A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea ahead of the Europa League clash this evening.
Rafa Benitez has said that either David Luiz or Nathan Ake could be used at left back tonight as Chelsea are without the injured Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Cole. Ake has only started one game for Chelsea this season, the FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, and Luiz has proved his versatility fitting in in midfield at times.
Victor Moses has said that Chelsea are completely focussed on their match with Rubin Kazan tonight despite the potential distraction of an FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City on Sunday:
“It's the Europa League, it's a massive game for us. We just want to put the City game behind us at the moment. That doesn't come until Sunday.”
Cesar Azpilicueta says the side will make no excuses about the long trip to Russia should they lose tonight, and says that Chelsea will aim to get a goal and win the match in Moscow tonight.
Chelsea will be confident taking a 3-1 advantage to Moscow, but should the game go to a penalty shootout, Rafa Benitez has backed John Terry to step up in the stadium where he missed a crucial spot kick in the Champions League final loss to Manchester Unite din 2008.
Gareth Barry has said that Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea on Sunday feels more like a final than a semi-final, with the winner set to be the heavy favourites in a final against either Milwall or Wigan:
"It feels more like a final.
"This is the bigger game of the two and if we can get through it this could be another FA Cup for us.”
Bruce Buck’s comments from yesterday that suggested Chelsea were open-minded about the prospect of a former manager returning to the club have been taken as a clear indication the Blues are set to pursue Jose Mourinho this summer. Mourinho himself has indicated he would be happy to return to Stamford Bridge on several occasions, and is expected to leave Real Madrid this summer.
On HITC today, Mathew Nash looks at the Nigerian international who might be set to join Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel at Stamford Bridge this summer.
For a preview of tonight’s match, head to footballspirals.com where it is suggested that Chelsea could profit on the counter in Moscow tonight.
image: © Paulo Pabis