Benitez warns Chelsea stars and reveals Demba Ba boost
Cheslea news: Rafael Benitez says Blues must not be complacent in Europa League & revealed Demba Ba fitness boost
Rafael Benitez has warned his Chelsea stars that they must not think their Europa League semi-final place for granted and revealed Demba Ba had handed the Blues a fitness boost.
Chelsea travel to Russia on Thursday for the second leg of their quarter-final tie with Rubin Kazan after triumphing 3-1 in the first clash at Stamford Bridge and Benitez insisted the job was far from done.
“The difficult thing is everyone thinks it’s done — it’s not done,” the former Liverpool boss told reporters.
“We will be playing on an artificial pitch and it will be -5°C or something like that.
“If they score one goal, they will have hope and we will be under pressure. It is important for us to score and for us to approach the game with the right mentality.
Fernando Torres scored twice in the first leg victory and he will look to continue his road back to good form, as he is likely to lead the line once more and Demba Ba will be cup-tied.
Torres was forced to play against Sunderland at the weekend after Ba gave Benitez a scare when he had to come off at half time following a nasty challenge from Craig Gardner.
It was feared the Senegal striker might miss a significant amount of playing time out, which would leave Torres as the only senior forward at Chelsea once again.
The Spaniard has been in good form in the Europa League but has scored only seven goals in the Premier League this season.
Benitez will need as many options as he can get on Sunday when he takes Chelsea into an FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City.
However, the Spaniard revealed Ba’s injury does not look as bad as first thought and that he should be ready for the game at Wembley after a rest.
“Demba Ba did not train just as a precaution; it's not too serious,” he added.
“He will not go to Moscow. Hopefully he can train here and be okay for the weekend."