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Chelsea Vs Nordsjaelland, Kick Off – 7.45, Stamford Bridge, Champions League Group Stage, December 5th, Referee – B.Nijhuis
The dark cloud that has permanently descended over Stamford Bridge during the last couple of weeks needs to be shifted. Unfortunately this particular cloud is very stubborn and seems to have set-up camp for the long run, but we need to lift it, starting from Wednesday evening when we face a Nordsjaelland side with nothing to lose.
We are all aware of the situation at hand, Shakhtar MUST beat Juventus in the other group match if Chelsea are to stand any chance of progressing past the Champions League group stage, and then we have to beat Nordsjaelland to seal the deal.
With confidence at an all time low and Chelsea suffering their worst run of form since 1995, there is no expectations to even win tomorrow night, let alone win convincingly, but this is what we simply must do, we need a comfortable win with the performance to go with it.
Some good news that will already start the lifting of the dark cloud is the fact that both our captain and our vice captain are all set to return and the latter has even returned to training this week. Frank Lampard might even be in contention for a place in the squad on Wednesday and both Frank and John Terry will be available for the Sunderland game at the weekend. Along with that, Daniel Sturridge is expected back any time now and could also push for a place on the bench tomorrow.
Already a positive sign that will lift the spirits of the Chelsea faithful with a distinct lack of leadership and experience during the recent poor run. The Old Guard are on their way back to answer the desperate SOS calls from supporters.
Rafa Benitez has suggested that he will be rotating his attacking three behind Torres so expect a start for Marko Marin or Victor Moses, or both. The back four will remain the same with Luiz coming back in for Cahill, along with Mikel and Ramires likely to keep their starting roles.
I’m confident that it will be an easy victory for us on Wednesday, if we play how we did in the first 45 minutes of the West Ham match but take our chances, it will be a comfortable 4-0 victory for Chelsea and that cloud will be bumped up just a little bit.
Remember, we can still go through here, Shakhtar are a great side and are fully capable of beating Juventus, we must stay positive and believe. We’re Chelsea Football Club, we’ve conquered harder tasks that this before, but the important thing is we must turn out an impressive display to make our fans smile again and make the world step back and say “Chelsea are still very much still here”.
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Simon Phillips – News Editor