UEFA Champions League 2012: Keys to a Chelsea Victory over Juventus

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UEFA Champions League 2012: Keys to a Chelsea Victory over Juventus
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The marquee match in Wednesday’s Champions League action is Chelsea against Juventus, and the Blues are completely capable of giving the crowd at Stamford Bridge reason to celebrate.

Chelsea has made several changes to the side that won the UCL trophy last season, and is off to a roaring start in the English Premier League.

But Juventus are the reigning Italian champions and will provide the Blues with their two toughest matches in the group stage.

Here is what Chelsea must do in order to come away with three points.

 

Attack Through Eden Hazard

Hazard is a rapidly rising star and has been Chelsea’s best player since coming to London.

The Belgian playmaker has a goal and four assists this season, and has also drawn two penalties. He is a supremely gifted distributor and has excelled in an attacking centre-midfielder’s role.

Hazard is creative both with his movement and with the ball at his feet, and he orchestrates the Chelsea offense. It is no coincidence that Fernando Torres’ form has started improving since the 21-year-old joined the club. 

He commands attention from the defense and creates space for his teammates. For Chelsea to have a dangerous attack, the ball must spend a significant amount of time at Hazard’s feet.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

 

Avoid Defensive Errors

Juventus does not have an overly dangerous attack, but they do have savvy players capable of punishing undisciplined defending.

Andrea Pirlo is as intelligent with his passing as any player in the world, and Sebastian Giovinco certainly has the speed to get behind Chelsea’s centre-backs, who are not known for their pace.

The Blues have three shutouts in their first four EPL matches, and have proved capable of playing airtight defense. But against Reading, a blunder from Petr Cech and an inability to track Pavel Pogrebnyak on a run across the box led to two goals conceded.

Cech and the Chelsea back line must make sure they are focused against Juventus, or they will not be earning three points.

 

Remain Patient 

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Juventus has a remarkably stingy defense, and Chelsea must remain patient throughout the match and accept that it may only be able to get one goal against the Italian side.

Through 38 Serie A games last season, Juventus conceded just 20 goals, which was the fewest of any team by a considerable margin.

It is extremely difficult to score against this team, and the Blues must not get frustrated when their attacks are continually thwarted. As 90 minutes nears, it will be difficult to stay patient and not try to force passes through the Juve defense.

If Chelsea can remain focused and make intelligent passes without being impatient and over-committing to attack for the entirety of the match, it stands a chance to get a goal and three points. 

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