Chelsea looking for morale boost against APOEL

Updated: 07 December 2009 15:43 IST

With qualification and first place already assured, Chelsea is looking to use its final Champions League group match against APOEL Nicosia on Tuesday.

Chelsea looking for morale boost against APOEL
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London:

With qualification and first place already assured, Chelsea is looking to use its final Champions League group match against APOEL Nicosia on Tuesday.

Chelsea was knoked out of the League Cup last week and then had its lead at the top of the Premier League cut to just two points by Saturday's 2-1 loss at Manchester City.

Midfielder Michael Ballack said playing at Stamford Bridge will lift his team, adding that it is normal for even the best teams to lose a few away matches each season.

Chelsea went out of the League Cup in a shootout at Blackburn and all three of Chelsea's Premier League losses have come away from home.

The west London club, which was Champions League runner-up in 2008, has won all its home matches this season domestically and in Europe.

The Blues need to make sure its minor setbacks do not herald the start of something worse.

"At home we are very strong," Ballack said. "If we win every game at home and lose a few away it seems like we are not as strong but I think it's the same with every team."

With what could be a tough Premier League match against Everton coming up at the weekend, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti may decide to rest a few of his leading players on Tuesday.

Chelsea has already clinched what should be a favorable draw for the next round by taking first place in Group D. The Blues have 13 points, four more than 2004 European champion FC Porto and 10 more than third-place Atletico Madrid.

APOEL is languishing back in last place with just two points and needs a victory to have any chance of finishing above Atletico and taking the consolation prize of a place in the second-tier Europa League.

The chances are slim: Chelsea has not lost at home in the Champions League since February 20o6.

`We are disppointed but we have to take the good things," Ballack said. "We are fighting back and we could deserve a draw. We can look forward to the next games."

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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