PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA v ATLETICO MADRID

31.08.2012

PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA v ATLETICO MADRID

Chelsea eyes, used to turning towards Monte Carlo at this time of the year for the Champions League draw, have reason to keep gazing on…

31.08.2012

A ROUGH GUIDE TO GROUP E

With our European schedule for the rest of 2012 now decided, the official Chelsea website casts an eye over the three clubs we face home and away…

30.08.2012

HOME TIE IN CAPITAL ONE CUP

Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge will be our opposition in the third round of the Capital One Cup, the new name for the League Cup/Carling Cup…

30.08.2012

CHELSEA TV EXCLUSIVE: ROBBIE REACTS

Chelsea TV were the first to gauge Roberto Di Matteo’s reaction to our Champions League draw, and the manager believes we have some interesting challenges ahead.

30.08.2012

DATES LEARNED FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP FIXTURES

We now know when we will be facing Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and FC Nordsjælland in Group E of the Champions League.

30.08.2012

TORRES: ONE SOLE AIM

The success of Fernando Torres’s career is such that the Spanish striker has competed in some of the biggest games imaginable…

30.08.2012

DI MATTEO: SUFFERING FOR THE SUPER CUP

Roberto Di Matteo is hoping he can achieve as a manager what he did as a player in 1998, and win the Uefa Super Cup for Chelsea…

30.08.2012

ARSENAL AWAY TICKET DETAILS ANNOUNCED

The ticket selling details for our Barclays Premier League game away at Arsenal on Saturday 29 September have now been announced…

30.08.2012

COBHAM INVITES CRICKET TOURISTS

Coaching staff from South Africa’s successful summer cricket tour visited our Cobham training ground this week…

30.08.2012

ENGLAND SIX

England manager Roy Hodgson has named six Chelsea players in his squad for World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine early next month…

30.08.2012

THURSDAY THOUGHTS

Chelsea TV’s Chris Cohen continues to play super sub for Giles Smith who returns next week. In this week’s fan’s-eye column on matters Chelsea, he considers are sparse fortnight ahead…

30.08.2012

FOUNDATION LOTTERY JACKPOT FINALISTS DRAWN

Ten lucky members of the Chelsea Foundation Lottery were drawn at random this weekend for a chance to win between 10,000 pounds and 50 pounds.

30.08.2012

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 32 TEAMS AWAIT THEIR FATE

Just over three months after Chelsea were crowned European champions, this season’s group stage draw takes place in Monaco this afternoon (Thursday)…

30.08.2012

THE TWEET SPOT: ASHLEY COLE

Ashley Cole believes Ryan Bertrand can be a leading light in the Chelsea side for years to come…

30.08.2012

CAPITAL ONE CUP DRAW DAY

There two draws in one day today (Thursday) with our opponents in the third round of the Capital One Cup to be decided this evening…

30.08.2012

UNDER 21 MATCH TICKETS STILL ON SALE

Our Under-21s take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on Saturday…

30.08.2012

WOMEN’S WEEKLY

With the Chelsea Ladies taking on Birmingham City this evening, Emma Hayes is preparing to take charge of the team for the first time on home soil…

29.08.2012

TORCH HONOUR FOR CHELSEA COMMUNITY FC

Chelsea Football Club was once again involved in an iconic torch relay as members of our Chelsea Community FC team carried the flame ahead of the Paralympic opening ceremony in London tonight…

29.08.2012

SUPER CUP: A SHORT HISTORY

On Friday evening, Chelsea will contest for silverware once again. To commence our build-up to the game, the official Chelsea website looks at the Super Cup down the years…

29.08.2012

CHELSEA TV HEADLINES: MONACO BOUND

Chelsea TV reports from Cobham where Roberto Di Matteo has been overseeing the final training session before the squad fly out to Monaco…

28.08.2012

UNDER 19S REPORT: CHELSEA 1 CSKA MOSCOW 2

A Chelsea Under-19 side let slip a lead and then came up against an inspired goalkeeper as the club’s first involvement in the NextGen Series ended in defeat…

28.08.2012

SICK YOUNGSTERS BUOYED BY VISIT

Cobham played host to our first Community Day of the season yesterday (Tuesday) morning…

A ROUGH GUIDE TO GROUP E

With our European schedule for the rest of 2012 now decided, the official Chelsea website casts an eye over the three clubs we face home and away…

Two state-of-the-art stadiums await the Chelsea players and travelling fans when we embark on this season’s Champions League group stage games, as does a new country.

