LUCESCU: PLAYING UNDER PRESSURE
Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu believes the biggest obstacle facing Chelsea tomorrow night will be the expectations of our own supporters.
The Romanian, speaking ahead of a pivotal night in Group E, believes his side, who boast a 100 per cent record domestically this campaign, couldn't be approaching the game in better shape.
'I'm not so interested in who plays for Chelsea because they will play under pressure from their supporters,' said Lucescu.
'We are in good form, our players know it's a very important match, but I think the people will enjoy tomorrow's game.'
Lucescu was the last man to lead a visiting team to victory at Stamford Bridge in the group stages of the tournament when his Besiktas side overcame the Blues, managed at the time by Claudio Ranieri, 2-0 back in 2003, a night he recalled fondly.
'It's a completely different team,' he said. 'They were a very good side under Ranieri, we came here to play our game and succeeded, it was a big win for Beskitas.
'I prepare my players to know that every team can be beaten, even Chelsea at home.'
Our 2-1 defeat in Donetsk a fortnight ago has left the Ukrainians in control of their own destiny, and Lucescu is aware that tomorrow night's encounter could go a long way to defining the fortunes of both sides in this season's competition.
'It will be a good game,' he explained. 'For Chelsea, it could be their last chance to go through, and Roberto Di Matteo has already said that after the final in Munich this is one of their most important games.
'It's difficult to play in the Champions League; when you play in the league you can rectify mistakes but you don't get a second chance in Europe.'
Meanwhile, Brazilian attacker Willian, reportedly a transfer target for a host of Europe's biggest clubs, believes the absence of Ashley Cole, who will miss the match after picking up a hamstring injury, shouldn't have a significant impact on the eventual outcome.
'It's a very important match for us, we respect Chelsea, they are very strong at home, the crowd will put pressure on us from the start but we hope we can get the win,' he stressed.
'Each match has its own history, they will try to win as it's important, they will have their best team out and try to get a good result.
'Chelsea have good players and whoever replaces him will play well, Ashley is a very good player but I'm sure it's not going to change the match.'