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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: FC NORDSJAELLAND V CHELSEA - PART TWO

Continuing the Champions League build-up they began earlier today, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton add more tactics and statistics...


TACTICAL BRIEF
The kings of Europe aim to make it four wins in four competitive visits to the seat of Europe's oldest monarchy.


Key battles
Tactically there are several similarities between the two sides. Both use a 4-2-3-1 system, cherish possession and press their opponent high up the pitch.

Coach Kasper Hjulmand was assistant to Morten Wieghorst (once of Celtic, now with Denmark's U21s) as FCN won the Danish Cup two season running, 2010 and 2011, before going one better and scooping the Superliga last May.

He likes to play an open, attacking style, but is a rookie at this level - as was his Chelsea counterpart Roberto Di Matteo, until March. We know how that story ended.

There is a greater gulf in experience at this level on the field. None of FCN's squad had played in the Champions League before Matchday 1 in Ukraine.

They also lost two of their best players in the summer: central defender Anders Bjelland was sold to FC Twente and attacking midfielder Tobias Mikkelsen is now playing for newly promoted German Bundesliga side Greuther Furth.

Never the less, the hosts have several current or former internationals, including the captain and midfield dynamo Nikolai Stokholm, current Danish centre-back Jores Okore, former international teammate and Malaga left-back Patrick Mtiliga, and three offensive players Mikkel Beckmann, Kasper Lorentzen and Morten Nordstrand, all with a number of caps under their belts. Michael Parkhurst, who can play anywhere across the back four, has played 14 times for the USA since 2007.

Although not a regular in the starting XI, another famous name in the squad is that of under-21 creative midfielder Andreas Laudrup (pictured below) - son of Swansea manager Laudrup, and nephew of former Chelsea winger Brian Laudrup.

Laudrup


FCN rarely adapt to opponents' tactics, playing a possession-based attacking game, some distance from the park-the-bus approach fans might expect from Champions League underdogs.

Since Stokholm, now 36, is the midfield fulcrum, it is possible Roberto Di Matteo will ask Oscar to reprise the job he performed against Juventus's Pirlo and Arteta of Arsenal.

By turning play over in FCN's half, the young Brazilian has the chance to exploit gaps in their new centre-back partnership or behind their gallivanting full-backs; he scored twice against Juventus, of course. However, he has been booked in his two Premier League starts and needs to be careful about fouls conceded.

Oscar has been part of a pacy, quick-witted attacking midfield three behind Fernando Torres, alongside Juan Mata, Eden Hazard or Victor Moses. FCN may find their fluidity and pace difficult to handle.

We saw Ramires on the left of centre midfield against Wolves, a position he retained at Emirates, with Mikel back as opposed to the equally excellent Oriol Romeu. Frank Lampard played no part against Arsenal and may be recalled.

A key threat from the hosts is Joshua John, a fast, wide left forward on loan from FC Twente. Whether it is Branislav Ivanovic or César Azpilicueta at right back they will be aware that John likes to cut inside onto his right-foot or sneak in behind to attack the goal. He is his side's top scorer.

Lone striker Beckmann has a fine shot and usually handles FCN's set plays. On Saturday, Juan Mata scored Chelsea's first direct free kick in the league since the 2010/11 season.


Squad news
Daniel Sturridge's hamstring makes him the only player injured and unavailable. David Luiz has overcome the blow the thigh that ended his our at Arsenal prematurely. The Danes have no injuries.


Click on tabs above for more briefing.

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: FC NORDSJAELLAND V CHELSEA - PART TWO

CHELSEA STATS
The Blues have topped our group in seven of our last nine Champions League campaigns. We have never failed to progress to the knockout stage.

Chelsea have won seven and lost five of our last 19 away games in the Champions League. Last term we failed to win any of our away group matches having taken the lead in all three. We achieved draws at Valencia and Genk and fell to a last minute winner at Bayer Leverkusen.


