Venue: Juventus Stadium
Date: Tuesday 20 November
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Here we go again then, just a couple of days to get over the defeat to West Brom in the league and it’s back to the Champions League and a must-win game away at Juventus. No pressure then!
Shakhtar top the group thanks to two away goals at Stamford Bridge and they could definitely progress with a win against Nordsjaelland. If we want to join them in the last 16 though, we’ll need a win tonight – and we’ve only had two of them in our last 7 games.
Whilst the Juventus manager remains firmly rooted to the naughty step, ahead of tonight’s game, assistant manager Angelo Alessio doesn’t believe his opposing manager will bottle it tonight and go all defensive to try and safeguard his job, saying “I don’t think he is actually going to lose his job if they don’t qualify. He did something extraordinary last season and he is showing it again this year. We don’t expect a game from a Chelsea side who will not come to attack us. They have great attackers and I cannot see them playing any other way.”
Di Matteo certainly doesn’t sound as if he’s ready to make his excuses and bow out either, insisting “We are very confident we can have a good game and, hopefully, a good result. It’s important that we communicate with each other, and the players express themselves. I’ve always encouraged that. They need to have belief in themselves, and that’s the most important aspect. We work together and, at the moment, we’re all in it together and believe we have a good group, a good team, and are pulling together.”
For Juventus, Mirko Vucinic (flu) is a doubt but unfortunately for us Andrea Pirlo returns from his ban. Fabio Quagliarella and Sebastian Giovinco could make up the forward line in the Montenegrin’s absence.
For Chelsea, John Terry (knee) and Frank Lampard (calf) remain out although Juan Mata, Oscar, Ramires and Branislav Ivanovic will all return and Ashley Cole (ankle) could also make a return to the starting line-up following his injury.
CHELSEA (from): Cech, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Romeu, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Moses, Marin, Piazon, Torres, Sturridge, Turnbull.
Chelsea 2-2 Juventus (19th September 2012)
Confident of a win………not!