2012 winners Chelsea secured their place in the knockout stages of this seasons Champions League with a narrow victory over Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening.
Demba Ba’s goal on ten minutes was enough to secure victory for Jose Mourinho’s men, who will find out their opponents in the last sixteen – one from Bayer Leverkusen, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Zenit St Petersburg and AC Milan – when the draw is made in Nyon on Monday.
Of the available options, the Blues’ boss has expressed his desire to be paired with the Turkish champions, in order to set up a reunion with Didier Drogba.
However, the club will first turn their attention to Saturday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace where they will hope to keep the pressure on league leaders Arsenal, who face a tough trip to Manchester City earlier in the day.
Chelsea then face Arsenal in a mouth-watering clash at the Emirates Stadium a week on Monday.
Elsewhere, Everton are set to offer a new contract to England international Ross Barkley, according to the Express.
The 20 year old, who has established himself as a first team regular under Roberto Martinez this season, has been linked with moves to both Chelsea and Manchester United.
Tags: AC Milan, Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen, Demba Ba, Didier Drogba, Everton, Galatasaray, Manchester United, Olympiakos, Ross Barkley, Steaua Bucharest, Zenit St Petersburg
Chelsea will welcome Ashley Cole back to their starting line-up for this evening’s Champions League clash with Steaua Bucharest.
The England left-back has not played for the Blues since last month’s defeat to Newcastle United, with Cesar Azpilicueta taking his place.
Brazilian duo David Luiz and Oscar are both fit to play, so their only absentee in Marco Van Ginkel, who is out for the season.
Jose Mourinho’s men have already booked their place in the knockout stages of the competition, but need victory at Stamford Bridge this evening to guarantee top spot in Group E.
Elsewhere, the Express have reported that Barcelona are set to revive their interest in David Luiz.
The Catalan club are lining up a £30m bid for the 26 year old, who has made just five appearances in the Premier League this season.
The report also claims that Wolfsburg will move for Kevin De Bruyne, should Chelsea decide to sell the midfielder.
The 22 year old returned to West London following a season-long loan with Werder Bremen, only to make a handful of appearances in all competitions.
Dieter Hecking’s side are one of a number in the Bundesliga to register an interest In the Belgium international.
Samuel Eto’o could be set for a move to the MLS at the end of the season, according to the Mirror.
The Cameroon international moved to Stamford Bridge on a one year deal last summer after Jose Mourinho failed in his pursuit of Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney.
Eto’o has found the net just four times in his fifteen appearances for the Blues so far, but appears to lack the pace to remain at the level he has been playing for the majority of his career.
A host of clubs in the Major Soccer League are thought to have already expressed an interest in signing the 32 year old including LA Galaxy, DC United and Toronto FC.
Eto’o could open pre-contract talks next month with a view to make the switch next summer.
Elsewhere, David Luiz and Oscar have handed the club a boost ahead of tomorrow evening’s Champions League clash with Steaua Bucharest, the Express understands.
The Brazilian duo are both in contention to feature against the Romanian champions after recovering from their respective injuries.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Ashley Cole will return to the Blues’ starting line-up for tomorrow’s match at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have slipped to third position in the Premier League after losing 3-2 to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Andre Schurrle put Jose Mourinho’s men in front on nine minutes before Peter Crouch drew the hosts level three minute before the break.
The host’s then took the lead five minutes into the second half through Stephen Ireland before Schurrle got his and the Blues’ second just five minutes later.
Then, in the final minute of the game, Oussama Assaidi fired in an angled shot to secure victory for Mark Hughes’ men, and consign Chelsea to their third league defeat of the season.
The club will now turn their attention to Wednesday evening’s match with Steaua Bucharest if the final round of Champions League group games, where victory will guarantee first place ahead of either Schalke or Basel who meet in Gelsenkirchen.
Meanwhile, the club are set to swoop for Monaco’s Radamel Falcao, according to the Daily Star.
The Colombia striker only moved to the Ligue 1 sidde in the summer and has scored nine times in fourteen games though Mourinho has been linked with a £60m bid as his current selection of strikers continue to misfire.
Chelsea’s progression the knockout stages of the Champions League has been secured despite them losing to a late goal in Basel yesterday evening.
Mohamed Salah, who netted the equaliser when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in September, scored late on to secure back to back wins over the Blues for Murat Yakin’s side.
Petr Cech kept the visitors, who only mustered one attempt on goal throughout the whole match, in the game with several saves.
However, thanks to Steaua Bucharest’s goalless draw with Schalke in Group E’s other fixture means that Jose Mourinho’s men cannot drop to third place, regardless of the results on match day six.
The club will now turn their attention to Sunday afternoon’s Premier League clash with Southampton, where they will be looking to keep pressure on leaders Arsenal who they meet next month.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star have reported that both Manchester United and Liverpool have taken to Twitter to call for their respective clubs to sign Juan Mata.
The Spain international has been strongly linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge after falling down the pecking order since Jose Mourinho returned to the club.
