Juventus ready to make Chelsea sing the Blues

Juventus ready to make Chelsea sing the Blues

Juventus ready to make Chelsea sing the Blues

It must be very strange being Roberto Di Matteo. The Italian gaffer won Roman Abramovich’s most coveted trophy, the Champions League, and added the FA Cup to boost his interim managerial career. But three months into the new campaign, he’s a haunted man, having seen his side win only two of the past seven matches across all competitions, conceding 15 goals in the process.

It’s a run that has seen Chelsea drop from the top of the EPL table to third spot, four points clear off Man City, the last match being a humbling 2-1 defeat at the hands of surprise package, West Bromwich Albion. With rumours of the Russian Tsar wanting Josep Gurdiola to end his sabbatical before the summer, the Blues manager is a man walking on a banana peel.

Juventus will not be seeking to offer RDM and his Stamford Bridge outfit balloons and roses, when the English side visits the Juventus Stadium in Turin. With top spot and qualification up for grabs, expect the Old Lady to take advantage of Chelsea’s blip, in the return fixture of the 2-2 London draw. The holders of the Big Ears trophy are on 7 points, one more than Antonio Conte’s men. The plot thickens when you consider that Shahktar Donetsk, also on seven points, are playing visitors to the group’s battering rams, FC Nordsjaelland.

Qualification is not guaranteed for any side. Defeat cannot be considered at all.

Fernando Torres is misfiring. Daniel Sturridge is low on confidence. For a star-studded side, the lack of viable strikers upfront is appalling. Radamel Falcao is wanted by the Bridge hierarchy, rightfully so, and he will be watching keenly to see if the Blues will be playing in the knockout phase. If he makes the move, let’s hope he won’t be affected by the same Torres bug.

Elsewhere, it’s a three-way battle for qualification in Group F, what with Valencia and Bayern Munich level on 9 points, with BATE Borisov three points behind. It will be interesting to watch the proceedings at the Mestalla with Los Che hosting the Bavarians, while Borisov will fancy their chances against pointless Lille. So close for the trio, yet so far.

Barcelona must still be smarting from the 2-1 loss handed to them by Victor Wanyama’s Celtic, but they’ll want to finish the job by seeking top spot in Group G when they visit Russian side, Spartak Moscow in the early kickoff. As for the Bhoys, boosted by their famous win over the Blaugrana, they should be ready to peel Benfica when they visit Portugal. But will the Stadium of Light be too dim for Neil Lennon’s men? A win will see Celtic in the second phase.

As for Man United, they’ve already progressed as Group H winners. That leaves Galatasaray on four points and who host a weakened Red Devils side, to battle with CFR-Cluj Napoca (also on four) and Portuguese side SC Braga (on three points) for the second spot.

Tuesday 20th November

8pm                       Spartak Moscow – Barcelona, SS3

10:45pm               Juventus – Chelsea, Juventus Stadium, SS3

10:45pm               CFR-Cluj – Braga, Dr. Constantine Radulescu, SS5

10:45pm               Galatasaray – Man United, Ali Sami Yen Spor Komplenski, SS6

10:45pm               Valencia – Bayern Munich, Estadio Mestalla, SS7

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