Thibaut Courtois has been a rock in the Chelsea goal this season, and his excellent start to life in London has been one of the reasons that Chelsea have gone unbeaten since the campaign kicked off. He was no less excellent in his time at Atletico Madrid, and experienced quite a bit of success in European competition during his time in Spain.
On Wednesday, Courtois spoke to Chelsea's website about the differences between domestic and European football, and the need to remain focused ahead of what's perceived as a relatively easy match:
‘We will have to be careful because Sporting Lisbon drew there and it will be a difficult away game. Just because we won 6-0 at home, there is no reason for us to believe this game will be the same.’
‘In the Champions League you’re playing against the best teams and you know every little mistake can be punished with a goal against.'
‘In European football you need to be able to deal with the different approaches of teams; sometimes in domestic football teams can be quite open, whereas in Europe, because you are playing against the best teams from different countries it can be very difficult and the level is very high.’
Maribor may be the best that Slovenia has to offer, but frankly, I'm not much more concerned about them punishing one of Chelsea's mistakes than I was Strawberry Town. Then again, Strawberry managed to slip one past the keeper, and gave our squad a pretty good scare for a League Two side.
Regardless, it's good to see that Thibaut Courtois sees the need to be focused and ready for Maribor, even if he'll likely start today's match on the Chelsea bench.