The champions of Italy host the champions of Europe as Group E continues to heat up. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton analyse this Anglo-Italian encounter…
This is familiar territory for Roberto Di Matteo. The former Italy international's first Champions League match as manager was a make-or-break one against Napoli that the Blues won 4-1.
That thrilling evening was at Stamford Bridge in the knockout phase. The European Champions' task tonight is to avoid defeat and remain above Juventus in Group E going into the final game in London against Nordsjaelland.
A repeat of the 2-2 draw in the foothills of the Alps in 2008 would suffice; victory would confirm passage to the Round of 16 straight away. Chelsea have never failed to progress from a Champions League group, and neither has any previous season's winners.
Victor Moses' late winner over Shakhtar last time out was a crucial strike, not only because it delivered three points, but because it reduced the likelihood that the Ukrainians would have little to play for on Matchday Six against Juve.
The runaway Ukraine Premier League leaders play in Denmark tonight; Nordsjaelland currently lie second behind Copenhagen heading into their winter break. The Danes were trounced 4-0 at Parken by Chelsea at the start of October but earned a shock draw with Juve later the same month.
That result, on the same night Chelsea fell to Shakhtar, could be the decisive one of the group. Victory in Denmark would have permitted Juventus a draw tonight. Now they can afford only one possible result: a win. It might have been worse: they trailed for half an hour until Mirko Vučinić popped up with fewer that 10 minutes to go.
Defeat for Di Matteo's men would take matters out of the hands of the champions of Europe. Juve would then need to find a point in Shakhtar on Matchday Six to finish ahead of the Blues on head-to-head results.
Barring a shock in tonight's Nordsjaelland-Shakhtar game, a win at home against the Danes might not be enough for Chelsea to progress.
The Londoners have hit poor form domestically, accruing two points from the last 12 on offer and slipping from top slot to third. The more superstitious among our fans lamented that the latest setback happened while wearing a black kit, which has been the strip colour for five of our last six away league defeats.
Chelsea have a decent recent record in this competition's group stage though.
This will be Chelsea's first visit to the new Juventus Stadium, rebuilt on the site of the Stadio Delle Alpi, and a different one to our previous visit to Turin in 2009 (pictured above), the Stadio Olimpico.
Juve fans like their new 'English'-style stadium, with its stands closer to the pitch than the old, cavernous Delle Alpi. It was opened in 2011 and has a capacity of 41,000.
However, the Old Lady suffered a first defeat there against title rivals Inter on 3 November. They bounced back to win their next game there against Nordsjaelland 4-0 (their first win in Group E), and drew 0-0 with a defence-minded Lazio on Saturday evening.
Our last victory on Italian soil was a brilliant 4-0 against Lazio in Rome at the beginning of November 2003. Juve have drawn five of their last six home games against English opposition.
Other Group E fixture
Tue7.45pm - FC Nordsjaelland v Shakhtar Donetsk
|Champions League Group E table|
Champions League top scorers
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 5
Oscar (Chelsea) 4
Alan (Braga) 4
Burak Yilmaz (Galatasaray) 4
Roberto Soldado (Valencia) 4
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke) 4
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WE HAVE HISTORY
Our only previous competitive meetings came in the 2008/09 Round of 16 when a 13th-minute Didier Drogba goal gave the Blues a 1-0 first-leg victory at Stamford Bridge before a 2-2 draw in Turin.
This season's Matchday One fixture
19 September 2012
Oscar 31, 33 Vidal 37
Chelsea's biggest away win in the Champions League
20/10/1999 - Galatasaray 0-5 Chelsea - First group stage
Juve's biggest home win in the Champions League
10/12/2003 - Juventus 7-0 Olympiacos - Group stage
Chelsea won in Italy: 3,304
Juventus lost at home: 24
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,740
Liverpool won the league: 8,235
Visit again at lunchtime for part two of the Briefing.