Chelsea welcomes Dynamo Kiev to Stamford Bridge on Thursday 1:15 AM(IST) for a clash Jose Mourinho has described as one his side cannot afford to lose.
The Blues currently occupy third place in group G, a point behind the second-placed Ukrainians, and although a win would see the two teams swap positions, Mourinho suggests avoiding defeat will be the host’s priority.
It’s been well documented this past month that Mourinho believes he has the backing of owner Roman Abramovich, which he repeated.
When we eventually got around to the football, the Chelsea manager was equal as confident with the position his team finds itself.
“Tomorrow is not a must-win game, it’s a must-not-lose game, so if we draw and then win the last two matches we will qualify,” he said.
On paper, it’s a valid observation from Mourinho. Given that Chelsea still has to face Porto in one of their final two Group G matches after this, however, a win is what the Blues must be chasing.
Chelsea Team News:
Thibaut Courtois and Radamel Falcao are the two confirmed absentees for this one, the former with his continuing knee rehab, the latter with a fresh knock picked up in training on Tuesday. Both Branislav Ivanovic and Pedro were back in training, however, and could very well feature for a long overdue win.
The latest bad moment has now reached a rather epic 1 win in 8 games, and that against the worst side in the Premier League. Though with just 5 wins on the season in all competitions, it’s been one big bad moment so far.
Chelsea starting XI prediction (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Zouma, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa.
Chelsea fans would suggest the Premier League champions dropped two points last time out in European competition. The Blues struggled to finish off their chances, with Eden Hazard and Willian both hitting the woodwork.
Dynamo Kiev also had opportunities to find the back of the net but were equally wasteful in a scrappy 0-0 encounter in the Ukrainian capital.