Football

Chelsea v Valencia: Match Preview

Villas-Boas anticipates exciting Valencia clash. (©GettyImages)
Villas-Boas anticipates exciting Valencia clash. (©GettyImages).

Chelsea v Valencia; Stamford Bridge; UEFA Champions League; Tuesday 6 December 2011, 19:45


Team News

Andre Villas-Boas is unlikely to make any drastic changes to the side that won 3-0 at Newcastle on Saturday, but the unsettling defending of David Luiz could see him rested in favour of Jose Bosingwa.

The Portuguese star will come in at right-back, allowing Branislav Ivanovic to move alongside Blues captain John Terry in central defence.

Didier Drogba looks set to be given the nod up front, meaning Fernando Torres will once again have to settle for a place on the bench.

Meanwhile, Valencia are sweating on the fitness of Argentine midfield ace Ever Banega, who looks set to miss the tie with strained knee ligaments.

Central defender Victor Ruiz is another doubt, meaning Angel Dealbert will continue in his place.

Jonas, Sofiane Feghouli and in-form striker Roberto Soldado were all rested by manager Unai Emery at the weekend, and are all set to return to the starting line-up.


AVB: Qualification the main aim



Andre Villas-Boas believes Chelsea's failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages so far this season is down to late lapses in concentration.

The Blues head into tonight's final Group E game at home to Valencia needing a win or a goalless draw to confirm their passage through to the last 16.

Chelsea have lost only one of their opening five European encounters this term, but conceded last-gasp goals in previous trips to Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen.

"I think during this campaign of five games we've done pretty well in terms of performances," Villas-Boas told Sky Sports News. "But the small details have run away from us in the last couple of minutes at Valencia and at Leverkusen.

"If that hadn't happened the results would've been different and we would be facing, exactly like in the past, a more comfortable position and we would've most likely qualified.

"I think we let those details escape from us in different forms and I think sometimes they made the difference."

The Portuguese tactician has found himself under increasing pressure at Stamford Bridge in recent weeks, but refused to comment whether the club's failure to qualify would dent his personal pride.

"I'm not going to answer that question," he said. "My focus is on tomorrow's game, not what's going to happen after tomorrow's game.

"It's irrelevant what the game represents to me. Our mindset is to continue in the competition, so we approach the game with maximum care and with confidence for tomorrow."

Villas-Boas insisted there would be no change to Chelsea's new attacking philosophy, and said the players would approach the Valencia game with the same positive mindset as they have in every other week.

"You've seen us play enough to know that we always take the initiative in a game," he added.

"Valencia will want to get something because a goal represents a lot to them, and makes things even more difficult for us. But we will try and take the initiative again and won't change our strategy."

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
UEFA Champions League

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