Napoli v Chelsea: Match Preview

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Football News

Napoli v Chelsea; San Paolo Stadium; Champions League; Tuesday 21 February 2012, 19:45 KO

Team News

Chelsea captain John Terry has been ruled out for tonight's clash after aggravating the knee injury that has kept him out of action in recent weeks.

Ashley Cole will be given a late fitness test, while Didier Drogba is pushing for a starting spot ahead of Fernando Torres in attack.

Meanwhile, Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri serves a touchline ban so assistant coach Nicolo Frustalupi will be in charge on the sidelines for the hosts.

Mata: Away goal imperative

Juan Mata believes an away goal could make all the difference as Chelsea prepare for tonight's Champions League last-16 first leg encounter against Napoli.

The 23-year-old Spaniard is not underestimating the threat that their Serie A opponents possess - particularly at the San Paolo stadium tonight - but the former Valencia playmaker remains confident the Blues can get a result.

"The atmosphere for sure will be hard for us, it is a famous stadium, with famous supporters and Napoli have very good players," admitted Mata.

"Their strikers and wingers are so fast they can hurt you easily. [But] if we can score it will be very important. In a knockout tournament like this with two legs, the away goal is so important and so we will try to do that against Napoli on Tuesday."

Mata is yet to experience anything further than the last 16 of the Champions League with his old club, but he is determined to progress beyond this stage with Andre Villas-Boas' Chelsea side.

"Last year we [Valencia] qualified for the last 16, but played against Schalke and we lost, they went to the semi-finals, so I've never played in the quarter-finals, and that's our next objective now," he added. "The Champions League is so important for this club and we have been given a very difficult game against Napoli.

"Both tournaments, the World Cup and the Champions League, were a dream for me when I was younger. They are the most important trophies you can win, and now at Chelsea we have the possibility to win the Champions League.

"A few years ago Chelsea was in the final, with penalties, and had no luck. I watched it on TV, it was just a lottery and the team was unlucky, but now we want to repeat that journey to the final."

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Juan Mata
UEFA Champions League

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