The English Premier League defending champions, Chelsea, have been in an awful domestic form, but the Blues will be eager to start the champions league in a bright manner as they take on Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Jose Mourinho and his men should be fired up for the game after a string of unimpressive performances, which saw them suffer losses to Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Everton. Hence, the Blues need to erase all their recent memories and start it afresh for the Europe's elite club competition.
Chelsea's manager Mourinho is aware of the importance of a result against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday. He feels they have been very serious and are working hard but have been failing to get a positive result.
"We are not all smiles, laughing and joking. When people are not getting the success they work for – and I promise we are working a lot for that – they get frustrated and unhappy. The only real problem we have is we don't have good results. At other clubs, you have to go back two, three, five, six, ten years to remember good results. In our case you have to go back three months. Three months ago, we were the best team in the country, the best manager, the best players," UEFA official website quoted Mourinho.
One of their major problems has been the failure of key players –Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard – who have lost their colour. If they step up their game, Chelsea will be a strong team together. Make no mistake; it was with the same squad of players that Chelsea played some good football in Europe and EPL last season. Remy is expected to start ahead of Diego Costa against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Had it been the last season, Chelsea would have been favourites with a huge margin, but their recent performance in the EPL makes us think otherwise. However, the match against Maccabi Tel Aviv could be a perfect fixture for Chelsea to revive their woeful start to the domestic campaign.
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach, Slaviša Jokanović, might not have a squad or star players like Chelsea, but the visitors are expected to play with a huge heart and give it their all as they have reached the elite European club competition after an absence of 11 years.
"I am very proud to be here with Maccabi Tel Aviv; we are here to find out what level we're at. We have achieved great results this summer. We surprised some better teams and deserve to be where we are. I am going to enjoy this moment, this opportunity to test myself, my team and Israeli football. After 11 years, Maccabi Tel Aviv are back in the competition," said Slaviša Jokanović.
Jose Mourinho seems to have done his homework well as the manager believes Maccabi have been practising with a different approach and could play against five defenders. "I respect Maccabi and I have watched them play many matches. I did my study, I know the team. I also had information that in the last week, they trained with a different tactical system and will probably come to play with five defenders," said Mourinho.
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Chelsea vs Maccabi Tel Aviv clash has been scheduled for a 8:45pm local time (12:15am IST, 7:45pm BST, 2:45pm ET) start with live coverage in India on Ten Sports with the option of going online on Ten Sports Live.
Viewers in the UK can watch the Chelsea vs Maccabi Tel Aviv live on BT Sport 2 with live streaming option on Watch BT Sport.
US viewers have the option of catching the Chelsea vs Maccabi Tel Aviv game live on Fox Sports, while the match can also be live streamed online on FoxSoccer2Go.
Viewers in Israel can watch the match live on Channel 2.