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Porto vs CHELSEA: Champions League Preview

Venue: Estadio do Dragao

Date: Wednesday 25 November

Kick-off: 1945 GMT


We kicked off this season’s Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win at home to Porto and whilst we’ve now both qualified for the knockout stages, a win in the return match tonight will secure us top spot in the group and a better seeding for the next round. So, it’s not as if there’s nothing to play for.



Despite their struggle this season, Porto boss Jesualdo Ferreira seems optimistic of giving us a game tonight, saying “None of the games of Porto is without pressure or responsibility. The most important thing is to guarantee a good game.  The idea is to get the most points in qualification and go forward. Porto, in the last few years, has always made its presence felt in the knockout phase of the Champions League.  We want to play at a more superior level than we have been during the last few weeks.  We had a very good performance at Stamford Bridge so we must now look to win the game here and to compete at the most superior level we can.  Porto has been struggling, that’s a fact. But the international break allowed us to work intensively and gave us a positive outcome.  We need to compete and there is nothing better than playing against a good team like Chelsea, to see how we are evolving.  Chelsea are having a very strong Champions League and have one more point than us but Porto can win against a very strong opponent.”

Carlo Ancelotti is every bit as determined to finish top of the group though and ahead of tonight’s game, says “It’s an important game against Porto because we want to be in first position.  For this it’s a decisive game and we have to prepare well, we have to put the best line-up.  Porto have a very good team and coach but while we respect them we have no fear.  I think it is important not only for first place, but we will play against a strong team. They did well in the last game at Stamford Bridge (a 1-0 win for the Blues). We want to put our personality and quality on the pitch.  We want to arrive at first place in the group and it is a very good test because Porto are a very good team.  We have the possibility to win if we play better than them. I don’t know any other way.”



Porto could recall Brazilian keeper Helton after his recovery from a foot injury which has seen him miss out since early November, Argentine playmaker Fernando Belluschi, who has not played for a month, is expected to return to the three-man midfield alongside Fernando and Raul Meireles and they have no other injury concerns, with Ferreira suggesting he has 22 players to choose from.

For Chelsea, it looks as if Michael Essien has a minor knee problem so he’s likely to be kept on the bench, with Didier Drogba keeping him company ahead of the weekend’s game against Arsenal. Frank Lampard and Jose Bosingwa remain out although Michael Ballack and Deco both return from injury. Branislav Ivanovic and Ricardo Carvalho, who sat out the game against Wolves, should start tonight’s game.



CHELSEA (from): Cech, Hilario, Turnbull, Ivanovic, A Cole, Zhirkov, Carvalho, Terry, Alex, Essien, Belletti, Mikel, Ballack, Malouda, Kakuta, Deco, J Cole, Kalou, Anelka, Drogba.



Chelsea 1-0 Porto (Sept 15th 2009)



We didn’t have our best game against Porto last time round although it’s fair to say we’ve improved a fair bit since then. We’re likely to be missing a few regulars with the weekend’s game in mind but with Gael Kakuta added to the mix, we should be lively enough to push for top spot.




Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


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