Chelsea vs. Shakhtar Donetsk: Complete UCL Preview, Team News, Predicted Lineups
Chelsea have had a rough couple of weeks.
After a bitter loss to Premier League title rivals Manchester United, Chelsea were without a suspended John Terry, as well as a suspended Fernando Torres.
Both players will return, but the Blues have also found themselves wrapped up in another racism scandal. Only this time Chelsea are the accuser, rather than the accused.
As if that wasn't enough, a draw against Swansea this weekend allowed Manchester United to rise above Chelsea in the EPL table, with the Red Devils taking over as the league leaders.
Now the London club must face a Shakhtar Donetsk side who is sitting pretty at the top of both the domestic league, and the Champions League Group E.
After a convincing victory in Ukraine, Shakhtar is looking to further cement its claim to a place in the second round with a win tomorrow.
Chelsea's recent form, as well as Shakhtar's ruthless winning streak, are guaranteed to make this match a highlight of this week's Champions League action.
The match will take place in London on Wednesday.
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Chelsea FC vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012
Location: Stamford Bridge, London
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Time: 19:45 GMT/14:45 ET
Television: Sky Sports 3 (UK), Fox Soccer Channel (US, delayed)
Chelsea Form: WLLWD
Shakhtar Donetsk Form: WWWWW
Chelsea Team News
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Injuries: Frank Lampard, calf; Ashley Cole, ankle; David Luiz, ankle;
Juan Mata is expected to make a return to the side after sitting out the last two matches against Manchester United and Swansea.
John Terry is also back from his four-game suspension. David Luiz missed Saturday's EPL draw with Swansea, and though the defender may be fit for the Shakhtar clash, Di Matteo may opt for Terry instead.
Ashley Cole is another surprise doubt after suffering an ankle injury in training. According to the Daily Mail the Englishman is rated as "50/50" for this Wednesday's game.
If Cole is not passed fit, Ryan Bertrand is his most likely replacement.
Frank Lampard remains a doubt with a calf injury.
Shakhtar Donetsk Team News
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Much is said about Chelsea's talented attack, but two weeks ago in Ukraine it was Shakhtar who put on the most impressive performance.
Mircea Lucescu will be looking to see his attacking team of Fernandinho, Teixeira, Willian and Adriano run riot once again.
With an unbeaten run that has extended 14 games in the League, Shakhtar is definitely the in-form team, so it would be unwise to bet against them.
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Chelsea (possible, 4-2-3-1): Cech; Bertrand, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic; Ramires, Mikel; Mata, Hazard, Oscar; Torres.
Shakhtar Donetsk (possible, 4-3-3): Pyatov; Srna, Rat, Rakistkiy, Kucher; Hubschmann, Fernandinho, Willian; Teixeira, Mikhitaryan, Adriano.
Prediction: 2-1. This one is sure to be close. With the players that both teams have at their disposal, there could be a couple more goals in it. But this match is do-or-die for Chelsea. I think they will just edge it, especially with captain John Terry back to shore up the defense.