He has completed ninety minutes just one this season – the Capital One Cup third round victory over Swindon Town in September.
Fernando Torres is available for Chelsea’s Champions League Group E clash with FC Basel.
The 29 year old Spain international has not featured since the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United earlier this month, but could lead the line for the visitors at St Jakob Park this evening, where a point for the Blues would seal qualification for the knockout stages, and victory would see them progress as group winners.
David Luiz has not travelled with the squad due to a bruised patella, and will be out for a week.
Gary Cahill and club captain John Terry are set to continue in the centre of defence, while Ashley Cole may play despite a niggling rib problem though Cesar Azpilicueta is ready to deputise after impressing on the left recently.
The Swiss Champions ran out 2-1 winners when the sides met in September, though Jose Mourinho’s men have responded well, first with a 4-0 win over Steaua in Bucharest and then back to back 3-0 victories over Schalke.
The group’s other game sees Steaua host Schalke, where victory for the visitors will secure their place in the next round should Chelsea win, while the Romanian champions must win to have any chance of progressing.
Ashley Cole has not travelled with the Chelsea squad for this evening’s Champions League clash at Schalke.
The left back has failed to recover from a rib injury in time to feature, so Ryan Bertrand in expected to deputise, with Cole likely to return in time for Sunday’s clash with Manchester City.
Andre Schurrle has made the trip despite missing Saturday’s win over Cardiff City.
Chelsea will go top of Group E if they beat the Bundesliga side, and better Basel’s result in Bucharest.
The Blues last faced the Miners in the group stages of the 2007/08 campaign, drawing 0-0 at the Veltins Arena having won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge two weeks earlier.
The club went on to reach the final in Moscow, where they were defeated on penalties by Manchester United.
Captain John Terry is targeting another final appearance this time around having been suspended for the Blues win in Munich in 2012, and has insisted that he is not thinking about his future, according to Sky Sports.
Jose Mourinho has previously stated that the 32 year old ‘need not worry’ about his future at Stamford Bridge.
The former England captain has played every minute of the Blues league campaign so far this season.
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech believes that the club are beginning to show signs of the ruthless streak that not too long ago saw them dominate the English game, the Daily Star understands.
The Blues got their European campaign back on track with a 4-0 victory over Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday afternoon after their shock home defeat to Basel two weeks ago, and the 31 year old is sure that they are now ‘back in business’.
Elsewhere, former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he was approached by owner Roman Abramovich, when the latter first arrived in England in 2003.
However, the Scot insisted that he never would have any intention to leave Old Trafford leading the Russian to appoint Jose Mourinho in 2004.
Meanwhile, Fernando Torres has been ruled out for up to three weeks with the knee injury he sustained in Tuesday’s win in Romania.
The Spain international was replaced by Samuel Eto’o after just eleven minutes at the National Arena , will hope to return to action for the match at Schalke on October 22nd.
Torres was already set to miss Sunday’s visit to Norwich City after being dismissed in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
Chelsea bounced back from their Champions League disappointment a fortnight ago by thumping Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest 4-0 yesterday evening.
Brazil international Ramires opened the scoring on 19 minutes before an own goal from Daniel Gerogievski doubles the Blues’ advantage just before half time.
Ramires then grabbed a second ten minutes into the second half before Frank Lampard added a fourth in stoppage time.
The result keeps Chelsea third in Group E ahead of the trip to Schalke in three weeks’ time, but was soured by an injury to Fernando Torres, who had to be substituted after just eleven minutes.
The Spain international is suspended for Sunday’s trip to Norwich City in the league, though it is thought that the injury is not serious.
Meanwhile, the 29 year old has escaped further punishment from the FA following his clash with Jan Vertonghen in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
Torres was facing an additional three match if found guilty of violent conduct, but will now be available for the visit of Cardiff City two weeks on Saturday, should he bit fit in time to feature.
Elsewhere, Eden Hazard is set to remain side-lined for Sunday’s game against Norwich as he struggles to recover from an ankle problem.
Chelsea will be without midfield Eden Hazard for this evening’s Champions League clash against Steaua Bucharest.
Fernando Torres is included in the squad despite facing a domestic ban after clashing with Jan Vertonghen in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, though Marco Van Ginkel is out for most of the season.
The club were defeated on their last visit to Steaua’s National Arena – losing 1-0 in the first leg of their Europa League last sixteen tie before running out 3-1 winners in the second leg en route to clinching the trophy.
Kevin De Bruyne has not made the trip to Romania after failing to impress manager Jose Mourinho.
The 22 year old has been forced to train with the Under 21 squad following his poor performance against Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup third round a week ago, according to the Mail Online.
The Belgium international is said to be unhappy with the treatment he has received having rejected the chance to move permanently to the Bundesliga during the summer.
He impressed on a season-long loan with Werder Bremen last term, but it was Borussia Dortmund who wanted to secure his services during the recently closed transfer window.