Chelsea predicted starting XI vs NK Maribor

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Chelsea take on NK Maribor in Slovenia on Wednesday knowing that a victory will all but guarantee their place in the knockout stage having made an unbeaten start to their 2014/15 Champions League campaign.

Two weeks ago, the Blues cemented their place at the top of Group G with an emphatic 6-0 thrashing of the European minnows at Stamford Bridge, which represented Maribor's heaviest ever away defeat.

However - despite pre-tournament predictions to the contrary - Ante Simundza's side are not yet out of this year's competition, having recorded impressive draws in each of their previous two encounters, so the hosts will hold slim hopes of getting a result tomorrow night.

Jose Mourinho's men will still go into the game as favourites, and the Portuguese tactician is set to name another strong line-up, although he is likely to be without both first and second choice strikers Diego Costa and Loic Remy, meaning 36-year-old Didier Drogba is poised for another start.

Costa was withdrawn midway through the second half of Saturday's Premier League victory over Queens Park Rangers after making his comeback from the hamstring injury that has plagued him in recent weeks and months, and Mourinho is likely to rest the Spain international as he looks to protect the player still working his way back to full fitness.

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Remy has not featured for Chelsea since being withdrawn with a muscular problem against Maribor last time out, and has not travelled with the senior squad as he continues his rehabilitation in west London.

There's more positive news on the likes of John Obi Mikel and Ramires, though, with the Nigerian set to recover from the minor knee problem that kept him out at the weekend. The Brazilian midfielder is in line to start after featuring as a substitute against QPR.

Maribor have a few more injury concerns with midfield duo Agim Ibraimi and Zeljko Filipovic both currently suffering from illness and facing a late fitness test prior to kick-off.

Aleksander Rajcevic is expected to be absent with a head injury, while fellow defender Ales Mejac is also a doubt with a hamstring problem.

Chelsea predicted XI:

Courtois; Ivanovic; Zouma; Terry; Luis; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Drogba.

Jose Mourinho
UEFA Champions League

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