Chelsea's away record against Danish teams
1958/59 BK Frem W 3-1 Fairs Cup 1st round 1st leg (won 7-2 on agg)
1998/99 FC Copenhagen W 1-0 Cup Winners Cup 2nd round 2nd leg (won 2-1 on agg)
2010/11 FC Copenhagen W 2-0 Champions League round of 16 1st leg (won 2-0 on agg)

 


Chelsea's last ten years in Europe
2002/03 - UEFA Cup - first round
2003/04 - Champions League - semi-final
2004/05 - Champions League - semi-final
2005/06 - Champions League - round of 16
2006/07 - Champions League - semi-final
2007/08 - Champions League - runners-up
2008/09 - Champions League - semi-final
2009/10 - Champions League - round of 16
2010/11 - Champions League - quarter-final
2011/12 - Champions League - winners


Last six results
Aug 31 Atlético Madrid (Uefa Super Cup) L 1-4
Sep 15 QPR (a) D 0-0
Sep 19 Juventus (Champions League h) D 2-2
Sep 22 Stoke (h) W 1-0
Sep 25 Wolves (League Cup h) W 6-0
Sep 29 Arsenal (a) W 2-1

 

Scorers Torres 5, Cahill 3, Bertrand 2, Ivanovic 2, Lampard 2 (2 pens), Mata 2, Oscar 2, Cole 1, Hazard 1 (pen), Moses 1, Romeu 1 (pen). Total 22.



Chelsea's next three games
Sat 6 Oct Norwich City home 3.00pm
Sat 20 Oct Tottenham Hotspur away 12.45pm
Tue 23 Oct Shakhtar Donetsk (CL) away 7.45pm

 

MILESTONES
John Terry needs one goal to reach 50 in all competitions for the Blues.

If selected, Frank Lampard will make his 99th appearance in Europe for the Blues.


NORDSJAELLAND STATS
Founded as Farem BK on 1 January 1991 from the merger of two football clubs, Farum Idraets Klub and Stavnsholt Boldklub. In March 2003 Farem BK was bought by AKB Holding and was re-branded as FC Nordsjaelland.


Major honours
1 league title in 2012
2 Danish Cups in 2010 and 2011


By winning on the final day of last season FC Nordsjaelland won their first Danish Superliga title beating runners-up FC Copenhagen by two points.

FC Nordsjaelland have played four previous campaigns in Europe in the UEFA Cup and Europa League but only managed to get through to the first round proper twice.

Last season they were knocked out of the Europa League by Sporting Lisbon in the play-offs.

Their complete record in Europe is played 15, won six, drawn one, lost eight.

It is the Danish champions' first competitive meeting against English opposition.

They are unbeaten in three games since their defeat to Shakhtar on Matchday One.

 

Last ten league seasons

Pos Level
2002/03 3rd 1
2003/04 9th 1
2004/05 10th 1
2005/06 9th 1
2006/07 5th 1
2007/08 9th 1
2008/09 8th 1
2009/10 7th 1
2010/11 6th 1
2011/12 1st 1



FC Nordsjaelland's European record
2003/04 - UEFA Cup first round
2008/09 - UEFA Cup first round
2010/11 - Europa League third qualifying round
2011/12 - Europa League play-offs

 

Last six results
Sep 2 Brøndby IF (h) D 0-0
Sep 15 FC Copenhagen (a) L 1-2
Sep 19 Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League a) L 0-2
Sep 22 Randers (h) D 1-1
Sep 25 Svebølle (Cup a) W 3-1
Sep 28 Esbjerg fB (h) W 3-0



Danish Superliga scorers John 8, Lorentzen 3, Parkhurst 3, Stokholm 3, Christensen 2, Beckmann 1, Gytkjaer 1, Laudrup 1, Mtiliga 1. Total 23.

PMB


 

Danish Superliga top five

Pld Gd Pts
1 FC Copenhagen 11 16 25
2 Aalborg BK 11 13 20
3 FC Nordsjaelland 11 13 19
4 AGF Aarhus 11 6 18
5 Randers FC 11 -7 16


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Marijo Strahonja, his two assistant referees and two additional assistant referees, all hail from Croatia. This is only his second match in the Champions League proper.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
There are no suspensions.


Champions League bookings list
Players receive a one-match suspension for collecting three and five yellow cards.
FC Nordsjaelland (5): Christensen 1, Hansen 1, John 1, Lorentzen 1, Mtiliga 1.
Chelsea (1): Ramires.

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