Ukrainian opposition is new to the Blues and with the city of Donetsk located in the eastern coal-mining region of that country, the away game against Shakhtar is one of the furthest trips possible in European competition.

It was the formation of a national league in Ukraine after the break-up of the Soviet Union that paved the way for Shakhtar to eventually emerge onto the European stage, but first they had to move out of the long shadow cast by Dynamo Kiev who dominated the first decade of the league, Andriy Shevchenko’s goals aiding them in that.

Benefitting from significant financial investment, Shakhtar made it to the Champions League group stage for the first time in 2000. Arsenal were one of their opponents and lost the away game 3-0 although the Gunners had already qualified for the next stage. It was in 2002 that Shakhtar finally took the league title from their rivals from Kiev and they have had the better of it since with six further championships.

This is their eighth season in the Champions League group stage but it was in the final season of the UEFA Cup, before its Europa League relaunch, that Shakhtar’s finest moment came when they defeated Werder Bremen 2-1 in the 2009 final having seen off Dynamo Kiev in the semi.

Manager that season, as he is still, was Mircea Lucescu. Previous to taking over at Shakhtar the Romanian was in charge at Besiktas and led the Istanbul club to victory at Stamford Bridge in the group stage in 2003, only our second home defeat in Europe, although we won the later ‘away’ leg which was moved to Germany for security reasons.

Brazilians as well as Ukrainians have made up a significant part of the Shakhtar squad during their successful years with winger Willian, one of the UEFA Cup-winning side, linked last year with a move to Chelsea and this summer with one to Tottenham.

Luiz Adriano, another Brazilian, scored in the UEFA Cup triumph and he is joined in the current attack by former Arsenal striker Eduardo.

Captain is Darijo Srna, a fixture in the Croatia national team, while Prague-born Tomas Hubschman will be known to Petr Cech.

It was midfielder Marko Devic’s shot that was controversially judged to have been cleared by John Terry before it crossed the line when England played the host nation at Euro 2012. Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov was between the posts that night.

The Donbass Arena (pictured above) in Donetsk opened in 2009, costing approximately 400m US dollars.

Juventus will be competing in Europe for the first time in their new stadium, which has replaced the unloved concrete bowl that was the Stadio delleAlpi.

That venue had already been knocked down at the time of Chelsea’s 2009 visit, Juve temporarily returning to one of their former homes, the Stadio Olimpico, during the rebuild. Claudio Ranieri was the Old Lady’s manager then and they have had four more since.

Antonio Conte is the current incumbent, a former Juventus captain who won five Serie A titles and the Champions League in 1996 as team mate of Luca Vialli, but suffered final defeat on three occasions, including by Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan at Old Trafford in 2003.

Conte also played alongside Roberto Di Matteo for Italy but is currently at the start of a season-long ban from Italian football as a result of a recent, wide-ranging match-fixing scandal.

As 28-times Serie A winners and twice European Champions, Juventus’s pedigree is beyond doubt and on the playing front, the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Lucio and Andrea Pirlo need little introduction.

Montenegrin striker Mirko Vucinic helped shoot down Chelsea when playing for Roma in 2008 while summer arrival from Man United, Paul Pogba, played against our U18s in the FA Youth Cup last season.

Juventus’s intimate 41,000-seater stadium (below), now a year old, will hold the 2014 Europa League final.

Juventus

First-time Danish league champions FC Nordsjaelland are the product of a merger between two clubs 20 years ago although they only took on their current name nine years back, shortly after they entered the Danish top-flight for the first time, a status they have retained ever since.

