Preview: Chelsea vs. Steaua Bucuresti

Preview: Chelsea vs. Steaua Bucuresti
© PA Photos
Sports Mole previews the second leg of the last-16 Europa League clash between Chelsea and Steaua Bucuresti at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea will need to overcome a one-goal deficit against Steaua Bucuresti on Thursday in order to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

The Romanian outfit shocked the Blues with a 1-0 win in the first leg last week, meaning that the Premier League side have work to do if they are to secure a European crown for the second successive season.

Chelsea will be buoyed by their performance against Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday, where they came from 2-0 behind to secure a replay with a 2-2 draw. However, a disappointing league campaign has left them in fourth position in the table.

Steaua, meanwhile, will enter the match full of confidence having won each of their last five games in all competitions. That run of form has left them top of their domestic division, 12 points ahead of nearest challengers Astra Giurgiu.

Chelsea could recall John Terry, Fernando Torres and John Obi Mikel to their starting lineup, with Frank Lampard, David Luiz and Demba Ba the players to move aside.

The away side, meanwhile, could continue with the same team that triumphed in the first leg last week, but Florin Gardos and Leandro Martins are both pushing for inclusions having appeared from the bench.

Recent form:

Chelsea: LWWLD

Steaua: WWWWW

Possible lineups:

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, Ramires; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Torres

Steaua: Tatarusanu; Szukala, Latovlevici, Rapa, Chiriches; Pintilii, Chipciu, Tanase, Bourceanu; Popa, Rusescu

Sports Mole says: 2-0

John Terry celebrates scoring the opener for Chelsea
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
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2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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