Monday 16


Cech does favour for mates

29th August 2019, 20:13 by Bobbie Jackson

Chelsea will feel the Champions League draw has been kind after being placed in Group H with Ajax, Valencia and Lille.

Chelsea will feel the Champions League draw has been kind after being placed in Group H with Ajax, Valencia and Lille.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech was on stage to draw balls from pots which set up the group-stage rivalries.

The Blues were in the top pot after winning the Europa League last season, although their place in the Champions League would have been confirmed anyway after claiming third spot in the Premier League.

When considering some of the other big names in pots two, three and four, Chelsea will be offering their thanks to Cech for giving them a great shot at reaching the knockout phase.

Chelsea have enjoyed success in the elite European competition over recent years, having qualified for the tournament in 15 of the last 17 seasons.

They have only failed to advance beyond the group on one of those occasions while they went all the way to win the trophy in 2011-12.

Ajax are the only other side in Group H to have previously won the Champions League, lifting the title on four occasions, however, their last triumph came back in 1994-95.

The Dutch champions threatened to upset the odds last season when they beat Real Madrid and Juventus to earn a place in the semi-finals.

But a late comeback from Tottenham put an end to their hopes as the Premier League side completed a dramatic turnaround at the semi-final stage.

Following some big-name departures over the summer, Ajax are unlikely to be as strong in this year’s edition of the competition.

Valencia have reached the final on two occasions, losing in 2000 and 2001, and they will be looking to improve on last season’s group-stage exit.

Los Che finished behind Juventus and Manchester United in 2018-19 before exiting the Europa League at the last-four stage.

Lille return to the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2012-13 after finishing second in Ligue 1 last season.

Top scorer Nicolas Pepe was key for them last term but his move to Arsenal may leave them wanting in the final third.

Frank Lampard will look to become the eighth man to win the European Cup as a player and manager.

The opening round of fixtures will take place on September 17 and 18 with the final group matches to be played on December 10 and 11.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Bobbie Jackson is a reporter with an in-depth knowledge of football at all levels. A Blackpool supporter, Bobbie is also a keen rugby union, boxing, MMA and UFC follower.

More Chelsea


Abraham refusing to rule out Nigeria switch

16th September 2019, 05:00

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has not ruled out playing for Nigeria as his international future remains unresolved for now.


Lampard gives injury updates on Chelsea stars

16th September 2019, 04:30

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says Callum Hudson-Odoi is closing in on a return to action but has not set a date for his first game back.


Does Abraham deserve England call?

15th September 2019, 16:57

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has suggested Tammy Abraham deserves an England call-up, and Gareth Southgate could oblige when he names his next squad.


Chelsea boss Lampard lavishes praise on Abraham

14th September 2019, 18:22

Frank Lampard has lauded the performance of Chelsea's hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham in Saturday's 5-2 win at Wolves.


Wolves 2-5 Chelsea

14th September 2019, 17:57

Chelsea extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to four games courtesy of a 5-2 thrashing of Wolves at Molineux.


Abraham warned he could lose Chelsea place

14th September 2019, 13:51

Frank Lampard has warned Tammy Abraham he needs to maintain his form because Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud are after his place.

Recent Sport Headlines


Barca lining up swoop for Reds ace

16th September 2019, 13:02

Barcelona are reported to be showing an interest in Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and could make their move at the end of the season.

Manchester City

De Bruyne insists title race still wide open

16th September 2019, 13:02

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has warned Liverpool not to get carried away despite leading by five points.


Injured Kent backed for flying return

16th September 2019, 12:34

Ryan Kent is set to be sidelined “for at least a few weeks” due to injury but team-mate Andy Halliday has backed him to return to top form quickly.

Tottenham Hotspur

Aurier now ‘happy’ to stay with Spurs

16th September 2019, 12:32

Serge Aurier claims his "happy to stay" at Tottenham after admitting a "personal situation" was the reason he asked to leave in the summer.


Lennon confirms Celtic’s interest in Tottenham ace Wanyama

16th September 2019, 12:04

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has revealed he wanted to sign Tottenham's Victor Wanyama in the summer.

Norwich City

Reports in Finland: Canaries to be inundated with Christmas bids for ‘Santa’ Pukki

16th September 2019, 12:02

Christmas has come early for Norwich fans with the form of Teemu Pukki boosting City's survival hopes, but sources in Finland believe bids will be made for him.

Manchester United

Matic ready for first-team battle at Manchester United

16th September 2019, 11:34

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic says he will not become disruptive in the dressing room as he tries to win his place back.

Inter Milan

Pundit axed over Lukaku ‘bananas’ comment

16th September 2019, 11:34

An Italian TV football pundit has been axed after making a racist comment about Romelu Lukaku.