Roberto di Matteo and Co. set to turn the tables against a “great team”
Chelsea has been plagued by all kinds of misery this summer. Their lack lustrous form in Europe has put them on the brink of an exit from Champions League. Chelsea might also have to bid farewell to Champions League action next season.
Chelsea’s tardy performances this season has left them stranded and fifth placed in the English Premier League. The London outfit must defeat their (fourth placed) derby rivals Arsenal in order to gain qualify for Champions League honors for next season.
The English club must overcome the 3-1 deficit from their first leg against Napoli to enter the Champions League quarterfinals, however that this task is easier said than done. Chelsea’s first team is full of players that have failed to hand in satisfactory performances this season. The list includes players like Florent Malouda, Fernando Torres, John Terry, etc.
A severe managerial crisis at Stamford Bridge is another reason for Chelsea’s misery. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was forced to sack the infamous Andres Villas-Boas because of his failure to rejuvenate the club. Villas-Boas’ locker room bust ups with senior players from the Chelsea team were another reason for his sacking.
Amidst all this Chelsea will have to fight tooth and nail in order to defeat the Italian side. Nonetheless, the Blues have been blessed with the appropriate tools for the job. Their interim manager, Roberto di Matteo is an intelligent tactician who has a couple years of experience under his belt already.
Although, this will be Di Matteo’s first Champions League experience, the former Chelsea player has many experienced players in his squad. Chelsea’s cause will be assisted by in-form players like Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge, Ramires and Ashley Cole.
Di Matteo reckons his team will have to look-out for Napoli’s counter attacks.
“We will have to be balanced, obviously, because their threat obviously on counter-attacking is very good and they have some players that can hurt you,” Di Matteo said. “When they're going to come here on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, they will play against a good team, a great team, and we will make their life difficult and try to turn the leg around.”
The former West Bromwich Albion manager refused to put Chelsea out of contention just yet.
“I'll leave that up to you to say how much percentage we have,” the Italian said. “We have to believe that we can turn this around and that we can win the game and that's how we're going to go into this game.”