Found February 14, 2013 on Fox Soccer:
Picimg_football__liverpool_0b14
Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez is determined that last season's Champions League winners take the Europa League seriously, beginning with today's last-32 first leg at Sparta Prague (live on Fox Soccer 1pm ET) . The match at the Generali Arena is Chelsea's first away fixture in Europe since Roberto Di Matteo was sacked following the holders' exit from the Champions League group stages. "This is a massive city, massive club and a massive competition," Benitez said. "We are really pleased to be here. Obviously, you cannot change things. The Champions League is a massive competition, but the Europa League is also a massive competition. "We play against an historic team. We're really pleased and, for me, I try to give my players the right message. "We know it will be tough. It's against a great team, a great club and a great city." Benitez has a contract until the end of the season and would not look towards the possibility of taking permanent control should Chelsea win the Europa League. "We have to concentrate on the future and the future is tomorrow," said Benitez, whose position could yet be under threat with four wins in 11 games. "I cannot talk about what will happen in three months' time. We have to concentrate on this competition - it's quite difficult - and tomorrow will be a tough game, so that is my priority." The Blues are at near full strength, with David Luiz suspended, Demba Ba ineligible and Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel rested following their African Nations Cup win with Nigeria. Captain John Terry was the main fitness concern for Chelsea after missing the 4-1 Barclays Premier League win over Wigan with an inflammation on his knee. He is fit to be selected. Benitez said: "There was no reaction to his knee (from training), that is positive. It's a question of time."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Chelsea link with Pellegrini adds pressure on Benitez

Chelsea link with Pellegrini adds pressure on Benitez - originally posted on Soccerlens.comJesus Martinez, agent of Manuel Pellegrini has added further pressure on Chelsea’s interim manager Rafael Benitez, claiming an intermediary representing the London club has sounded him out about the availability of the Malaga manager, though nothing is official at this stage. Manuel Pellegrini...

Chelsea snatch win over Sparta Prague

Oscar struck an 82nd-minute winner for Chelsea in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 clash with a 1-0 win at Sparta Prague. With a stalemate looming and the visiting fans' ire for interim boss Rafael Benitez and misfiring striker Fernando Torres increasing, Oscar came on for Juan Mata and scored with his first involvement, netting neatly following a one-two with Eden...

Man City sets sights on Roma duo

Each day we'll bring you the very latest tabloid rumors as the biggest clubs around splash the cash to bolster their rosters. True or not, they're always entertaining... Paul Ince is on the verge of becoming the new manager of Championship side Blackpool where his son, Tom, is a player. Stoke are planning a fresh move in the summer for Birmingham defender Curtis Davies...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.