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Valencia vs. Chelsea: Champions League Match Will Begin to Define Year for Blues on Astini News

There is just one thing that Chelsea want on their trophy mantle, a Champions League title. Wednesday's match against Valencia will dictate where the Blues go from here. 

Chelsea was not about to stand pat as other Champions League powers spent money in the summer. They will take on Valencia with a renewed vigor and some new additions to the roster. 

Forward Juan Mata has seemed to open up fellow striker Fernando Torres, who has gone from a player set on giving horrible results, to a player whose results have been mixed. Blues supporters will take what they can get from the once-stout striker. 

Defender David Luiz has added another measure of youth to a side that has aged in the past couple of seasons. Chelsea's quickly gone from EPL stalwarts to the elderly of world football. 

The biggest item of note will be the play of midfielder Frank Lampard. The Chelsea mainstay has fallen out of favor with the new regime. 

Coach Andre Villas-Boas has come in to clean house and push Chelsea to get younger and more spry in the attack. Lampard has been the most obvious player to take a hit in recent play. 

The midfielder and key cog to previous seasons has been relegated to just one start in the last four games. 

Have we seen the beginning of the end for Frank Lampard?

    Have we seen the beginning of the end for Frank Lampard?

  • Yes

  • No

Villas Boas has been quick to dismiss claims that Lampard is on his way out. He stated plainly that results were the call of the day.

"I think (Lampard) is a magnificent player, an established international for England as well as Chelsea and I hope he will continue to be so," Villas-Boas said. "We have made changes to reinforce the squad and there is nothing new about that. The older players are still important for us but we have mixed them with new players coming through and established signings like (Juan) Mata."

There is no word as to whether Lampard will get the start against Valencia, but the match will dictate the manner Villas-Boas manages from here on out. 

Valencia is a good enough challenge to correctly measure how far Chelsea has come from last season. If Lampard plays a pivotal role in a winning effort, you can bet Villas-Boas will continue with a mix of young and old on the pitch going forward. 

Another lackluster performance will entrench the youth further into the Chelsea side.The long and arduous season hits a crossroads Wednesday. How Lampard figures into it all will be determined in 90 minutes of play. 

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