Chelsea will be hoping to continue their unbeaten start to this season’s Champions League when they host FC Genk at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, kick off 7.45pm.
The Belgian side, who are currently bottom of Group E, shouldn’t pose any threat to Andre Villas-Boas’ men and they are expected to gain control of the group with a straight forward win. Three points at the Bridge would have all but qualified the Blues if Kalou had not given away a needless penalty in Valencia.
Despite their opposition being ninth in their domestic league, AVB has emphasised the importance of the game and the need for his side to pick up maximum points.
‘One win puts Genk back in the battle for qualification and that is what we want to avoid,’ Villas-Boas says. ‘Tomorrow will be very important because we are at home. The opportunity is there but it is never easy.
‘We had a draw in Valencia but we were so close to winning and now the group has become tight and anything can still happen. It is this unpredictable situation that we want to cut off by winning this first game. Also the Leverkusen-Valencia games will have something to say.’
Chelsea will be without Ramires for the game after he picked up a knee injury after scoring during their win over Everton on Saturday.
Meanwhile Michael Essein remains a long term absentee and Fernando Torres could once again feature after missing out Saturday’s win through domestic suspension. The former Porto manager is likely to go for Daniel Sturridge up front alongside one of Drogba, Torres or Anelka.
FC Genk have their own injury worries though and arrive to the English capital with a long list of absentees. There are doubts over the participation of four players who started both group games so far and another who played the qualification matches is ruled out until April. Jose Nadson,Torben Joneleit, Jelle Vossen and Jeroen Simaeys as the quartet are all sidelined through injury.
The game sees the first encounter between the two sides and marks Genk’s debut on British soil.
It’s hard to see past a comfortable Chelsea win in this game but you never know if Genk can stay organised and disciplined throughout the game then an unexpected result could be possible. My prediction is Chelsea to win 3-0.