Chelsea readies for stern test against Copenhagen

Updated: 21 February 2011 18:38 IST

Chelsea has little time to recover from its FA Cup elimination before taking on FC Copenhagen on Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League's round of 16.

Chelsea readies for stern test against Copenhagen

Copenhagen:

Chelsea has little time to recover from its FA Cup elimination before taking on FC Copenhagen on Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League's round of 16.


The English champions, who lost to Everton on penalties on Saturday, have been struggling in recent weeks and have dropped to fifth place in the Premier League.

Under-pressure coach Carlo Ancelotti has not yet revealed whether he will start the game with new signing Fernando Torres, the 50 million pound (then $81 million) striker who has failed to score in his first two games since switching from Liverpool.

But whatever team Ancelotti picks, the Italian believes the Blues are strong enough to advance to the quarterfinals.

"Chelsea won't go out against Copenhagen," said Ancelotti. "We have to have the right pressure because we have 180 minutes to win against them. We need to maintain a good shape, stay together and work hard together and not individually."

Chelsea have reached the semi-finals five times in the past seven years but have never won Europe's top trophy.

"The Champions League is not easy but it brings a lot of motivation," Ancelotti said.

Copenhagen, by contrast, has never before reached the knockout stages. However, the team has excelled this season in front of its vocal home fans, beating Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos and drawing with tournament favorite Barcelona in the group stage.

The runaway Danish league leaders have not played a competitive game since the start of its winter break more than two months ago, meaning Stale Solbakken's team will have fresh legs but may lack cohesion.

Copenhagen midfielder Jesper Gronkjaer was once a crowd favorite at Stamford Bridge but the Dane is unsentimental about playing against his former club.

"When the game starts, the aim is to have FC Copenhagen move ahead (in the tournament)," Gronkjaer said. "To me, it won't be any different from any other game."



Topics : Football
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