Wilkins: Chelsea veterans hold the key

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Football News

Former Chelsea assistant first-team coach Ray Wilkins believes the Blues can pull off an upset against Napoli and come from behind to beat the Italians at Stamford Bridge tomorrow night.

Roberto Di Matteo’s side go into the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie facing a two-goal deficit, with Ezequiel Lavezzi (2) and Edinson Cavani cancelling out Juan Mata’s opener almost a month ago.

The appointment of Di Matteo as caretaker manager has seen a change in fortunes for the Blues in the past week though, and Wilkins now believes experienced heads can help get the club into the quarter-finals of the competition Roman Abramovich wants to win so badly.

"I think to shun the likes of Frank Lampard on an occasion like this would be folly. They need as many experienced heads as possible," wrote the former Manchester United midfielder on SkySports.

"This might be the last time some of these men have the opportunity to qualify for the latter stages of the Champions League. I'm sure that if they hit a bit of form, this is not an impossible task."

Wilkins was also quick to stress the importance of captain John Terry to the Blues’ cause, with the England international defender set to start after making his return against Stoke City at the weekend.

That could free David Luiz to play in a right-back roll for the Blues, and Wilkins thinks it would be the right move to have either Gary Cahill or Branislav Ivanovich alongside ‘JT’ for the visit of the dangerous Azzurri.

"I've been championing David Luiz to play right full-back and they did that in the second half on Saturday because you need stability through the centre of your defence. John Terry returned and they kept a clean sheet straight away so it's vitally important," added the pundit.

"I'm not too concerned whether it's Gary Cahill or Branislav Ivanovic alongside him but John Terry must play because he's the stalwart of this team and whenever he plays, there's a good chance a clean sheet can be obtained."

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