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Chelsea and Valencia face Stamford Bridge 'final'

Published: Monday 5 December 2011, 21.45CET
"We cannot speak about going out," said André Villas-Boas ahead of Chelsea FC's decisive Group E contest with a Valencia CF side whose coach Unai Emery likened it to "a final".
by Jamie Reid
from London

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Published: Monday 5 December 2011, 21.45CET

Chelsea and Valencia face Stamford Bridge 'final'

"We cannot speak about going out," said André Villas-Boas ahead of Chelsea FC's decisive Group E contest with a Valencia CF side whose coach Unai Emery likened it to "a final".

André Villas-Boas admitted that Chelsea FC had only themselves to blame for their situation in Group E where they host Valencia CF in a match that will decide both sides' fate. While Villas-Boas refused to consider elimination, his Valencia counterpart Unai Emery promised the visitors would "try to hurt Chelsea with our attacking players" in a match he likened to a cup final.

• Whoever wins will progress, with the losing side finishing third. A score draw will be enough for Valencia while a goalless result will take Chelsea through unless Leverkusen lose.

Chelsea
Manager André Villas-Boas
We have ourselves to blame. During this campaign we have done pretty well in terms of performances, but the small details have run away from us in the last couple of minutes at Valencia and Leverkusen. If that had not happened, the results would have been different and you would be sat here in a different position.

You have seen us play enough to be sure that we always take the initiative in games. But I think Valencia will want to get a goal, so that makes things a little bit more difficult for us. But we will not change the way we play, we do not play long ball or counter-attack; we want to play good quality possession football and that's what we want tomorrow.

We have all seen how well Juan [Mata] has been performing. I think he is an extremely gifted technical player, which is amazing to see, and it's good to see that these kind of players can perform in such a physical league. He brings a flair and creativity to the team and I think everybody is enjoying it. Mata will always be a player that knows Valencia inside out. The small details he knows won't make all the difference, but yes, we have been speaking about the match. We face Valencia in one of their most impressive moments of the season.

We cannot speak about going out. Tomorrow we just have to focus on the game. I have not thought about it and what it would mean to the club. Our focus is on tomorrow's game.

Weekend result
Saturday: Newcastle United FC 0-3 Chelsea (Drogba 38, Kalou 89, Sturridge 90+2)
Čech; Ivanović, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Romeu, Lampard (Meireles 61); Sturridge, Drogba (Torres 79), Mata (Kalou 75)

• Chelsea recorded their second successive 3-0 league victory, only their second win in five games in all competitions. Frank Lampard had an early penalty saved and Daniel Sturridge struck a post; Newcastle hit the woodwork three times.

Team news
Michael Essien could be out of action until January after suffering knee ligament damage in pre-season training.

Valencia
Coach Unai Emery
There is a final tomorrow, Chelsea v Valencia, and one of the two teams will have to go out. We are going to go there with only victory in mind. We are aware that 1-1 or any sort of score draw will see us through, so depending on the situation we can change the way we play. We need to be able to stop Chelsea from creating chances.

The most important thing is that we are going out to try and stop their players, but of course, we want to go and do some damage ourselves and try to hurt Chelsea with our attacking players too. We will never stop looking for a goal, that's for sure. Money is important for every club, but tomorrow is not about the money [that going through would provide]; it's about the feeling the fans get. The immense joy and satisfaction that the fans feel if we go through is much more important than the money aspect.

Chelsea are of course playing in front of their own fans, it's a massive game for them too. But we have faith in our mental ability. When we are on the pitch we have the ability to not think about where we are and just play. It's 11 v 11 on the pitch and that's the attitude we must take. We are only going to think of victory. There are 2,000 fans coming to the game tomorrow and we are going to try and make them happy.

Weekend result
Saturday: Valencia 2-1 RCD Espanyol (Tino Costa 6pen, Soldado 80; Moreno 69)
Alves; Barragán (Bruno 46), Rami, Dealbert, Mathieu; Pablo Hernández, Mehmet, Tino Costa, Piatti (Jonas 65), Alba; Aduriz (Soldado 76)

• Tino Costa's third goal in as many games set Valencia on course for their seventh win in eight matches. Roberto Soldado found the net for the 26th time in his last 28 outings.

Team news
Víctor Ruíz (right adductor) and Ricardo Costa (hamstring) have been sidelined. Éver Banega is set to miss out with strained knee ligaments, while Sergio Canales is unavailable until April with a torn knee ligament. Hedwiges Maduro is absent with torn ankle ligaments.

Match fact
Chelsea are undefeated against Spanish opponents, home and away, in 12 competitive fixtures since a 2-1 reverse at Stamford Bridge against FC Barcelona in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League round of 16. That was their one and only setback against Spanish opponents on home soil; their record is W7 D4 L1.

Last updated: 27/11/12 3.10CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007649/prematch/preview/index.html#chelsea+valencia+face+stamford+bridge+final

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