Chelsea and Shakhtar can advance with wins
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
TURIN, Italy (AP) Chelsea can qualify for the next round of the Champions League with a win at Juventus on Tuesday, although the defending champions need to overturn a dismal record in their previous eight visits to Italy and quickly move on from a domestic loss to West Bromwich Albion.
The London club's only success when visiting Serie A clubs came with a 4-0 group win over Lazio in 2003, when Frank Lampard scored the final goal. The other seven matches resulted in four losses and three draws.
Group E is tight, with Shakhtar Donetsk and Chelsea leading with seven points each and Juventus one point behind. Danish club Nordsjaelland is last with one point.
Shakhtar can also advance Tuesday with a win at Nordsjaelland, while Juventus needs points against Chelsea to be sure of keeping its hopes alive.
"We're on the same level as the European champions," Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said. "Juventus has earned the respect of any opponent."
Juve was held to a 0-0 draw by Lazio on Saturday but is still four points clear at the top of Serie A.
"We've got the utmost respect for (Chelsea). They're a team that has been at the top for 10 years, but I think Juve has what it needs to win, and the 2-2 draw in London shows that," added Buffon, who has never won the Champions League - coming closest when losing on penalties to AC Milan in the 2003 final.
In their first meeting this season, Chelsea went ahead 2-0 with two goals from Brazilian midfielder Oscar, but Juve equalized with scores from Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella.
Quagliarella could pair with diminutive forward Sebastian Giovinco in attack this time, with Mirko Vucinic still recovering from the flu.
Midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo is fully rested after missing the Lazio game through suspension.
Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo rested Juan Mata, Ramires, Oscar and Branislav Ivanovic for the 2-1 loss to West Brom on Saturday.
They will all return, while Ashley Cole is also likely to be back after an ankle injury. Captain John Terry is out for three weeks with a knee injury.
British papers have reported that Di Matteo is battling to save his job after the squad's recent run of poor results.
Chelsea is looking to avoid becoming the first reigning champion to fail to qualify for the knockout stage, and faces defending Premier League champion Manchester City this weekend.
"They are two massive games coming up," said Di Matteo, who will grab extra attention in his return to Italy. "We've got players with a lot of experience. We've been in this position before but, for some reason, November for our club is a bad month and it seems to again be the case this year. We have to try and address that."
Meanwhile, Shakhtar also struggled over the weekend, losing to Arsenal Kiev 2-0 for its first loss in the Ukrainian league this season. The defeat ended a 15-match winning streak in the league.
Nordsjaelland earned its only point with a 1-1 draw at home against Juventus.
"The Danish club is dangerous at home," Shakhtar striker Eduardo said. "An uneasy game awaits us, but we want to advance to the next round therefore we must win."
Updated November 19, 2012