A round-up of news and views ahead of the vital Champions League match in Turin tonight.
Ahead of the crucial match against Juventus tonight Roberto Di Matteo has suggested he is considering dropping Fernando Torres - with either Daniel Sturridge or Eden Hazard to lead the line. The Spaniard has been in poor form, with his only recent goal a slightly fortunate one coming in Chelsea's last Champions League match.
The other big selection decision will come at the back, with one of Luiz and Cahill likely to partner Ivanovic in the centre. Chelsea have been leaking goals in the absence of John Terry, and will need to be more solid at the back in Turin tonight.
Di Matteo has said that his players need to regain the self-belief they showed at the start of the season:
“They [the players] 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. We believe we can get a positive result.”
The Chelsea boss also scotched rumours he was under pressure at the club after recent poor results, saying the players are behind him.
One Juventus player who knows plenty about Chelsea is Arsenal loanee Nicklas Bendtner and the Dane is keen to impress for his new side by helping them win tonight. Whether he will get that chance is another matter, with Bendtner struggling for playing time at Juventus.
Whilst Sturridge is being considered for a start tonight, Liverpool are eyeing up a swoop for the striker in January. Sturridge has been linked with a move for the past few months, with Chelsea likely to bring in another striker in the winter window, limiting the England player’s chances in the first team.
With Chelsea under pressure to qualify from their group, it might be a good time to review some of their best “escapes” from the first round of the Champions League, with the Independent giving a rundown of the top five.
Finally, Inter have reportedly dropped out of the race for Shakhtar playmaker Willian, leaving Chelsea competing with Tottenham Hotspur for the Brazilian. However with Shakhtar looking well set to qualify for the next round of the Champions League, any move might be delayed until the summer.
image: © mitsurinho