.
Juventus completed a convincing 3-0 win against Malmo and scored three goals in the first half to put the game to bed.
Juventus had a high xG of 3.01 due to the high number of chances they created. Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala had the highest xG for Juventus and the duo were also on the scoresheet. New signing Manuel Locatelli bossed the midfield for Juventus as he made the most number of passes into the final third and also completed most recoveries in the opposition half.
The above visuals shows us the Juventus shot map for their match against Malmo. Juventus had a total of 15 attempts on goal and had almost 50% of their shots on target. It can be seen that Juventus created almost all their goal scoring opportunities from the left side of the pitch and only had one shot from the right side of the goal. This indicates Reece James might not have as much freedom to move forward as he had against Zenit.
Juventus have had a successful start to their Champions League campaign but the Italian side are yet to find their feet in the Serie A. They only have five points from five matches and are yet to find their best form this season. Chelsea on the other hand have had a strong start to their domestic season and will be looking to get an early head to head advantage in the group by defeating Juventus.