Victory over Steaua Bucherest on Wednesday evening will ensure that Chelsea will finish top of Champions League Group E.
The passage to the knockout stages has been somewhat unconvincing at times from the Blues, who qualified despite losing in Basel without having a single shot on goal. They have their opponents Steaua to thank for that, as they held the Swiss champions twice, and also Schalke on match day five, though the Romanians will finish bottom of the group.
Jose Mourinho will be looking for a response from his side after defeat at Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday, which saw them fall a further point behind leaders Arsenal, and slip to third place behind Liverpool. The Portuguese will also be concerned about his team’s defensive record, with Chelsea having kept just one clean sheet from 10 games, with defending set-pieces looking their biggest weakness.
Going forward, Mourinho has bemoaned the failure to score more goals, particularly at the Britannia Stadium, where Chelsea dominated the first half. One crumb of comfort going into this game was Andre Schurrle’s brace, which ultimately did not count for anything.
Ashley Cole will return to the Chelsea starting line-up after several weeks of sitting on the bench. Oscar and David Luiz are back from injury, but Marco van Ginkel is out.
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