Quarter-final – first leg
Chelsea coach José Mourinho insists that even if his do not win the Champions League in all three remaining competitions, he will still finish the campaign a contented manager.
“We can win more things but even if we don’t, it will be the kind of season where at the end of it I will only have good words for my players. And only a good feeling about my commitment, what I gave and what I did to try and help my team to success,” said Mourinho ahead of his side’s Champions League quarter-final first leg tie against Valencia.
“In that respect we can all sleep soundly knowing we are giving everything. The problem comes when people think you could do more, or you’ve slept on what we did or achieved before, but that is not the case.”
Mourinho does not expect an easy ride against Valencia at Stamford Bridge.
“Valencia are a team that play very well and who like to play good football,” he warned. “They have a lot of solutions and a lot of good attacking players. They have speed down the sides and experience at the back. Their midfield players are very strong defensively.”
Mourinho will be without Arjen Robben and Michael Essien, but Joe Cole is almost ready to return and could be on the substitutes bench tonight.
Valencia have David Navarro and Carlos Marchena suspended and leading scorer Fernando Morientes has joined Rubén Baraja and Edu on the injury list.
Coach Quique Sánchez Flores sees similarities between the two sides and is predicting a tight encounter tonight.
“There is going to be a lot of play in the middle of the park, and when there are two similar teams like this they do tend to cancel each other out,” Sánchez Flores said.
“Normally a game like this will be decided on one key incident or a couple of chances here or there. If we score everyone on our bench would be delighted – it would be a major step forward for us in the tie.”
Petr Cech; Lassana Diarra, Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Ashley Cole; Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Shaun Wright-Phillips; Didier Drogba, Andriy Shevchenko.
Santiago Canizares; Luis Miguel, Roberto Ayala, Emiliano Moretti, Asier del Horno; Miguel Angel Angulo, Raul Albiol, David Albeda, David Silva; Vicente Rodríguez; David Villa.