Chelsea v Nordsjaelland key battles
PUBLISHED: 08:01 05 December 2012
Chelsea take on Danish champions FC Nordsjaelland tonight needing to win and hope Shakhtar Donetsk also beat Juventus to avoid becoming the first Champions League holders to crash out of the competition before Christmas.
Here London24 Sport takes a look at three of the individual contests which could decide the match:
DAVID LUIZ v JOSHUA JOHN
Luiz has started every one of Chelsea’s Champions League games when fit and available since joining the club and showed early signs of improvement under Rafael Benitez before missing Saturday’s Barclays Premier League defeat at West Ham through suspension. The goals have dried up for John since October’s reverse fixture. The on-loan FC Twente forward had scored eight in eight matches but has netted only once since.
OSCAR v NIKOLAI STOKHOLM
Oscar has been the one major success story of Chelsea’s Champions League campaign, netting four times in his first five games in the competition, and he should return after being rested at the weekend. The signing of veteran midfielder Stokholm helped kick-start the Nordsjaelland revolution and he has become the heartbeat of the team, despite being 36.
FERNANDO TORRES v IVAN RUNJE
Torres’s form has been as bad as it has ever been during his miserable two-year spell at Chelsea. The £50million man’s only goal in the last two months was something of a fluke in their Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk. But he will never have a better chance to break his duck than tomorrow, with Nordsjaelland missing talismanic defender Jores Okore through injury. Centre-back partner Runje will have to help fill the void.