Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has urged his Chelsea team to forget about last year’s Champions League triumph ahead of their opening Group E encounter with Juventus. And the Italian told his players to first focus on qualifying from the group before even thinking about defending their trophy highlighting the strength of their group that includes the league champions of Italy, Ukraine and Denmark. Di Matteo denied however suggestions that Chelsea’s Champions League run last year was fortuitous, and instead believes diligent preparation and hard work were the main factors in their inspired win of the Champions League.
Di Matteo acknowledged the consequential effects of winning the Champions League by suggesting Chelsea would never have been in a position to attract players such as Hazard and Oscar otherwise. Chelsea finished sixth in the Premier League but qualified for the Champions League by virtue of winning the competition and Di Matteo believes Hazard and Oscar would not have joined had the club not qualified for this season’s Champions League.
John Obi Mikel echoed manager Roberto Di Matteo’s comments by claiming it was hard work that won Chelsea their first Champions League title. He also believes the new signings will help Chelsea build on last season’s success. Looking forward to tonight’s game, Mikel is anticipating a tough match-up against Juve’s Andrea Pirlo but asserted that he will be able to learn from competing against the Italian playmaker.
Petr Cech is adamant that Chelsea will have to bring their best game to the field if they are to successfully defend their Champions League trophy. The goalkeeper feels that playing against the European Champions will motivate opposition teams and will render Chelsea’s task in Europe even more challenging. Cech added that their main priority however is to ensure qualification from the group stages and preferably at an early stage of the group round.
Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci is confident Juventus can get a result at Stamford Bridge tonight. Bonucci states that Juventus are ‘not scared of anyone’ and remarks that Chelsea are not the same side without striker Didier Drogba who left the club in the summer.
John Terry’s FA racism charge could be withdrawn as it emerged that the case could contravene FA regulations where a matter already decided in civil court cannot resurface in a FA trial. Paragraph 6.8 of the FA "Rules and Regulations", cites: ‘where the subject matter of a complaint or matter before the Regulatory Commission has been the subject of previous civil or criminal proceedings, the result of such proceedings and the facts and matters upon which such result is based shall be presumed to be correct and the facts presumed to be true unless it is shown, by clear and convincing evidence, that this is not the case.’
Victor Moses has spoken of his delight in becoming a Chelsea player and is excited to make his Champions League debut with the reigning European Champions. The 21-year-old forward admitted that Chelsea’s European triumph meant he jumped at the opportunity to join the club and is of the opinion that he joined at an exciting time.
image: © Crystian Cruz