The official website for European football

Benítez eyes 'a little bit of luck' for Chelsea

Published: Tuesday 4 December 2012, 20.45CET
Rafael Benítez denies Chelsea FC need a miracle to make the last 16 but admits he is battling on two fronts as he seeks to "change perceptions" ahead of FC Nordsjælland's visit.
by Jamie Reid
from London

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Published: Tuesday 4 December 2012, 20.45CET

Benítez eyes 'a little bit of luck' for Chelsea

Rafael Benítez denies Chelsea FC need a miracle to make the last 16 but admits he is battling on two fronts as he seeks to "change perceptions" ahead of FC Nordsjælland's visit.

Under pressure less than a fortnight after taking over at Chelsea FC, Rafael Benítez's Stamford Bridge tenure gets no easier when the Blues welcome FC Nordsjælland on Wednesday. The Spaniard, however, remains optimistic despite the holders' precarious position in Group E – and is confident his team and FC Shakhtar Donetsk can each fulfil their side of the bargain. Visiting coach Kasper Hjulmand agrees it is not all doom and gloom in west London yet urges his charges to finish a "huge experience" on a positive note.

The only thing I can try is to win our game – I have confidence that Shakhtar can beat Juventus
Rafael Benítez
We have to remember this is the first time ever, not even in the Champions League, but in the group stage
Kasper Hjulmand

Chelsea need to win and hope Juventus lose at Shakhtar as their head-to-head record is inferior to both clubs above them.

Nordsjælland are out of Europe.

Chelsea
Rafael Benítez, manager

I think the players are ready mentally, they are used to playing at the maximum level – it's just a question of a little bit of confidence. If we can start well and score a goal then it will be a little bit easier. At the same time, it's the Champions League so it's another challenge for everyone. We have to win, we have to do well. The other team are a dangerous team with not a lot to lose – but I think we are prepared for them.

Do we need a miracle to go through? I don't think it's a miracle. We have to do our job and wait for the other teams. Shakhtar are a very good team and I think they can beat Juventus. So no, it's not a miracle – sometimes we need a bit of luck. The only thing I can try is to win our game – I have confidence that Shakhtar can beat Juventus. They have players that want to be seen around the world. They know they have to perform.

Sometimes when you are not winning you lose a little bit of confidence. The message is always the same. It's very simple: I will try my best for the club, for everyone – and try to win games and change perceptions. The team has to perform, the team has to win, the team has to score goals. I said to the players to be careful. [Nordsjælland] is a team that has nothing to lose – they are a good team and we have to respect them.

Weekend result
Saturday: West Ham United FC 3-1 Chelsea (Cole 63, Diamé 86, Maiga 90+1; Mata 13)

Čech; Azpilicueta, Ivanović, Cahill, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Moses (Marin 79), Hazard (Oscar 73), Mata; Torres.

• Chelsea are now seven games without a Premier League victory – their worst run since a ten-match sequence at the start of 1995.

Team news
Benítez confirmed that Frank Lampard (calf), John Terry (knee) and Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) are all ruled out.

Nordsjælland
Kasper Hjulmand, coach

When we saw the group it was a tough draw, and we've had some tough games, but the experience is extremely important for a club like ours. It's always difficult the first time you go into Europe. We have to remember this is the first time ever, not even in the Champions League, but in the group stage. The experience is huge for us and we can build on that in the future.

We'll do our best to perform. Who knows, I think we're able to compete, so we'll do our best to get a result. They have a very good manager and a talented team. They've had a little dip right now but they'll come back and show who they are in the near future – hopefully not tomorrow, but it's only a matter of time.

You can see that some changes are taking place and of course a couple of weeks is too soon to see that through. But yes, there are some small changes in the tactical work. We have noticed it and it's important to see if we can use that to our advantage. But I've been impressed – if you give it time I think they'll be in control in the near future.

Weekend result
Sunday: Nordsjælland 3-0 Brøndby IF (Christiansen 4, Beckmann 54, Tičinović 90)
Hansen; Parkhurst, Stokholm, Runje; Gundelach, Adu, Christiansen, Tičinović; Laudrup (Lorentzen 62) Beckmann (Lindberg 77) John (Mtiliga 62).

• Nordsjælland bounced back from two straight defeats to ensure they remain nine points behind Superligaen leaders FC København with one round of games to go before the three-month winter break.

Team news
Jores Okore (hamstring) and Morten Nordstrand (concussion) are definitely sidelined, but Søren Christensen has returned to training following a hamstring problem and could feature.

Match fact
• Chelsea have never failed to qualify for the last 16 in any of their ten UEFA Champions League campaigns.

Last updated: 09/05/13 9.16CET

Related information

Coach profiles
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009569/prematch/preview/index.html#benitez+eyes+little+luck+chelsea

UEFA.com features

Araz's Gambarov on Baku futsal passion
  • Araz's Gambarov on Baku futsal passion
  • Take a bow Bale and El Haddadi
  • Road to the semi-finals
  • Bayern and Madrid's classic 2012 semi-final
  • Banga making a noise in Lithuania
  • Gustavsson: Tyresö still chasing their dream
  • Kellermann explains Wolfsburg rise
  • Madrid and Barcelona spurred on by Copa history
  • Unbeaten Sparta aim to go all the way
  • Steaua have to start again
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.