Chelsea V FC Nordsjaelland: Match Preview
Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from their opening game draw against Juventus when they travel to Denmark to take on competition new comers FC Nordsjaelland.
After losing a 2-0 lead at home in their first group game Roberto Di Matteo will be hoping his team improve their defensive display against a relatively unknown team on the European circuit. But Nordsjaelland will be setting their sights on the current champions scalp.
Chelsea go into the match on good form, although they have won only three of their last five matches, which includes draws with Juventus and QPR. But Chelsea hitting six past an outclassed Wolves side in the Capital One Cup will undoubtedly worry Nordsjaelland manager Kasper Hjulmand. His side could be in for a thrashing if Chelsea are in the mood and thing's aren't going right for the dane.
Chelsea Last Five Results: D-D-W-W-W
Nordsjaelland will be hoping they can put an end to their faltering form in recent matches, winning only two of their last five, including two losses and a draw. Joshua John, FC Nordsjaelland's young forward will be looking to repeat his performance against Silkeborg IF in which he scored 4 goals to complete a 6-1 rout.
FC Nordsjaelland Last Five Results L-L-D-W-W
There are a whole host of players from Chelsea that could be given the tag of star man, but the potential and previous Champions League performance of this player is why it has to go to him, Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior, or Oscar for short. He stood out head and shoulders above the rest of the team on a night of sloppy passing and poor defending. He is capable of scoring from almost anywhere on the pitch, that combined with his flair, pace and eye for a killer pass make him Chelsea's star man.
Whilst Nordsjaelland don't have the caliber of players that Chelsea do, they still have their fair share of young talent that could pose problems to The Blues defence. Joshua John, on loan from FC Twente has racked up six goals and two assists in seven matches for the Danish outfit which is why I have to tag him as their star man.
Chelsea are likely to go with a 4-3-3 formation which they have been using to good effect for much of the season so far. Deploying Mikel in the centre of the field to anchor the team and give the back four vital cover. Mata, Torres and Hazard will form a formidable up front three, with Hazard and Mata sitting between the opposition midfield and defense while Torres will take up the target man roll and occupy the channels.
Likely Line-up: Cech – Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole – Ramires, Mikel, Oscar – Mata, Torres, Hazard
Nordsjaelland manager Kasper Hjulmand is likely to go with the same starting 11 that won the Danish sides last match. A side which includes the inform Joshua John, going with a 4-5-1 formation, giving them that extra man in midfield to help soak up the pressure that will surely be applied by Chelsea.
Likely Line-up: Hansen – Runje, Mtiliga, Parkhurst, Okore – John, Lorentzen, Laudrup, Kofi Adu, Stokholm – Nordstrand
The Danish champions will be stepping into new territory when they kick-off against Chelsea as they have previously never played against English opposition.
Chelsea however have fond memories of their two past meetings in the Scandinavian country, emerging victorious on both occasions against FC Kobenhavn. They triumphed 2-0 in the 2010/2011 Champions League round of 16 and 1-0 in the 1998/1999 UEFA Cup Winners Cup second round, although both games ended in a draw at Stamford Bridge, 1-1 in 1998 and 0-0 in 2011.
Nordsjaelland left it late to secure their first Danish Superliga title with a 3-0 win on the last day of the season against AC Horsens to hold off rivals Kobenhavn who were crowned champions the three previous seasons.
Nordsjaelland have managed four past outings in Europe all coming in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League but have only managed to get through to the first round proper twice. On both occasions they were defeated by Greek opposition in the form of Olympiacos FC in the 08/09 season and Panionios GSS in 2003/2004.
The Farum clubs outing into Europe last season ended somewhat prematurely when they were knocked out of the UEFA Europa League by Sporting Clube de Portugal with a 2-1 loss in the second leg after a goalless draw at home.
Chelsea's European campaign in the 2011/2012 season proved to be a victorious one as The Blues finally got their hands on the trophy that they craved for so long. With many saying that was the spark which caused Chelsea to spend enormous amounts on a whole host of young European talent in the off season. Including the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Marko Marin and Victor Moses.
Chelsea hero and legend Didier Drogba scored the equalizing goal and decisive penalty with his last kick for the club in the 2011/2012 Champions League Final to give Chelsea the victory against FC Bayern Munich.
Prediction: Chelsea 3, FC Nordsjaelland 0
Nordsjaelland – Chelsea
0 Goals Scored 2
3 Attempts on target 5
0 Attempts off target 5
4 Corners 5
2 Offsides 2
9 Fouls committed 12
5 Yellow cards 1
0 Red cards 0
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