UEFA Champions League
November 20, 2012
Juventus v Chelsea: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||2.7||1.7|
|Goals against *||0.3||1.7|
|Last 5 home||L-W-W-W-D||W-W-D|
|Last 5 away||L-W-W-D-D||L-L-W|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Juventus | Chelsea|
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is considering whether to drop striker Fernando Torres ahead of the Blues' crunch Champions League clash with Juventus tomorrow.
It was deja vu for one of football's most trigger-happy club today as Di Matteo became the latest Blues manager to face serious questions about his job security following a slump in results.
And defeat in tomorrow night's huge Group E encounter in Turin could lead to his exit.
Speculation is rife Di Matteo has finally lost patience with Torres after hauling him off during Saturday's Barclays Premier League defeat at West Brom after another miserable performance.
The Chelsea boss admitted after the game he would consider dropping the Spain striker but said tonight: "I'm not going to disclose my ideas about tomorrow.
"I'll make the final decisions tonight.''
Ashley Cole should return after recovering from his hamstring injury, as should several other rested players but John Terry (knee) and Frank Lampard (calf) were left in London.
Defeat would leave Chelsea on the brink of becoming the first Champions League holders not to secure a place in the knockout stage, having taken qualification for granted during the Roman Abramovich era.
And there is no telling how Abramovich would react to such an embarrassing exit, especially in the midst of the club's latest winter of discontent, which has seen them drop from first to third in the Barclays Premier League after taking two points from 12.
Di Matteo admitted on Friday he feared Abramovich was going to sack him along with Andre Villas-Boas before he took charge of Chelsea but he refused to reveal whether he was of a similar mind this evening.
"I'm not thinking about that,'' he said.
"I'm preparing for the game and the team for tomorrow, and have important decisions to make about that.
"We are very confident we can have a good game and, hopefully, a good result.''
The Italian was, however, given a welcome vote of confidence from an unlikely source.
Juve star Claudio Marchisio and assistant manager Angelo Alessio both hailed the job done by Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge, the latter confident Di Matteo would not be sacked if the European champions failed to reach the knockout stages.
Alessio, performing the duties of Juve manager Antonio Conte during the remainder of the latter's ban over the 'Calcioscommesse' match-fixing scandal, said of Di Matteo: "He did something extraordinary last season and he is showing it again this year.
"We're pleased when an Italian coach does so well in England. We are pleased with what he has done and what he is doing.
"I don't think he is actually going to lose his job if they don't qualify.''
Midfielder Marchisio added: "He arrived in mid-season in place of the previous coach.
"For this reason, he was probably under pressure but, nonetheless, he has been able to reach great things, so I am extremely happy and satisfied with his results.''
Marchisio and Alessio had no intention of easing the pressure on Di Matteo, whose side are one point clear of Juve with two group games remaining.
Marchisio said: "Qualification is at stake.
"We know it's very important - our biggest game of the year - and we want to go through.''
Juve are sweating over the availability of one of their strikers after Mirko Vucinic missed training yesterday due to flu.