Chelsea Champions League team news, transfer rumours
Chelsea have a tough game on their hands tonight as they travel to the uncompromising home ground of Shakhtar Donetsk in an early kick-off Champions League group match, but with Juan Mata walking on water the odds are in their favour.
Both teams have earned four points from their opening two matches and go into tonight’s encounter knowing a win would see them on the verge of the next round of the tournament.
All eyes will be on little magician Juan Mata who has been in dazzling form in recent weeks, as will fellow countryman Fernando Torres, albeit to gauge whether he still has it in him to perform on the world’s greatest stage and disprove rumours that he is soon to be replaced.
Boss Roberto Di Matteo will think long and hard on this decision as the transfer window is just around the corner and the annual winter war chest will be burning a hole in his pockets.
Candidate number one is Radamel Falcao of Atletico Madrid, the Columbian has been tearing up trees in La Liga this season to the extent he is now Europe’s hottest property, a fine acquisition for a West London club which likes a marquee singing or three.
If Di Matteo does go for the hit man it will spark a transfer merry-go-round between some of Europe’s richest teams, involving the likes of Manchester United, Juventus, Real Madrid and Arsenal.
Falcao is valued at a whopping £46m, if Chelsea agrees to trigger this contract clause it will give Atletico Madrid some well needed pocket money to play with, a replacement in the mould of Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez will be their number one target.
Juventus are also keen on the young Mexican striker, if the Italians miss out they will turn to second choice striker Fernando Llorente, battling Manchester United and Arsenal for his signature.
Failing that, the two Premier League sides will enquire over the availability of out-of-favour Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who will still cost an arm and a leg, but may be sold if the right deal is put forward.
Tonight’s Champions League line-ups:
Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov, Srna, Chygrynskiy, Rakitskiy, Rat, Hubschman, Fernandinho, Ilsinho, Mkhitaryan, Willian, Luiz Adriano
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Hazard, Oscar, Mata, Torres