Match Preview: Chelsea FC vs FC Steaua Bucharest
Chelsea FC will face FC Steaua Bucharest at home as the last of the Group E games in the qualifying round draws close. Chelsea have already secured their entry to the round of 16, in spite of their loss against FC Basel 1893 on Matchday 5.
DATE & TIME: December 11, 2013 at 14:45 EDT; December 11, 2013 at 19:45 GMT; December 11, 2013 at 20:45 WAT; December 11, 2013 at 21:45 CAT; December 11, 2013 at 22:45 EAT; December 12, 2013 at 01:15 IST.
VENUE: Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom.
TV/STREAMING NEWS: The match will be telecast live on ESPN2/ESPN3 in Australia, Sky Sport 1/2/8/HD in Austria, Al Jazeera Sport HD5 in African sub-continent, Sportsnet World in Canada, ESPN Play Latin America in Colombia, Al Jazeera Sport HD5 in Egypt, beIN Sport MAX 4 in France, Sky Sport 1/1 HD/2/2 HD/8 in Germany, Ten Sports in India, Sky Calcio 5 in Italy, Sukachan 2 in Japan, Sport 1 Live in Netherlands, Canal+ Yomvi in Spain, Al Jazeera Sport HD5 in UAE, Sky Sports 3/HD in UK and Fox Soccer Plus in USA.
Chelsea TV will have the live audio of the game.
It is also available online on AlJazeeraSport.tv in African sub-continent, Ten Sports Live in India & Indian sub-continent, Sky Go UK in UK and Fox Soccer 2 Go in USA.
CHELSEA FC SQUAD NEWS: Chelsea’s three Brazilians David Luiz, Oscar and Willian trained with the squad and will be in available for selection after their recent health concerns. Mourinho has confirmed he’ll hand Ashley Cole a start who has dropped down in pecking order after some excellent performances by Cesar Azpilicueta. Marco van Ginkel is the only absentee.
Predicted Starting XI: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Eto’o.
FC STEAUA BUCHAREST SQUAD NEWS: Lucian Filip will miss the game due to a broken leg while Alexandru Bourceanu is suspended.
Predicted Starting XI: Tatarusanu, Prepelita, Gardos, Szukala, Parvulescu, Neagu, Pintilii, Popa, Stanciu, Tanase, Piovaccari.
REFEREE: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy).
TEAM STANDINGS: Chelsea are top of the group with 9 points having won 3 & lost 2 games. Steaua sit at the bottom of the group with just 3 points and not having registered any wins until now.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ENEMY: Laurenţiu Reghecampf expects a tough encounter but has assured they are under no pressure, as they only have pride to play for.
“We expect a difficult game, it’s the last of this group phase but I know we have no pressure on us – I just hope our players make a good game of it. We know it will be very difficult because Chelsea want to finish top of the group and they know they have to win to do that. But I just hope we give them a good game. We are also going through a difficult period, we have not been able to win league games of late. This is a very welcome opportunity for us to play here, against one of the best teams in the world. I know we will all be very motivated and we will seek our chance.”
- Steaua are unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions, but have drawn their last 4 league games 1-1 and failed to win a game in November.
- Chelsea have qualified for latter stages of the competition already owing to their superior head-to-head record against Schalke, but can still finish second if they fail to beat Steaua and Basel overcome Schalke.
- Chelsea’s next draw will be their 50th in UEFA competition.
IN A NUTSHELL: Chelsea having already ensured qualification to the knock-outs will look to seal the top spot with a win against supposedly the weakest side of the group. Jose Mourinho has already voiced his expectations from the team to win at home & get over the recent disappointments.
“We have to kill opponents. We have to score goals.”