UEFA Champions League: Chelsea vs Nordsjaelland Preview

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Updated: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 14:05 [IST]
 
UCL: Chelsea vs Nordsjaelland Preview

London, Dec 5: Chelsea are on the verge of crashing out of the Champions League in the group stages but can survive only if they win against Nordsjaelland and hope Shakhtar Donetsk beat Juventus in the other group fixture.

The Blues will be the first defending champions to be eliminated in the group stages. The Londoners have never failed to qualify to the knockout stages in 10 previous UEFA Champions League campaigns.

The 3-0 defeat against Juventus forced to Chelsea to dismiss manager Roberto Di Matteo but the appointment of Rafa Benitez has not made any positive impact. Chelsea have not won in their previous three Premier League outings including an embarrassing 3-1 loss to West Ham United.

The Danish champions are yet to win a match in the competition. Chelsea also emerged winners away in Copenhagen beating Nordsjaelland 4-0.

Chelsea will be without captain and talisman John Terry with a knee problem while veteran midfielder Frank Lampard is still sidelined with a calf injury.

Benitez tried to change things behind misfiring striker Fernando Torres but he is likely to field the same trio of Oscar, Mata and Hazard with Marko Marin and Victor Moses likely to be benched.

Chelsea fans will expect all three points from their team but the result in Donetsk is what really matters. Even though Juventus hold out a draw, Chelsea will be eliminated.

Trivia:

*Chelsea could become the first holders to be eliminated at the group stages.

*Nordsjaelland are yet to register a win in the competition.

Probable Lineups:

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech-Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole-Mikel, Ramires-Mata, Oscar, Hazard-Torres.

Nordjaelland (4-5-1): Hansen-Parkhurst, Gundelach, Runje, Mtiliga-Adu, Stockholm-Lorentzen, Christensen, John-Nordstrand.

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