Chelsea vs. FC Nordsjaelland, UEFA Champions League: Lineups & Game Thread

Maybe the no-look shot will do the trick. - Clive Rose

The Ukraine is not weak; the Ukraine is not weak; the Ukraine is not weak; the Ukraine is not weak; the Ukraine is not weak; the Ukraine is not weak; the Ukraine is not weak; the Ukraine is not weak...

So it's one eye on this match and the other on the Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Juventus match in Ukraine. Chelsea need the home team to win both; it's the only way for the Blues to advance to the knockout rounds.

And no, if the results don't work out, they would not be the first champions to fail so early at defending their crown - just the first to do so in the "Champions League" era. Back in previous incarnations of the most elite of continental competitions, several winners have fallen at the first hurdle, including Real Madrid ('60), Celtic ('67), Feyenoord ('70), Ajax ('73), Liverpool ('78), Nottingham Forest ('80), Hamburg ('83), and Dinamo Bucharest ('86).

Oh look, another Liverpool connection that we should try to avoid!

Chelsea starting lineup (4-2-3-1):
Petr Cech; Ashley Cole, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic; Oriol Romeu, Ramires; Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Victor Moses; Fernando Torres

Substitutes from: Ross Turnbull, Oscar, John Obi Mikel, Paulo Ferreira, Marko Marin, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ryan Bertrand

FCN starting lineup (4-2-3-1):
Jesper Hansen; Patrick Mtiliga, Ivan Runje, Mark Gundelach, Michael Parkhurst; Nicolai Stokholm, Enoch Kofi Adu; Joshua John, Anders Christiansen, Kasper Lorentzen; Mario Ticinovic

Substitutes from: tba

Mikel's new contract bonus is a spot on the bench. Thanks, coach!

UP THE BLUES! FORZA SHAKHTAR!

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