Chelsea have travelled to Bucharest to take on the Romanian Champions Steaua, in a must win Champions League fixture.
Mourinho has travelled without injured Hazard, Van Ginkel and out of sorts Kevin de Bruyne. The Blues will look to build on a stunning second half performance in north London on Saturday.
This is a massive game for both clubs following their defeats on match day 1, with Chelsea losing at home to FC Basel and Steaua being thumped 3 – 0 at Schalke. Chelsea lost here last season, on the way to winning the Europa Cup, 1-0 but over turned the deficit at home. Both Steaua goal scorers have since left the club with Rusescu joining Seville and Chriches joining Spurs. Steaua will also have to cope without injured pair Nikolic and Chipciu.
This is Chelsea’s third consecutive away game, in a run of four. Next up is a trip to Norwich, the land of yellow shirts and tractors, on Sunday.
Chelsea must win this tie to avoid going out in the group stages, for the second season in a row. Mourinho will surely select Chelsea’s strongest possible line up. I expect the team to be Cech, Iva, Luiz, Terry, Cole, behind Lamps and Ramires, and an offensive four of the rejuvenated Mata, Oscar, Willian and the excellent Fernando Torres. Chelsea are fourth placed in Uefa’s coefficient table with Steaua a lowly 54th.
Mourinho will have Chelsea right up for this match, pressing high up the field and going for the jugular from the off. Judging by Mourinho’s latest press conferences, I think his pride has taken a bit of a battering lately and he will want to put that right tonight. It will not be easy, it never is, but I cannot see anything other than a Chelsea win. Chelsea face a double header against Schalke next and must go in to those matches with points on the board.
I think Jose has finally got the Blues purring. Their second half performance on Saturday was the best this season, since the opening half hour against Hull.
When this team finally click, someone is going to get a real roasting, Steaua and Norwich, you have been warned!