Chelsea Face Decisive Match, Benitez Desperate To Win


Rafael Benitez is desperate for his first win with Chelsea as they seek Champions League qualification against FC Nordsjaelland.

The European champions will have to win tonight and rely on Shakhtar Donetsk to defeat Juventus in order to progress to the knockout stages.

Rafael Benítez denies Chelsea FC need a miracle to make the last 16 but admits he is battling on two fronts as he seeks to “change perceptions” ahead of FC Nordsjælland’s visit.

The Spaniard, however, remains optimistic despite the holders’ precarious position in Group E – and is confident his team and FC Shakhtar Donetsk can each fulfil their side of the bargain. Visiting coach Kasper Hjulmand agrees it is not all doom and gloom in west London yet urges his charges to finish a “huge experience” on a positive note.

“I think the players are ready mentally, they are used to playing at the maximum level – it’s just a question of a little bit of confidence. If we can start well and score a goal then it will be a little bit easier. At the same time, it’s the Champions League so it’s another challenge for everyone. We have to win, we have to do well. The other team are a dangerous team with not a lot to lose – but I think we are prepared for them,” Bentize said.

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“Do we need a miracle to go through? I don’t think it’s a miracle. We have to do our job and wait for the other teams. Shakhtar are a very good team and I think they can beat Juventus. So no, it’s not a miracle – sometimes we need a bit of luck. “The only thing I can try is to win our game – I have confidence that Shakhtar can beat Juventus”. They have players that want to be seen around the world. They know they have to perform.

“Sometimes when you are not winning you lose a little bit of confidence. The message is always the same. It’s very simple: I will try my best for the club, for everyone – and try to win games and change perceptions. The team has to perform, the team has to win, the team has to score goals. I said to the players to be careful. [Nordsjælland] is a team that has nothing to lose – they are a good team and we have to respect them.”

Nordsjælland’s coach said: “When we saw the group it was a tough draw, and we’ve had some tough games, but the experience is extremely important.”

for a club like ours. It’s always difficult the first time you go into Europe. We have to remember this is the first time ever, not even in the Champions League, but in the group stage. The experience is huge for us and we can build on that in the future.”

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