No Piazon inspiration for Benitez and Chelsea

Chelsea Huddle

Chelsea head into their Champions League tie tomorrow full of hope, but likely without young Brazilian Lucas Piazon.

If this season had gone to plan, it would have planned out pretty much like this:

Chelsea would have already won their Champions League group, and could rest a few of their senior players (With Hazard among those looking in need of being benched) , and Roberto di Matteo would have called up Lucas Piazon for a runout against FC Nordsjaelland in a match of no consequence.

Instead Chelsea are on the verge of being knocked out, and new boss Rafa Benitez won't be picking Piazon, the Brazilian spent last night up in North East of England with Chelsea' under-21 side, edging a 3-2 win over Middlesbrough.

Perhaps tomorrow night Benitez should have given him a chance anyway.

As we have mentioned, Hazard looks in need of a rest, and the team is without a win in their last six matches - Something needs changing, and the infusion of youth into the side could have been just what Rafa Benitez needs.

Chelsea can still qualify if they beat FC Nordsjaelland and Shakhtar win at home to Juventus. So with that in mind, you can't really blame Benitez for taking no chances.

But the game could very well end up as a dead rubber encounter as Chelsea had dreamed it might be, albeit in the opposite circumstances.

Chelsea have to go out and win, but should news filter through that Juventus have taken a lead in Ukraine, the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge will quickly turn sour, and even mutinous under the under-fire Benitez should Chelsea start losing.

Bringing on one of the club's most exciting youngsters could at least have given such a night a lift, and confirmed the presence of a new star.

It's not to criticise Benitez for not making Piazon available, if he wasn't going to pick him then he is best off with the under-21s, and if the circumstances were different the promising playmaker would likely have been lighting up Stamford Bridge tomorrow night and making his first ever Champions League appearance.

As it is, he will have to wait until next season, unless either a miracle happens tomorrow, and assuming Chelsea qualify for the competition next year.

Should tomorrow have been a night of experimentation for Chelsea? Or is Benitez doing the right thing in playing it safe?

image: © Crystian Cruz

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