Luiz Felipe Scolari has denied he is feeling the pressure as Chelsea look for the victory over CFR Cluj that will guarantee them a place in the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
“Do you know how many people live in Brazil?” Scolari replied to his questioner. “One hundred and eighty million, and I was the national coach there. You think this is pressure [at Chelsea]? It is zero pressure. Pressure is when you are coach of the Brazilian national team because everybody in Brazil is a coach.”
After losing to Roma then drawing with Bordeaux in their last two matches in the competition, anything less than a victory over the Romanian visitors.
“If we lose the game then we don’t go through,” Scolari said, although they will as long as Bordeaux fail to win the section’s other fixture at Roma. “I won’t feel good about this but it is life, it is football.”
With victory imperative Scolari may be prepared to pair Didier Drogba with Nicolas Anelka in attack. Frank Lampard is an absentee following the red card he received in Bordeaux.
CFR Cluj coach Maurizio Trombetta said the circumstances are the same as before Matchday 1 when his team recorded one of the surprise results of the tournament this season, winning 2-1 away to Roma.
“We are outsiders again,” he said. “We did it once and maybe, with a bit of luck and concentration, we can do it again.”
Trombetta is likely to retain Nuno Claro in goal in place of Eduard Stancioiu, who has played in all five group games so far. Claro took over in CFR’s last Romanian league match, the 2-1 home victory over AS Gaz Metan Medias on 1 December.