David Luiz is not a part of the Chelsea squad which will visit Switzerland to face FC Basel in a Champions League game. He has been ruled out because of his knee injury.
Luiz had performed pretty well when Chelsea had taken on Basel at St. Jakob Park in a Europa League game earlier this year. He had scored a match winning goal in that game and had helped his team win by a close margin of 2-1.
Losing Luiz is a big blow for the Blues, but, they would be happy with the fact that their main striker Fernando Torres has been declared fit and he will travel with the team to Basel. Torres had been out of action since a while as he had been struggling with his adductor injury.
In the absence of Luiz, the two men who are expected to play as centre-backs for Chelsea are Gary Cahill and John Terry.
All Chelsea needs from this game against Basel is 1 point. If they manage to get that, they will be through to the knockouts. In case they win, they would be able to maintain their top position in the points table of Group E.
Chelsea has lost just one Champions League game this season and that defeat had come against Basel at Stamford Bridge. So, the Blues would not be taking their Swiss opponents lightly at all.
As far as Chelsea’s performance in the away Champions League games is concerned, it has been quite good this season. They have so far played a couple of away games in the ongoing Champions League and have won both of them.
In the last season, Chelsea had been knocked out from the group stage of the Champions League, but, the way they are going this season, it seems they are quite determined to make up for the last season’s humiliation.
Chelsea manager José Mourinho decided to walk out of the press conference ahead of the match with Steaua Bucharest following repeated questions about Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who was omitted from the squad for this match. The 21-year-old last made an appearance for Chelsea in the 2-0 win over Swindon in the League Cup. Mourinho revealed a few days ago that he was not happy with the performances of the midfielder and hence he was not in the squad.
After being asked about the Belgian a few times, Mourinho decided that he was not going to talk any more than the press conference and went to take part in the training sessions. He said that he is extremely disappointed with the media’s attitude to keep thinking about the players not part of the squad. He has recalled that we have been fixed with Spaniard Juan Mata’s absence for the last few weeks and now they have turned their attention to De Bruyne. De Bruyne started the first match of the season against Hull and he was expected to kick on, but it has not progressed in the same way that he would have hoped.
Mourinho has said that he has always been honest manager and he wants the best from his players.
“This is fantastic because nobody asks me about Mata. You are for three weeks speaking about Mata, and now you are speaking about Kevin de Bruyne. So you are not interested in the players that are playing? You are interested in the players that are not playing. He was not selected. It was my decision. Only 11 can play and 18 can be selected. I try to decide by what they do on the pitch when they play and what they do in training,” Mourinho said in the pre-match press conference.
After several years of intense rivalry, it seems that Chelsea manager José Mourinho is willing to make peace with Arsene Wenger. He has perhaps complimented the Frenchman for the first time ever since coming face-to-face against him in 2004. Mourinho and Wenger have been one of the intense rivals in the last 10 years. They have criticised each other on several occasions in the past. Mourinho has gone on record by calling Wenger as voyeur because he liked talking about other clubs so much.
Wenger has responded to this criticism by saying that winning the Champions League alone is not a measure of the success a manager could have in his career. The intense rivalry between the two managers extended even after Mourinho left England in 2007. This animosity between the two, though, has been showing signs of mellowing down in recent years. Mourinho has finally confirmed this by saying that he has huge respect for Arsene Wenger, while saying that he is one of the nice guys in football.
Wenger has been at Arsenal for 17 years, and Mourinho has said that he would love to experience this kind of stability. During this period, Mourinho has managed four different clubs. Even though Wenger has not been successful in the last eight years, the Portuguese still thinks that he is a great manager.
“He’s a nice guy. I respect him a lot and I will show my respect always. I wouldn’t bet for one single problem between us. I have had a chance to meet him much, much better when I left England. I started meeting him at the Euros, the World Cup. We had dinner. When you are not in the same league and when you are not playing against each other, it is easier to know people, it is easier to go deeper. I enjoyed speaking with him about football,” said Mourinho.