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Chelsea V Blackburn at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview
Published : 12 May 2012 13:31:23
Mata: We want Champions League glory.
Chelsea's failure to finish in the Barclays Premier League top four has made them even more desperate to win the Champions League, according to Juan Mata. The opportunity to be crowned kings of Europe for the first time would seem motivation enough for the Blues to beat Bayern Munich in next Saturday Allianz Arena showdown. But playmaker Mata said the prospect of failing to qualify for next season's competition had given him and his team-mates an added incentive to upset the odds against the German giants. "We want to win for the club, and for us, because we can make history for Chelsea," he told Press Association Sport while speaking at the official launch of Chelsea's partnership with the Sauber Formula One team. "But, as well, it's important to play in the Champions League next year. "Chelsea always want to be in the Champions League." The Blues have not been out of the competition since Roman Abramovich bought the club nine years ago. But they have paid the price for a turbulent season which saw Andre Villas-Boas sacked as manager almost 10 weeks ago. "It hasn't been an easy season for us in the Premier League," Mata said ahead of tomorrow's final league game of the season against Blackburn. "We are in sixth position, so it's not what Chelsea deserves. "But we won the FA Cup, we have the chance now to win the Champions League as well. "So, if we win both, it will be an amazing season for us." David Luiz and Gary Cahill have failed to recover from hamstring injuries in time and the centre-backs remain in a race against time to be fit for the Champions League final. John Obi Mikel is unlikely to be risked as he recovers from a knee injury with caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo confirming he would blood some of the youngsters against Rovers.
Blackburn boss Steve Kean claims his team still have plenty to give as they prepare to bow out of the Barclays Premier League. Rovers' dismal campaign will end in the relegation long feared by supporters after Monday's miserable home loss to Wigan cut them adrift of safety. It was their seventh defeat in eight games and Kean, much as he has been all season, was barracked mercilessly by irate fans wanting his removal throughout. Yet Kean, whose optimism has not dimmed despite his unpopularity during this most testing of terms, has vowed to fight on and is taking the seemingly meaningless trip to Chelsea very seriously. Less than 24 hours after relegation was confirmed on a miserable, rain-sodden night at Ewood Park, Kean was at Anfield to watch Chelsea face Liverpool. He said: "We have got pride. We have shown that every game matters to us, even when we don't get a result. "There were a few questions put our way on commitment and application against Tottenham [2-0 defeat at White Hart Lane on April 29], which I felt was very harsh. "But I think the effort and commitment was there for everyone to see against Wigan. "I think for any game, you need to prepare in the proper manner. "I went to see Chelsea on Tuesday. They made a few changes because they have got a massive game coming up after they play us. "We have got a few injury worries but we will be picking the strongest possible team and will attempt to get a positive performance and a win at Chelsea. That is what we have to do." Kean insists he will still be at the club next season, fighting to win promotion back to the top flight from the npower Championship. The Scot's cause may not have been helped this season by the loss of experienced players such as Chris Samba, Ryan Nelsen and Brett Emerton. The likes of Paul Robinson, Junior Hoilett and Ayegbeni Yakubu will be linked with moves away following the relegation. But Kean is convinced he has the nucleus of a good, young team that can take the club forward. He said: "I said to the lads - the ones that are still in the building - this is not the biggest squad but it is the youngest in the league. "I think they can take from this bags of experience. "The younger lads that have come in - Jason Lowe, Grant Hanley, Adam Henley - together with the senior ones that are left, gave it a really good go. "Last season we took it to the last game. This year we had two games to go. "We thought we could do it but it slipped through our fingers." Rovers are likely to be without Robinson due to an ankle injury. David Dunn is also doubtful while Bradley Orr is out after having surgery on his Achilles tendon.
Chelsea V Blackburn - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.