Real Betis coach Llorenç Serra Ferrer is looking forward to the visit of Chelsea as he attempts to revive the fortunes of his soide after a disappointing start to the season.
“This is a spectacular opportunity,” he said. “All the supporters should see this game as a big party. If we win, it will take any doubts away from the team. The players are very optimistic. The team are in a bad cycle but we are sure we can change that.”
Serra Ferrer insists his side are not intimidated by Chelsea.
“I don’t think my players are anxious, they are calm,” he said.
“They know they are living an important moment. In football, it is not always the big boys who get the victory. Sometimes those who really want to win can do it, no matter what has gone before.”
Chelsea manager José Mourinho refused to underestimate tonight’s opponents.
“We have to remember the game in London, when they started very well, better than us, and gave us some problems,” he said.
“The important thing is to get to the next stage – if we do it now, or in the last game, it’s not a big difference. We know three points tomorrow will put us in the next round. Our situation is good.”
Damien Duff is expected to return, only three weeks after undergoing knee surgery.
“Damien is a great player and a special character,” Mourinho said. “He gave a great example of how important it is to be a tough guy and recover from surgery like he did. For sure he will play.”
Despite their almost perfect start to the season, Mourinho admitted that there was still room for improvement.
“There is always space for improvement,” he said. “When I look back over the last few weeks, maybe I was surprised by some of the defensive mistakes we made.
“We are conceding too many goals compared with the past. But a month ago we were defensively perfect and concerned that maybe we weren’t scoring enough. Now that has been resolved.”