FC Nordsjaelland - Chelsea Preview: Danish champions face English opposition for first time
The Danish Superliga champions, who were founded just 21 years ago, and current Champions League holders can both boast almost full-strength squads ahead of the game at Farum Park
By Alex Young
Parkhurst, Okore, Runje, Mtiliga
Lorentzen, Christensen, John
Azpilicueta, Terry, Luiz, Bertrand
Mata, Hazard, Oscar
Nordsjaelland head coach Kasper Hjulmand has no fresh injury concerns heading into their home game against the Champions League holders, with long-term absentee Joe Sise the only sidelined player.
With that in mind, The Wild Tigers are expected to adopt a slightly more defensive formation than that which lost 2-0 to Shakhtar Donetsk wiith Kasper Lorentzen and FC Twente loanee Joshua John moving back to support lone frontman Mikkel Beckmann.
It is a similar story for Chelsea, with Roberto Di Matteo already aware of Daniel Sturridge's hamstring problem. The club can boast an otherwise full-strength squad available for selection. Ryan Bertrand and Cesar Azpilicueta are in with a good chance of starts against the Champions League debutants.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- This is FC Nordsjaelland's first competitive match against English opposition.
- Whereas this is the Danish champions' debut Champions League appearance, they have previously featured in the Uefa Cup and Europa League - never advancing further than the first round.
- The Wild Tigers are just 21 years old, having been founded on 1 January 1991.
- FC Nordsjaelland were formed under the name of Farum Boldklub to later be known under their current moniker from 2003 in an attempt to distance themselves from the city's mayor Peter Brixtofte's financial scandal.
- Chelsea have faced Danish opposition twice before, most recently a 2-0 aggregate win over Copenhagen in the round of 16 stage in two years ago.
- The Blues have scored in each of their last 15 Champions League games, notching 28 goals in total.
- Chelsea have won 49 per cent of Champions League games with John Terry (pictured) on the pitch since his debut in 2003-04 (43 out of 86).
- Chelsea failed to win all three of their away games in last season's Champions League group stage.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Nordsjælland 0-3 Chelsea FC
- 26.29 %
FC Nordsjælland 0-4 Chelsea FC
- 13.21 %
FC Nordsjælland 0-2 Chelsea FC
- 9.85 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||5 Dec 2012||Chelsea FC 6 - FC Nordsjælland 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||2 Oct 2012||FC Nordsjælland 0 - Chelsea FC 4|
|29 Aug 2013||FC Nordsjælland 0 - Elfsborg 1||EL|
|22 Aug 2013||Elfsborg 1 - FC Nordsjælland 1||EL|
|7 Aug 2013||Zenit 5 - FC Nordsjælland 0||UCL|
|30 Jul 2013||FC Nordsjælland 0 - Zenit 1||UCL|
|5 Dec 2012||Chelsea FC 6 - FC Nordsjælland 1||UCL|
|-||Enock Kofi Adu||Midfielder|
|30||SmørumnedreLasse Andersen Petry||Midfielder|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
The highly rated 20-year-old centre-back has already made three appearances for the Denmark international side after being afforded more exposure to the first-team squad at FC Nordsjaelland at the beginning of last season.
Touted as a future captain, Okore will have to be his more alert if his team is to withstand the attacking threat of a confident Chelsea side.
Scored two long-range strikes on his Champions League debut against Juventus last time out and was subsequently named man of the match, and the Brazilian will be hoping for more of the same against Tuesday’s unfancied opposition.
Roberto Di Matteo is not likely to take too many risks and is expected to name a fairly strong line-up against the Danish champions so, with that in mind, we should be able to expect one-way traffic throughout.
Chelsea come into the game having beaten Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium, so the subsequent confidence boost will only serve to aid the team further.