Chelsea aren't the only team playing in this match in need of a win. In fact, visitors Porto can only advance to the knockout round of the Champions League with a win. It would be their first ever win in 16 tries away to English opposition, having lost 13 of the 15 previous (including previous visits to Stamford Bridge in 2004, 2007, and 2009). While both teams could be granted reprieve from the existential need to win should Dynamo Kiev somehow contrive to lose to Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the other group game of the final matchday, that'd be a pretty strange result even by this season's standards.
The job for Chelsea is simple: win the game and win the group and advance as a top seed. A draw is only good for second and the prospect of (probably) Spanish or German opposition in the round of 16. A loss would most likely mean the Europa League. And while that may sound like an easier way back into next year's Champions League (with Top 4 basically out of the question in the Premier League), winning the Europa League would require navigating one extra round of games against opposition barely below the quality remaining in the primary competition. Our chances of winning either are very low, but we'd only have to get lucky in the Champions League over four rounds rather than five rounds in the Europa. I know which one I'd prefer.
So, another must win. It may be a must not lose technically, but for our psyches, for the squad's confidence and for Mourinho's job prospects, a win is necessary. Just win, baby.
Date / Time: Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 19:45 GMT; 2:45pm EST; 1:15am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir — the Turkish referee has several entries in Chelsea lore already, having overseen the Miracle of the Camp Nou, Di Matteo's final match in charge, and our hilarious effort at losing the World Club Cup final in an 8-month span in 2012. He was also in charge for the 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain in last season's round of 16. The only win of the five matches he's refereed for Chelsea, and the only one at Stamford Bridge, was our 4-1 result against Spartak Moscow way back in 2010.
Forecast: A mild (for early December), dry night under the lights.
On TV: BT Sport 2 (UK); Fox Sports regional networks; ESPN Deportes (USA); TEN Sports (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: BT Sport Live (UK); Fox Soccer2Go (USA); TEN Sports Live (India)
Chelsea team news: Radamel Falcao remains at least a couple weeks away from making his return; everyone else should be available even if Terry and Ramires may not be completely fit to start.
Chelsea may be struggling in domestic league and cup matches, but we do have three wins from five in Europe and we actually manage to score a few goals there on occasion as well. The only loss was Porto away, where we were denied an obvious penalty in the dying moments and still came close to almost snatching a draw thanks to Kenedy.
Porto team news: Julen Lopetegui wants his team to play the "perfect game" to ensure a spot in the next round and consign Chelsea to just our second ever unsuccessful group stage of the Champions League. His only significant injury is backup striker Dani Osvaldo, who hasn't been good since 2012-13.
Porto have only lost one (1) match all season in all competition, their home defeat to Dynamo Kiev a fortnight ago. Despite that, they're actually just second in the Primeira Liga, two points behind also unbeaten Sporting
Previously: Not so bad in the first half, plenty bad in the second. Will have to do better today.