Stamford Bridge is ready for the fourth game in the defence of our European crown. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton continue their preview...
A good result is vital to improve Chelsea's chances of winning Group E. It will take a vastly improved showing from Matchday Three to secure it.
In the away group match Shakhtar looked a team that have played together a lot, brimming with the confidence engendered by a long unbeaten run. They were fortunate that Chelsea started both halves without the usual intensity, and conceded early goals on each occasion, but were worthy winners.
With the usual 4-2-3-1 formation, Chelsea started the match with Ramires reverting to a previous role wide upfront on the right. Frank Lampard's calf injury required the no.7 to drop back to centre midfield as Eden Hazard was the replacement.
The usually frugal Blues allowed the hosts to have 17 shots on target and managed 11 of our own - in terms of chances it was not as one-sided as it may have looked, and both exceeded their usual quotas.
Chelsea struggled to nail down the movement of Shakhtar's three attacking midfielders and were perhaps fortunate the opponents were not capable of doing more damage. The team also had Petr Cech to thank for that.
The Blues looked most likely to score once Daniel Sturridge provided urgency and a physical presence. In the final quarter of the match the attacking midfielders began combining with the passing and dribbling we have come to expect.
Oscar scored his third goal of the campaign from a Branislav Ivanovic cut-back with two minutes to go and had that come earlier, the Londoners may well have returned home with a point that often appeared unlikely.
Key to the Ukrainians' success was the relationship between full-back Darijo Srna and midfielder Fernandinho (pictured below right) down the right. They exchanged 25 passes over the 90 minutes - far more than any other pairing - despite Ramires's patrolling of that side.
The rallying cries about must-win matches will not have the focus they did in the campaign last season: Didier Drogba is no longer with us. However, this new Chelsea has shown itself full of resolve and determination. We may well see a new hero (or two) in Blue emerge this evening. Let's hope so.
Juan Mata (hamstring) and David Luiz (ankle) trained on Tuesday evening and will be assessed following the session. England pair Ashley Cole (hamstring) and Frank Lampard (calf) will not play. John Terry is available. Shakhtar report no injuries.
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Chelsea have won six and drawn one of our last seven home games in the Champions League.
The Blues are unbeaten in 27 Champions League group matches (20 wins, seven draws) at Stamford Bridge since our last defeat in October 2003 when Shakhtar head coach Mircea Lucescu guided Besiktas to a 2-0 win.
We have lost only two of our last 34 home Champions League matches (including 24 victories) since 2006.
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.
All our seven Champions League goals this term have come in the last 15 minutes of either the first or second half.
We have scored in our last 17 Champions League matches since we lost 0-1 to Man Utd in the 2010/11 quarter-final at Stamford Bridge.
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|
|Oct 6||Norwich (h)||W 4-1|
|Oct 20||Tottenham (a)||W 4-2|
|Oct 23||Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League a)||L 1-2|
|Oct 28||Manchester United (h)||L 2-3|
|Oct 31||Manchester United (League Cup h)||W 5-4 aet|
|Nov 3||Swansea (a)||D 1-1|
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Wed 31 Oct||Manchester United (LC) home||7.45pm|
|Sat 3 Nov||Swansea City away||3pm|
|Tue 20 Nov||Juventus (Champions League) away||7.45pm|
John Terry needs one goal to reach 50 in all competitions for the Blues.
The Blues are looking for our 100th win in European competition in our 190th match.
SHAKHTAR DONETSK STATS
7 Ukraine league titles, last in 2012
4 Soviet Cups, last in 1983
8 Ukrainian Cups, last in 2012
1 Soviet Super Cup in 1984
4 Ukraine Super Cups, last in 2012
1 UEFA Cup in 2009
Shakhtar as well as Dynamo Kiev are the only two Ukrainian clubs to have won a European trophy.
Shakhtar's Champions League squad is made up of 14 Ukrainians, eight Brazilians, two Croats and one from Romania, Armenia and Czech Republic.
Romanian Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar's head coach, has won 15 major trophies since taking over in 2004.
This is the fourth time in five seasons Shakhtar have faced an English side. Their most recent visit being a 5-1 reverse at Arsenal in the 2010/11 group stage.
They have lost three and drawn one of their four away games against English sides, all in London.
Saturday's victory against Zaporizhya was Shakhtar's 23rd successive top-flight victory which extended their Ukrainian Premier League record.
Shakhtar's last competitive defeat was against Porto in last season's Champions League group stage. Their last away defeat in domestic and European football was over a year ago at Zenit St Petersburg on 1 November 2011. Since then they have won 20 and drawn one of their 21 away games.
Their record in the Champions League is played 79, won 36, drawn 13, lost 30.
|Shakhtar's away games against English teams in Europe|
|2000/01||Arsenal||L 2-3||Champions League group stage|
|2008/09||Tottenham||D 1-1||UEFA Cup round of 32, second leg|
|2009/10||Fulham||L 1-2||Europa League round of 32, first leg|
|2010/11||Arsenal||L 1-5||Champions League group stage|
|Last ten league seasons|
Ten-year European record
2002/03 - UEFA Cup first round - having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2003/04 - UEFA Cup first round - having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2004/05 - UEFA Cup round of 16 - having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2005/06 - UEFA Cup round of 32 - having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2006/07 - UEFA Cup round of 16 - having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2007/08 - Champions League group stage
2008/09 - UEFA Cup winners - having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2009/10 - Europa League round of 32 - having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2010/11 - Champions League quarter-finals
2011/12 - Champions League group stage
|Champions League results|
|Sep 19||FC Nordsjaelland (h)||W 2-0|
|Oct 2||Juventus (a)||D 1-1|
|Oct 23||Chelsea (h)||W 2-1|
Champions League scorers
Mkhitaryan 2, Teixeira 2, Fernandinho 1.
|Last six domestic results|
|Sep 28||Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (h)||W 2-1|
|Oct 7||Metalist Kharkiv (a)||W 2-0|
|Oct 19||Illychivets Mariupil (h)||W 2-1|
|Oct 27||Tavriya Simferopol (a)||W 1-0|
|Oct 31||Hoverla Uzhgorod (Cup a)||W 4-1|
|Nov 3||Metalurh Zaporizhya (h)||W 2-0|
|Ukraine Premier League top half|
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo, his two assistant referees and two additional assistant referees are all from Spain. He was in charge of the Blues' 2-0 victory at Spartak Moscow in October 2010 and, last season, the 1-3 defeat at Napoli. His only Shakhtar match was a 1-0 win over Serbians Partizan.
There are no suspensions.
Champions League bookings list:
Players receive a one-match suspension for collecting three and five yellow cards
Shakhtar Donetsk (6): Hübschman 2, Ilsinho 1, Kucher 1, Luiz Adriano 1, Srna 1.
Chelsea (3): Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Ramires 1.