Blues seek vital win in Germany

BY foxsports • November 19, 2011

The Blues travel to the BayArena knowing three points would seal qualification for the knockout phase and possibly even confirm them as Group E winners. A draw would still leave them in charge of their own destiny ahead of next month's final group match with Valencia. But a defeat would see them drop below their opponents at the top of the table and possibly end the night level on points with the third-placed Spaniards. The permutations have not been lost on Chelsea boss Villas-Boas, who accepts it is imperative his side return from Germany with their unbeaten record in the competition intact. "Yeah, I think so," said the Portuguese, who as usual focused on the positives when assessing the possible outcomes. "It's a game where, with a win, you can qualify, so it can put you on track, and maybe a game that can kill off the group." Sealing qualification is something Chelsea might have done had they not tossed away a half-time lead in their previous match at Genk. The Blues missed a penalty and several other chances to take all three points in Belgium and were made to pay the price. Indeed, they could even have lost, although it turned out even a victory would not have been enough to reach the last-16 after Valencia beat Leverkusen on the same night. Villas Boas said: "We could've got the question solved in Genk. We didn't get it, so we have to take our responsibilities." It was a similar story in Chelsea's other Group E away game at Valencia, where they also dominated but were ultimately punished with a late equaliser after failing to convert their chances. Predicting the outcome of Wednesday night's match appears almost impossible due to Leverkusen's inconsistency this season, while the German runners-up have a poor home record against English opposition. However, Chelsea have only ever won a European away game in Germany once, and that was courtesy of an own goal. Their opponents have also been give two extra days to prepare after winning 2-0 at Kaiserslautern on Friday night to climb into the top six of the Bundesliga. Villas-Boas added: "I think the game against Leverkusen will be a difficult game because it's the second-position team in the group at the moment. "One of the most difficult games again, bearing in mind that we have Valencia to play at home. "But a very good opportunity for us to qualify." Leverkusen were Villas-Boas' first ever Champions League opponents following his move to Chelsea from Porto. Robin Dutt's men posed the 34-year-old plenty of problems in September's reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, seeing a goal harshly disallowed and spurning a glorious chance through former Blues midfielder Michael Ballack before Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners. Villas-Boas added: "I think it'll be a good game. It was a good game at Stamford Bridge and hopefully it'll be a good game at the BayArena."


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