In order to compete with the established clubs in Copenhagen, on whose fringes they are located, Nordsjaelland have styled themselves as a club for the whole region, with their name (North Zealand in translation) referencing the large island of which the Danish capital covers a small part. Local businessman Allan Pedersen took ownership of the club the same year Roman Abramovich arrived at Chelsea.

As well as their one league title, Nordsjaelland won the Danish Cup in 2010 and 2011 and current coach Kasper Hjulmand (below) was the assistant for those victories, taking full charge at the start of the league-winning campaign when his predecessor became coach of the Denmark U21 side.

Hjulmand

The playing squad is predominantly Danes and contains some full Denmark internationals. Defender Michael Parkhurst is a US international and they have signed former Dutch Under-21 striker Joshua John on-loan for this season from FC Twente.

HOME TIE IN CAPITAL ONE CUP

Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge will be our opposition in the third round of the Capital One Cup, the new name for the League Cup/Carling Cup.

The Championship side, relegated from the top flight last campaign, are now managed by Stale Solbakken who was in charge of FC Copenhagen when they were our Champions League opponents two seasons ago.

We have never previously met Wolves in the League Cup.

The match will be played in the week commencing 24 September.

The full draw is:

Manchester United v Newcastle
Manchester City v Aston Villa
MK Dons v Sunderland
West Brom v Liverpool
Crawley Town v Swansea
QPR v Reading
Norwich v Doncaster
Bradford v Burton
Preston v Middlesbrough
Arsenal v Coventry
Southampton v Sheffield Wednesday
Chelsea v Wolves
Carlisle v Tottenham
Swindon v Burnley
West Ham v Wigan
Leeds v Everton

CHELSEA TV EXCLUSIVE: ROBBIE REACTS

Chelsea TV were the first to gauge Roberto Di Matteo’s reaction to our Champions League draw, and the manager believes we have some interesting challenges ahead.

‘It’s not an easy group, it’s going to be tough,’ he said, speaking at the Stade Louis II Stadium in Monaco. ‘Juventus I know very well, champions of Italy. They play some high tempo football, some good football, and have some good players.

‘Shakhtar because of the connection with our club doctor Paco Biosca, who spent seven years there, we know a lot as well. Nordsjaelland are probably the weakest team in the group, but I think we will have to be at our best from the first game with juventus at home.

‘It’s going to be a big one just after the international break as well, so hopefully all our players come back in good shape from their national teams. Before it we have a big derby against QPR as well, so it’s going to be a busy week.’

The manager, a former Italian international, expects Juventus at Stamford Bridge in just over a fortnight to be the pick of the games from the group.

‘We like to be involved in the big games and our players respond very well to the big games, they are used to taking responsibility and I think they prefer those games,’ he commented. ‘But on the other hand they have had a good season, a good team, and hopefully we can start the campaign with a win at home.’

ITALIAN, UKRAINIAN AND DANISH OPPOSITION IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

We have been drawn in Champions League Group E alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and FC Nordsjælland.

It will be first meetings with Ukrainian and Danish champions Shakhtar and FC Nordsjælland for the Blues, though Italian champions Juventus were opponents in the first knockout round back in 2009.

On that occasion we were narrow winners at home before a 2-2 draw in Turin sent us through to the quarter-finals.

The competition begins in a little over two weeks, with the first matchday taking place on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 September.

The remaining five fixtures will be played throughout October and November with the final game on December 4 and 5.

The final will be back at Wembley on May 25.

Finalised fixture dates to follow.

The complete draw is:

Group A
Porto
Dynamo Kiev
Paris Saint-Germain
Dinamo Zagreb

Group B
Arsenal
Schalke
Olympiacos
Montpellier

Group C
AC Milan
Zenit St Petersburg
Anderlecht
Malaga

Group D
Real Madrid
Manchester City
Ajax
Borussia Dortmund

Group E
Chelsea
Shakhtar Donetsk
Juventus
FC Nordsjælland

Group F
Bayern Munich
Valencia
Lille
BATE Borisov

Group G
Barcelona
Benfica
Spartak Moscow
Celtic

Group H
Manchester United
Braga
Galatasaray
CFR Cluj