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UEFA Champions League

  • December 5, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: B. Nijhuis
  • • Attendance: 40084
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Chelsea - Nordsjaelland Preview: European champions must win to keep knockout phase hopes alive

Chelsea - Nordsjaelland Preview: European champions must win to keep knockout phase hopes alive

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The Blues need to secure a victory and rely on Shakhtar Donetsk beating Juventus in Group E's other clash in order to secure their passage out of the group stage

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

CHELSEA

Cech
Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole
Mikel, Ramires
Mata, Oscar, Hazard
Torres
FC NORDSJAELLAND

Hansen
Parkhurst, Gundelach, Runje, Mtiliga
Adu, Stockholm
Lorentzen, Christensen, John
Nordstrand

Chelsea will be without Frank Lampard (calf) and John Terry (knee), with both expected to be available to face Sunderland at the weekend. Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) is also a doubt but could make the substitutes’ bench.

Rafa Benitez has so far appeared to be keen to shake up the trio behind the misfiring Fernando Torres, with Victor Moses and Marko Marin both involved in recent weeks. However, with the Blues in dire need of a victory, the Spaniard could resort to the supporting three that started the season so well.

For Nordsjaelland, Jores Okore – who has played every Champions League game for the visitors this season – will sit out after picking up a thigh injury against Esbjerg in November.

Ramires, David Luiz, Patrick Mtiliga and Ivan Runje are all one yellow card away from incurring a suspension.


  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Chelsea must win to qualify for the knockout phase of the competition. However, if Juventus beat Shakhtar in Group E’s other game, the Blues will go out regardless of their result against Nordsjaelland.

  • The Danes have lost five of their last eight games on the road.
  • The hosts are on a run of six competitive matches without a win, something which has not happened since 1996.
  • This is the visitors' maiden season in the Champions League and they are yet to achieve a win (W0 D1 L4).
  • Gary Cahill (pictured, right) has blocked more shots per game in all competitions (1.7) than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.
  • The Superliga champions currently sit second in their domestic league.
  • Chelsea have the joint-best disciplinary record in the competition, having picked up just five yellow cards in five matches this season.
  • This will be Rafa Benitez's first Champions League game in charge of a club since his Inter side lost 3-0 to Werder Bremen in 2010.

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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Dec 5, 2012 Chelsea FC 6 - FC Nordsjælland 1
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Oct 2, 2012 FC Nordsjælland 0 - Chelsea FC 4
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
3Ashley ColeDefender
23David LuizDefender
24Gary CahillDefender
6Oriol RomeuMidfielder
7RamiresMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Juan MataStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
23Ryan BertrandDefender
11OscarMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
21Marko MarinMidfielder
-Jesper HansenGoalkeeper
8Patrick MtiligaDefender
4Michael ParkhurstDefender
19Mark GundelachDefender
21Ivan RunjeDefender
5Anders ChristiansenMidfielder
-Enock Kofi AduMidfielder
7Nikolai StokholmMidfielder
-K. LorentzenMidfielder
23Mario TicinovicMidfielder
25Joshua JohnStriker
-David JensenGoalkeeper
-Henrik KildentoftDefender
-M. MaxsøDefender
-Mikkel BeckmannMidfielder
22Andreas LaudrupMidfielder
24K. IssahMidfielder
-Kristian LindbergStriker
Players to Watch
Branislav Ivanovic
Branislav Ivanovic
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 2
Games Goals YC RC
11 0 3 0
Most of the talk surrounding Chelsea this season has been about the creative midfield trio playing behind Fernando Torres. But, after conceding eight in five games, Rafa Benitez will want to focus on improving his side’s defensive record.

Ivanovic has stepped in at centre-back recently and has barely put a foot wrong. If the Blues are to keep the Danes out, the aerial presence and positional awareness of the Serbian will play a vital role in doing so.
Joshua John
Joshua John
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 25
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Dutchman is Nordsjaelland’s top scorer with nine goals in Denmark’s Superliga, but is yet to find the net in the Champions League. However, he provided an assist for Morten Nordstrand's strike during their 5-2 defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk and was a constant threat down the left.

With the inexperienced Cesar Azpilicueta likely to start at right-back for Chelsea, John will want to test the Spaniard’s defensive abilities.
Prediction
It’s Nordsjaelland’s first ever season in the Champions League and they are yet to win a game in the competition. Whilst Chelsea have been enduring something of a blip recently, Stamford Bridge can be a formidable venue and they have a number of players that are experienced in dealing with these must-win situations.
Editor's Prediction

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