Juventus v Chelsea: We must rediscover our belief, says Di Matteo
Juventus v Chelsea: Roberto Di Matteo tells his players that they must rediscover their self-belief ahead of Champions League clash
Roberto Di Matteo has told his Chelsea players that they must “believe in themselves” ahead of the Blues’ crunch clash at Juventus on Tuesday.
The west Londoners have won just one of their last four games in all competitions and defeat in Turin would leave the defending champions on the brink of an early Champions League exit.
“We know the importance of the game so motivation will be very high,” said Di Matteo, whose side slumped to a 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich at the weekend. “It will be important we understand that and show the commitment which is necessary for tomorrow’s game.
“The players have to have belief in themselves, that’s the most important aspect. We work together and we’re all in it together, we have a good team, a good group and we believe we can get a positive result.”
The Italian, who led Chelsea to Champions League and FA Cup glory last season, refused to consider what impact an early exit from Europe’s elite club competition could have on his Stamford Bridge future.
“I’m not thinking about that,” he added. “I’m preparing for the game and the team and have important decisions to make about that. We are very confident we can have a good game and, hopefully, a good result.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has warned the Blues they must tighten up their defence after conceding 13 goals in their last six games in all competitions.
“So far this season has been in two halves because up to the Tottenham game we kept six clean sheets and had one of the best defences in the league,” said Cahill.
“Of late it has not been the case but it is the same personnel and now it is important we get back to the way we started the campaign.
“It is a matter of the whole team going back to doing what we were doing defensively that brought us success.”
Juventus v Chelsea: Pre-match facts
• The Blues have won only once in eight visits to Italy, a 4-0 group stage success at Lazio in 2003-04 in which Frank Lampard got the final goal. The other seven games have resulted in four defeats and three draws
• Chelsea have now lost three of their last 12 away group games, winning five.
• Juventus’s win against Nordsjælland on matchday four ended an unprecedented nine successive draws in European competition; the previous high was seven.
• Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo have played every minute of Juve’s group stage campaign.