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Maribor v Chelsea: Match preview

ChelseaTalk
ANALYST
Modified 05 Nov 2014, 22:22 IST
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Drogba
Didier Drogba to spearhead Chelsea’s attack.

Chelsea travel to Slovenia looking for a second win in the space of two weeks against Maribor. 

The Blues tore the Slovenians apart in the 6-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago, but Jose Mourinho is expecting a different game on Wednesday night.

The gaffer is expected to make a lot of changes to the team that beat QPR at the weekend, most notably with Didier Drogba replacing Diego Costa in attack.

Chelsea team news

Petr Cech is likely to feature again with Thibaut Courtois dropping to the bench. Cesar Azpilicueta also returns to the side after missing out in the domestic competitions due to suspension.

John Terry will rest as Kurt Zouma gets the nod in the central defence alongside Gary Cahill, and Ramires, Mohamed Salah and Andre Schurrle will come into the midfield with Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas.

French striker Loic Remy is still out with an injury so Drogba will start the game in Slovenia with Costa doubtful through injury.

Manager Mourinho is wary of complacency ahead of the match, much due to the thrashing in the match two weeks ago.

I know Maribor are a very good team. I watched their matches against Sporting and Schalke and also some in the Slovenian league. They play offensively and are especially dangerous at home. I have to convince my players that in the first match everything went our way.

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A win will put us through to the next round of the competition though it will not guarantee a top spot in the group with Schalke chasing close behind should they beat Sporting Lisbon.

Maribor team news

31-year-old Aleš Meja? is the host’s only injury concern ahead of the match against the Premier League leaders.

Maribor coach Ante Šimundža will be keen to bounce back from the defeat in their last meeting, and should they get a point or more from the match, they’ll be in with a chance of qualifying for the Europa League ahead of Sporting.

Playing away in Europe is never easy for English teams, and the home side will look to exploit any mistakes the Chelsea defence may do.

Maribor have two draws from their opening three matches, including a 1-1 draw at home to Sporting. With a fortune on their side they can cause trouble for Chelsea, so we need to be careful and hopefully get the first goal early on.

Come on Blues! We’re going for a 2-1 win.

Published 05 Nov 2014, 22:18 IST
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