Will this season be the last chance Jose Mourinho gets to win the Champions League with Chelsea? It might just be; the winds of change appear to be picking up velocity at Stamford Bridge.
“If the club decides to sack me because of bad results, that’s part of the game. If that happens, I’ll be a millionaire and I will get another club a couple of months later. I have a happy family, my kids are healthy, I have a lot of friends and I live a good life,” Mourinho said in yesterday’s pre-match press conference.
His words give the impression that Roman Abramovich will use failure to deliver the Champions League this season as a reason to show him the door.
But what better way to prevent such a scenario from arising than to win the competition, starting with a victory over Porto at the Bridge this evening.
Andriy Shevchenko’s valuable away goal at Estadio do Dragao a fortnight ago means a 0-0 draw will secure Chelsea’s place in the quarter-finals on the away goals rule.
Porto will be hoping John Terry’s absence gives them a better chance of breaching the Blues’ defence in their 100th Champions League game – Jesualdo Ferreira’s side did score on their previous visit to the Bridge in September 2004.
Michael Essien has done a sterling job at the back in Terry’s absence and may well be called upon again, although Khalid Boulahrouz has recovered from a dislocated shoulder and could be recalled alongside ex-Porto star Ricardo Carvalho.
Ferreira will be without right-back Jose Bosingwa who suffered a thigh injury in his team’s 1-0 win over Sporting Braga at the weekend. Slovakian Marek Cech is expected to take his place.
Porto have knocked English teams out of Europe on three occasions, including Manchester United twice, most recently when Mourinho was in charge in 2004 and they went on to win the Champions League.
But the champions of Portugal have never won a game on English soil.
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