Chelsea will look to put their disappointing start to their Premier League campaign to one side when they welcome Maccabi Tel Aviv to Stamford Bridge in their opening Champions League Group D fixture.

The Blues head into the match off of the back of a 3-1 defeat at Everton on Saturday; their third loss in the first five league matches.

Jose Mourinho is under big pressure to turn his side’s fortunes around after picking up just four points from a possible 15, in what has been the Blues’ worst start to a top-flight season since 1986.

12th September 2015 - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Chelsea - Radamel Falcao of Chelsea (C) and Diego Costa of Chelsea look dejected following Everton's 3rd goal - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

The 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in August was only Jose Mourinho’s second Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge in 100 games, and with no wins at home in two attempts, their visitors will be confident of causing an upset.

However, Chelsea have won their previous two matchday one fixtures in the competiton and will be aiming to continue that streak.

Thibaut Courtois and Radamel Falcao have been ruled out with knee and tendon injuries, but Oscar is available having recovered from a knee problem.

The visitors, managed by former Blues midfielder Slavisa Jokanovic, who guided Watford to promotion last season, are making their first appearance in the group stage for 11 years after winning their domestic league last term.

3 March 2015 - Sky Bet Championship - Watford v Fulham - Slavisa Jokanovic manager of Watford - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Jokanovic’s side have started where they left off last season by beating Basel on away goals in their play-off tie, as well as collecting seven points from their opening three league matches.

Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim, who played for Championship side Charlton last term, is set to play against his former club, but full-back Eliazer Dasa is suspended.

Midfielder Eran Zahavi has scored three goals in five matches in all competitions so the Blues will need to look out for the playmaker.

Last season, Chelsea, who have reched the final twice and won it in 2012, were knocked out by PSG in the last-16.

League Position: Chelsea – 16th, 4pts; Maccabi Tel Aviv – 2nd, 7pts
Form: Chelsea – DLWLL; Maccabi Tel Aviv – WWD
Key Men: Chelsea – Eden Hazard; Maccabi Tel Aviv – Eran Zahavi

11th October 2013 - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying (Group F) - Portugal v Israel - Eran Zahavi of Israel - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Shoot Says: Chelsea 2-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv

Author: james

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