Chelsea will be looking to get their season back on track this week when the travel to Italy to face Napoli in the first-leg of their last 16 Champions League tie.
Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has been under huge pressure in recent weeks after his team has failed to perform to the required standard and he could without doubt do with a positive performance on Tuesday evening.
In the last few weeks, there have been some below par performance in the Premier League to see Chelsea slip to 5th in the table, while they were also held at home to Birmingham City in the FA Cup at the weekend.
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There have also been reports of the players losing respect for Villas-Boas and the expectation levels of club owner Roman Abramovich being too unrealistic for the former Porto manager.
The Chelsea players perhaps owe it to everyone connect with the club – especially the coaching staff and the fans – to raise their game against Napoli. They do have their work cut out though as Chelsea have only won one of their last 10 European matches on Italian soil.
As for Napoli, many will be surprised that they have made this stage of the tournament – they qualified at the expense of Manchester City – and they will want to prove that they deserve their place in the last 16.
Walter Mazzarri’s men – who sit 6th in Serie A at the moment – will also look to get on top of a somewhat fragile Chelsea side from the very first whistle. They will also be boosted by the statistic that no English club has ever won at Napoli in European competition.
Looking at the team news for Tuesday night’s fixture, Napoli may have to do without defender Hugo Campagnaro who was injured at the weekend, while their boss Mazzarri is serving a touchline ban. Striker Edinson Cavani – who has scored four Champions League goals this season – is set to lead the line.
As for Chelsea, experienced defensive duo John Terry and Ashley Cole are both major doubts, while Frank Lampard is expected to start the game as the Blues aim for a first-leg advantage.