Chelsea V Steaua Bucharest: Europa League Match Preview
Chelsea look to overturn a one goal deficit as they take on Romanian side Steaua at Stamford Bridge.
Fernando Torres is expected to lead Chelsea’s attack as they bid to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Steaua Bucharest.
Demba Ba is ineligible for the Europa League and, along with long-term knee injury victim Oriol Romeu, is the only definite absentee at Stamford Bridge. Captain John Terry could return for the clash with the Romanian league leaders.
Interim manager Rafael Benitez may decide to freshen up his line-up with a possible fixture pile-up looming. But the Spaniard insists that Chelsea have the squad to deal with a busy schedule of matches every few days.
“What I have to do is to pick the team for each game and be sure it’s a very competitive team for each competition,” he said.
As well as the Europa League, the Blues can still win the FA Cup while chief executive Ron Gourlay has stressed the significance of finishing in the the top four to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
But Benitez is refusing to prioritise one competition and will focus only on Chelsea’s next fixture.
“I will try to lead by example, so I will concentrate on the next game,” he said.
“That is what I have to do, to make sure we compete in every single competition. The first one will be tomorrow.”
Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta backed his manager’s assertion that the club can compete on all fronts.
“We have the squad to play in all the competitions,” he said.
“We want to win trophies. Now we have three objectives. This is the next one, to carry on in the Europa League.
“We want to win every trophy. It’s an objective and we’re not going to sacrifice any competition.”
Benitez has been booed throughout his reign because of his past association with rivals Liverpool, and Steaua boss Laurentiu Reghencampf hopes his side could take advantage of the fractious atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.
“We are well aware that the supporters, the crowd has a very big role, a very important role, especially if we were to go ahead early,” he said.
“That would not create a great atmosphere for the home team. We will try to score early and play well.”
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