Football News

Di Matteo braced for Shakhtar showdown

Created on 07 Nov., 2012 3:33 PM GMT

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said his side cannot afford any mistakes against Shakhtar Donetsk in their UEFA champions League.

Chelsea lost 2-1 at Shakhtar in the reverse fixture two weeks ago and sit three points behind the Ukrainian champions in Group E.

The hosts of the match at Stamford Bridge will have John Terry available, the captain has been serving a four-match domestic which did not apply to European competition.

But they will be without left-back Ashley Cole due to a hamstring injury, who is set to be replaced by Ryan Bertrand.

"I think we need to play a perfect game tomorrow to be able to win against Shakhtar, because they are a good side," Di Matteo said.

"But we are strong at home, we've shown that over many, many years and I think we'll be fired up for tomorrow's game to win it.

"We certainly have to win our home games, I believe and still believe in that."

Di Matteo claimed the defending champions, who beat Bayern Munich on penalties in last year's final, are well-versed in must-win games and tomorrow's match will be no different.

"I think there are some comparisons to last season where we had must-win games and probably tomorrow is another one like that," Di Matteo said.

"Fortunately, we have players with that kind of experience that have been there before."

Chelsea have only taken four points from their opening three games in the Champions League this year and Di Matteo feels his side must improve if they are to overcome Shakhtar.

"Sometimes you need to give credit to the opposition for the quality that they have," he said.

"I think we have to focus on what we can do and the problems that we can cause and create for the opposition and let them be concerned about us.

 "Certainly, our defensive organisation has been good - we've had some individual mistakes - but when we're fully focused, then I think we are a very good team.

"You look at the goals we've conceded in the Champions League and we've got many players behind the ball, so it's not like we've been caught out."

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