AVB to change Chelsea line-up

Villas-Boas has admitted he will have one eye on Chelsea’s Premier
League showdown at Manchester United when he picks his team for
Tuesday night’s Champions League opener. “You’ll see some changes,”
said the 33-year-old, who must decide whether to recall Fernando
Torres to his attack and who will replace the suspended Ramires in
midfield. “Then we’ll make wise decisions for Sunday.” Didier
Drogba will once again miss out on Tuesday night as he continues
his recovery from a head injury. The striker was given another two
days off this week and is looking more and more likely to sit out
Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford. Torres appeared a strong favourite
to continue his run in the team before he lost his place for
Saturday’s win at Sunderland and the misfiring striker’s misery
deepened on Monday when it emerged Chelsea were probing an
interview he gave in which he appeared to criticise his own
team-mates. The Spain forward claimed his comments were
mistranslated, even though they appeared on his personal website.
Torres was bought to help Chelsea win the Champions League, with
Villas-Boas ultimately recruited for the same reason. The
Portuguese has yet to manage in the competition but has plenty of
experience of it from his time on Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff.
History shows it can be vital for a team to win their group to go
on and lift the trophy, but Villas-Boas said: “The competition is
full of exceptions. “I lived Porto’s experience and we managed to
play all the second legs away from home and still qualified to win
the Champions League in 2004.” Tuesday night’s game will reunite
Villas-Boas and Chelsea with former Stamford Bridge midfielder
Michael Ballack. Villas-Boas said: “I haven’t been able to speak to
Michael for a lot of years, since I left. “He’s a player who
represented a lot to us and represents a lot to Leverkusen. “I’m
not sure about the thoughts of their coach regarding Michael’s
inclusion in the squad, because they’ve been using him sometimes
and other times not. “But he adds value to the squad with the
vision he has.” Ballack returned the compliment about the former
Blues scout, who is a year younger than him. The veteran midfielder
said: “In my time at Chelsea I had a few coaches and sometimes they
changed them maybe a little too quick, but what is surprising is he
is a very young coach. “When people talk about him, they talk most
of the time about his age but he showed his quality when even in
this young age he won a European trophy with Porto, which is
unusual. “It is not surprising that Chelsea always had their eye on
him, he worked there before in the background and he did a lot of
important stuff for Jose Mourinho.”