Champions League preview: Chelsea v. Levski Sofia

Chelsea go into this game against Bulgarian champions Levski Sofia knowing that they’ve already qualified for the knock-out stages, but aware that only a win will secure first place in Group A. Jose Mourinho will field a strong line-up to ensure the Blues have the best possible chance of achieving this.

“Because we won’t know how the game in Barcelona will end, we have to think of all possibilities. We must win the game to finish top,” Mourinho said.

“I will give a rest to Makelele because he needs that, John Terry is suspended and Ashley Cole will be on the bench but after that, I will try and play with my best team.”

Khalid Boulahrouz is expected to replace Terry at centre-back and Wayne Bridge will deputise for Cole.

Werder Bremen need a draw in Camp Nou to knock Barcelona out of the competition and to secure their passage into the next round, while a win for the Catalans would see them top the group if Chelsea lose to Levski.

Chelsea have played Levski three times before. In the 2001-02 UEFA Cup, the Blues eased through the first round with a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge and a 2-0 triumph in Bulgaria. Chelsea won the reverse fixture in this group 1-3 through a hat-trick by Didier Drogba. Mariyan Ognyanov scored the late consolidation goal.

Levski have never beaten an English side in seven attempts, whereas Chelsea have a 100% record against Bulgarian clubs, winning five times out of five.