Rafa’s box of chocolates

By Nigel Ingram
Feb 21st, 2013

Chelsea take on Sparta Prague, at Stamford Bridge, for a place in the last sixteen of the Europa Cup. The home side enjoy a 1-0 lead from the away fixture, thanks to a sublime goal from the ever improving Oscar. On paper this should be a routine victory, but, as we all know, under Benitez anything can happen!

A little known fact is that Chelsea are bidding to be only the fourth club to win every format of European competition, Champion’s League, Super Cup, Europa/UEFA Cup and Cup winner’s Cup. Remember we have no history! If Chelsea win the competition they will also become the first club to win Europe’s two premier cups in reverse order of superiority.

I expect Benitez to field a reasonably strong side tonight, with only a few players being rested. Lampard will surely be rested with Mikel returning to the fold. Benitex will also have one eye on the crucial visit to Manchester City on Sunday. Demba Ba is cuptied and Ivanovic will celebrate his 29th birthday on the bench.

Sparta Prague will include, Chelsea old boy, Jarosik in their starting line up. They are a decent team, physical and well organised. However if Chelsea have aspirations to win this cup they should overcome teams like this with ease.

Next up for the current Champions of Europe are the current champions of England. A win will see us move within one of them but a defeat will surely mean a shoot out with Tottenham and Arsenal for third and fourth places.

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