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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V FC NORDSJAELLAND

TACTICAL BRIEF
It's all about two wins tonight - for Chelsea and Shakhtar. We look at lessons learned from the previous match against Nordsjaelland in October.

Key battles
Whatever happens in the Donbass Arena between Shakhtar and Juve, Chelsea have a tricky task of beating a lively Danish team that is under no pressure and can play freely.

They like to work the ball forward swiftly and have a number of strong, technical players. Particularly impressive in Denmark was Jores Okore, but he will miss tonight's game having torn a thigh muscle. The athletic centre-back was a forceful presence for much of the game, despite falling foul of Nordsjaelland's high-risk strategy of playing the ball out from the back.

It is a policy that could again prove costly with the Stamford Bridge crowd bearing down on them.

It was Okore's pass to Enoch Adu that allowed Fernando Torres to steal the ball and feed Frank Lampard, who set up Juan Mata for Chelsea's opener. The Chelsea centre-forward had a lively game that night, without scoring - he hit the net once from an offside position and worked a couple of one-on-ones with Jesper Hansen.

Nordsjaelland v Chelsea


On Saturday West Ham seemed alert to Chelsea's desire to feed Torres goals and mobbed him whenever the ball came near. He eluded them enough to set up Juan Mata's goal (his eighth of the season in all competitions) but was often crowded out.

Mata netted twice in Copenhagen, the second from another wonderful passing move. Yet the 4-0 scoreline does not tell the full story. Chelsea's pressing in the early stages had confined the Danes to quarters but it did not endure and the hosts rallied strongly.

With nippy Dutchman Joshua John causing problems, cutting in down the Chelsea right against Ramires and Branislav Ivanovic, several chances were created for the Nordsjaelland forwards. When they were not squandering the openings they found Petr Cech and Ashley Cole blocking their route to the net.

Rafael Benítez may be concerned that this flank was the source of many problems at the Boleyn Ground too.

Attacking midfielder Oscar started on the bench against the Hammers but is Chelsea's top scorer in this competition with four goals in five games. He failed to find the net at Parken but was at his scheming best and assisted Mata and Ramires's late strikes.

Three of the Blues' four goals in Copenhagen came in the last 12 minutes of normal time as the Danes appeared to tire. They have one more league game after this match before taking their extended winter break.

David Luiz is available after his domestic suspension, but Daniel Sturridge, John Terry and Frank Lampard, skipper in the reverse fixture, remain on the sidelines.

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V FC NORDSJAELLAND

CHELSEA STATS
The Blues have not won in six matches (three draws, three defeats).

Chelsea have won seven and drawn one of our last eight home games in the Champions League.

The Blues are unbeaten in 28 Champions League group matches (21 wins, seven draws) at Stamford Bridge since our last defeat in October 2003, against Beşiktaş.

We have lost only two of our last 35 home Champions League matches (including 25 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.

Chelsea's home record against Danish teams
1958/59 BK Frem W 4-1 Fairs Cup 1st round 1st leg (won 7-2 on agg)
1998/99 FC Copenhagen D 1-1 Cup Winners' Cup 2nd round 2nd leg (won 2-1 on agg)
2010/11 FC Copenhagen D 0-0 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
Nov 11 Liverpool (h) D 1-1
Nov 17 West Brom (a) L 1-2
Nov 20 Juventus (Champions League a) L 0-3
Nov 25 Manchester City (a) D 0-0
Nov 28 Fulham (h) D 0-0
Dec 1 West Ham (a) L 1-3

 

Champions League scorers
Oscar 4, Mata 2, D Luiz 1, Moses 1, Ramires 1, Torres 1. Total 10

Chelsea's next three games
Sat 8 Dec Sunderland away 3pm
Thu 13 Dec Ulsan Hyundai or Monterrey - Yokohama (FIFA Club World Cup semi-final) 10.30am UK time

Sun 16 Dec

FIFA Club World Cup final or 3/4 play-off - Yokohama kick off TBA


MILESTONES
If selected, Ashley Cole will make his 100th career Champions League appearance.

Our next goal with be our 50th of the season. Today is our 26th match.


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


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.

They are without a victory in 11 European games home and away, losing nine. Their last win was 2-1 at home to Queen of the South in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup second qualifying round.

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

Their complete record in Europe is played 19, won six, drawn two, lost 11.

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

Saturday's Danish Superliga victory against Brøndby maintained a nine-point gap from leaders FC Copenhagen.

Nordsjaelland have lost two of their last three away games

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

Champions League results
Sep 19 Shakhtar Donetsk (a) L 0-2
Oct 2 Chelsea (h) L 0-4
Oct 23 Juventus (h) D 1-1
Nov 7 Juventus (a) L 0-4
Nov 20 Shakhtar Donetsk (h) L 2-5


Champions League scorers Beckmann 1, Lorentzen 1, Nordstrand 1.

Last six domestic results
Oct 31 Midtjylland (Cup h) L 2-3
Nov 3 SønderjyskE (a) W 2-1
Nov 10 Randers (h) D 2-2
Nov 16 Aarhus (a) W 2-0
Nov 25 Esbjerg (a) L 0-1
Dec 2 Brøndby IF (h) W 3-0


Danish Superliga scorers: John 9, Lorentzen 4, Stokholm 4 (1 pen), Beckmann 3, Christensen 3, Parkhurst 3, Laudrup 2, Nordstrand 2, Okore 2, Christiansen 1, Gytkjaer 1, Mtiliga 1, Tičinović. Total 36.

Champions League results
Sep 19 Shakhtar Donetsk (a) L 0-2
Oct 2 Chelsea (h) L 0-4
Oct 23 Juventus (h) D 1-1
Nov 7 Juventus (a) L 0-4
Nov 20 Shakhtar Donetsk (h) L 2-5

 

PMB

 

Danish Superliga top five
Pld Gd Pts
1 FC Copenhagen 19 +26 44
2 FC Nordsjaelland 19 +19 35
3 Aalborg BK 18 +12 32
4 Odense BK 19 +8 31
5 AGF Aarhus 18 +5 26

 


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Bas Nijhuis, his two assistant referees and two additional assistant referees are all from the Netherlands. This will be Nijhui's third Champions League game. The referee in the other Group E game is the more experienced Jonas Eriksson of Sweden - the man who officiated our historic win at Porto in November 2009.


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 (11): Mtiliga 2, Runje 2, Adu 1, Christensen 1, Christiansen 1, Hansen 1, John 1, Lorentzen 1, Parkhurst 1.
Chelsea (5): D Luiz 2, Ramires 2, Cole 1

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