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Spartak upbeat as Chelsea return to Moscow

Chelsea FC return to the Luzhniki Stadion, scene of their 2008 final loss, to face an FC Spartak Moskva side whose coach Valeri Karpin promises "attacking but not risky football".

Spartak upbeat as Chelsea return to Moscow
Spartak upbeat as Chelsea return to Moscow ©UEFA.com

Chelsea FC's visit to FC Spartak Moskva on Tuesday has revived memories of their last game at the Luzhniki Stadion, the 2008 UEFA Champions League final defeat by Manchester United FC. That is not a concern for either coach, though – they are concentrating instead on the danger that their respective opponents pose in a game between two sides each on six points at the top of Group F.

Valeri Karpin, Spartak Moskva coach
It is no good comparing the game to the 2008 Champions League final but hopefully the result will be the same for Chelsea. Psychologically we feel good after good results in both domestic football and the Champions League and we want to show it against Chelsea, one of the best teams in the world. I have to make sure the players do not get too excited – too much motivation can stop the legs running.

For Chelsea the loss of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard is less critical than our being without Alex. They can turn to the likes of Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou. We like playing attacking football but not risky football. We have our plan and it is up to the players to carry it out and get the result. There is a saying that,''We went to attack but found ourselves prisoners' – we want to avoid that.

Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea manager
The last game Chelsea played here was a different story, It was the final. They lost the final on penalties but I don't think that psychologically we will have a problem tomorrow. John Terry has great experience and what happened two years ago has no effect on him, he knows that in football you can sometimes lose games, I myself lost the final in 2005.

[The pitch] is different but this is one of the best artificial pitches in the world, we don't have complaints about that – we have complains about the opposition, Spartak are a good team! They are top of the group and maybe the two games against them will decide first place. This is the most important thing because our aim is to come first in the group. I have seen Spartak games, like those against Žilina and Marseiile, they have a lot of good players. They are a very good team, they have a good mix of Brazilian and Russian players – Brazilians can use their technical abilities, the Russian players are good physically, this is a very good combination.

Team news
Playmaker Alex is out for two weeks after a thigh muscle tear suffered against FC Alania Vladikavkaz. Welliton, who has scored 16 goals in 18 league appearances this season, returned for Friday's league game but Aiden McGeady (ankle) and Kirill Kombarov (knee) missed out.

Terry recovered from a back injury to face Aston Villa FC at the weekend, but Didier Drogba was absent through illness and will not play in Moscow. Salomon Kalou could return from a thigh injury but Alex, like his Spartak namesake, remains out of action along with Frank Lampard (hernia), Hilário (rib), José Bosingwa (knee) and Yossi Benayoun, who will be sidelined for six months with a torn tendon.

Weekend results
15/10/10 Spartak 3-0 FC Alania Vladikavkaz

(Ari 24, Alex 39, Ivanov og 52)
Nikola Drinčić made his Spartak debut against Alania, coming on a minute after Ibson's missed penalty. Karpin's side have won six of their last seven matches, drawing the other.

16/10/10 Aston Villa FC 0-0 Chelsea
In Drogba's absence, Gaël Kakuta made his first Premier League start. José Bosingwa came on as a late substitute to make his first appearance since suffering a knee injury on 17 October 2009.

Did you know?
Spartak and Chelsea have not met before in a competitive fixture and the home team have lost three and drawn one of their last four games against English sides.

See the match background for more information.

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