It is rare for any club to go only to the second Champions League group match with a must win situation. Yet, ahead of the Steaua Bucharest match, Chelsea find themselves in this position due to the 2-1 defeat against Basel. Chelsea were never at the races in that match, but subsequent performances will give the players a lot of confidence. Of course, we were not at the best in the first half, at Tottenham, but a massive improvement in the second half will definitely bode well for this match.
Steaua Bucharest were defeated 3-0 in their opening match against Schalke, but Chelsea fans will not have forgotten the 1-0 defeat we suffered last season at this ground in the Europa League. The National stadium in Romania has seen constant downpour in recent days, and hence, the pitch may not be in the best possible condition.
Eden Hazard is the biggest absence from this match after injuring his ankle against Tottenham. Mourinho has said that he is unlikely to be fit even for the visit to Norwich on Sunday. Michael Essien and Kevin De Bruyne are the other high profile players not to be involved in the match. Both have not been part of the squad.
[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]Interesting statistics:
- Torres has scored 10 goals in his last 16 European cup competitions
- Steaua Bucharest have just one win in their last six home Champions League matches
- This is the third of four consecutive away matches in all competitions for Chelsea
- Chelsea have just two wins in the last 11 Champions League away matches[/box]
Fernando Torres is almost certain to start since he will most definitely miss the forthcoming Premier League matches. It is not a bad decision since Torres has been great in cup competitions.
Stefan Nikolic and Alexandru Chipciu are ruled out for the home team. Mihai Pintilii is a major doubt.
What will be your starting line-up?