Torres backed in bid for 'mission impossible' as Chelsea eye Champions League history
21:50 GMT, 18 September 2012
Those searching for the legacy of Chelsea's European triumph need look no further than an 80million summer spree and the presence of Eden Hazard.
Roberto Di Matteo admits the club could not have beaten Manchester City to Hazard's signature without Champions League football or won the race for Brazilian starlet Oscar.
Striding out: Fernando Torres training on Tuesday following his angry exit at Loftus Road
The two 21-year-olds cost 60m and represent the costly end of Roman Abramovich's rejuvenation programme.
'They want to be involved in the biggest club competition in the world,' said Di Matteo. 'So it would have been extremely difficult to attract these players.'
Fighting fit: Both John Obi Mikel (left) and John Terry (right) are hoping to win another Champions League
Relaxed: Chelsea players Ashley Cole and Daniel Sturridge (right) shared a joke in Tuesday's training session
take on Juventus at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night on the road to
attempting to be the first team in the modern era to defend the crown.
'At a club like Chelsea, the pressure is always on to win more trophies and have more success,' Di Matteo added.
'It just has proved impossible for anybody to win it twice. But we will try to do the impossible.'
Matteo has proved quite capable at impossible missions since taking
over from Andre Villas-Boas in March. He rejects the theory he got
'It can't just
be that,' he said. 'We prepared ourselves very well against every
opponent. We worked very hard. You need to deserve everything you get.'
Matteo named Juventus among his possible winners of the tournament but
the Italians have won only three of their last 11 competitive games in
England and arrive with problems.
Andrea Pirlo has been unable to recapture the vintage form he produced
in Euro 2012. And, although, they have started the Serie A campaign with
three wins, there are concerns that the three-man defence is not as
well organised as last season. Juventus must cope with the 10-month
touchline ban on manager Antonio Conte in a match-fixing scandal.
Matteo has selection issues, setting the merits of rotating his squad
in these group games against the warnings of last month's 4-1 defeat by
Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup.
Plotting: Manager Roberto Di Matteo talks tactics on the eve of the clash
Ready for anything: Chelsea are keen to hit the ground running in this season's campaign
Fernando Torres is at the heart of this riddle as the only established
centre forward in the squad. Torres stormed down the tunnel after he was
replaced near the end at QPR on Saturday but Di Matteo insisted last
night: 'There's no problem with Fernando. 'He's played all the games
before I made the change. It was nil-nil and I tried to change the
dynamic of the game.'
Sturridge, who came on at Loftus Road and looked sharp, would be the
obvious replacement but this may be the competition which sees Brazilian
midfielder Oscar introduced.
has yet to start a game and has made little impact coming off the
bench, but Di Matteo said: 'You will see more of him in the future, for
Stage is set: Chelsea will host Juventus at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night
All smiles: David Luiz is hoping to partner Terry in the centre of defence