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Chelsea aim to be group winners again

Smarting after a second reverse against FC Basel 1893, Chelsea FC take on a FC Steaua Bucureşti side seeking the win that will ensure they progress as Group E winners.

Ramires, shown left with Samuel Eto'o, was twice on target in the game at the Arena Națională
Ramires, shown left with Samuel Eto'o, was twice on target in the game at the Arena Națională ©Getty Images

Chelsea FC suffered a second Group E defeat against FC Basel 1893 on matchday five but nevertheless take on FC Steaua Bucureşti knowing a win will ensure they progress as section winners.

• Should Chelsea lose they will finish second while a draw would leave them top as long as Basel do not win at FC Schalke 04.

• In the 1 October meeting between the sides, Chelsea were 4-0 winners with Ramires scoring twice. Daniel Georgievski's own goal and Frank Lampard completed the scoring.

• Chelsea were beaten 2-1 by Basel at Stamford Bridge on matchday one, but two 3-0 victories against Schalke have given them a one-point lead over Basel at the summit, with the German club a further point behind. 

• Steaua will finish bottom of the section regardless of the matchday six results. They lost 3-0 at Schalke in their first game and in their second away fixture they drew 1-1 in Basel, a third successive Group E draw following in matchday five's stalemate against Schalke. 

• The Romanian club have not won for 22 games in the UEFA Champions League proper, since a 4-1 success at FC Dynamo Kyiv on 13 September 2006. Steaua's failure to beat Schalke on matchday five equalled the longest UEFA Champions League run without a win, set by FC Spartak Moskva between 5 December 2000 and 22 November 2006.

Previous meetings
• The teams were drawn together in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16 when Chelsea needed to retrieve a 1-0 deficit from the away leg following Raul Rusescu's first-half penalty. At Stamford Bridge Juan Mata (34) levelled the overall scores and, though Vlad Chiricheş (45) restored Steaua's aggregate advantage, John Terry (58) and Fernando Torres (71) struck to take Chelsea through.

• The teams in London on 14 March 2013 were:
Chelsea: Čech, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Mata (Moses 90), Oscar, Hazard (Benayoun 90), Torres.
Steaua: Tătăruşanu, Szukała, Pintilii, Chiricheş, Latovlevici, Chipciu, Tănase (Leandro Tatu 78), Bourceanu, Popa, Râpă (Sobrinho 84), Rusescu.

• Chelsea's only previous encounters with Romanian opposition came in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage, where they beat CFR 1907 Cluj 2-1 at home after a 0-0 draw away. Petr Čech, Terry, John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole played in those games while Branislav Ivanović was on the bench both times.

• Steaua's 17 matches against English clubs have ended W5 D4 L8 (W0 D2 L6 away).

• Steaua's most successful recent European campaign ended in England in dramatic circumstances. Leading 1-0 from the first leg of their 2005/06 UEFA Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough FC, and 3-0 up overall after 24 minutes of the return, they were heading through on away goals until Massimo Maccarone struck after 89 minutes at the Riverside Stadium to secure a 4-2 home win – and a 4-3 aggregate success – for the English side, who had Mark Schwarzer in goal.

Match background
• Chelsea have finished as winners of their group in seven of their last ten campaigns and qualified for the knockout rounds as runners-up in two of the other years.

• Last year, though, they became the first UEFA Champions League holders to have their title defence ended in the group stage despite taking seven points from their three home matches. They then went on to beat SL Benfica 2-1 in the UEFA Europa League final in Amsterdam thanks to Ivanović's last-gasp header.

• Chelsea thus became the first side to win UEFA's two top club competitions in reverse order in successive seasons. They also became only the fourth side to win all three of UEFA's major club competitions.

• Mourinho, who has lifted the UEFA Champions League with both FC Porto (2004) and FC Internazionale Milano (2010), is bidding to become the first manager to win the European Cup with three different teams. Only Bob Paisley (Liverpool FC 1977, 1978, 1981) has won the trophy three times as a coach.

• Steaua are the only Romanian club to have triumphed in Europe, winning the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1985/86 by defeating FC Barcelona in a penalty shoot-out.

• In their first participation in the group stage since 2008/09, the Bucharest club have won just four of their 41 group matches over seven campaigns.

• Their away form served Laurenţiu Reghecampf's team well in this season's qualifying rounds, winning at FK Vardar and FC Dinamo Tbilisi before a 2-2 draw at Legia Warszawa in the play-offs.

Team ties
• Reghecampf played both legs of Steaua's 1997/98 UEFA Cup third round against Aston Villa FC, who lost 2-1 in the Romanian capital before overturning the deficit 2-0 at home.

• In Reghecampf's last season before moving to Germany, Steaua eliminated Lampard's West Ham United FC in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round, winning 2-0 at home before a 0-0 away draw.

• Although he had not faced Romanian opposition before this season, Mourinho worked with Romanian players at Barcelona (Gheorghe Popescu), in his first spell at Stamford Bridge (Adrian Mutu), and at Inter (Cristian Chivu).

• Cristian Tănase scored in Romania's 3-2 win against an Australia team containing Schwarzer in Malaga on 6 February 2013. Mihai Doru Pintilii and Alexandru Bourceanu were also in the Romanian side for what was the first ever match between the teams.