Champions League preview: John Terry under scrutiny as Chelsea face Shakhtar Donetsk
Last Updated: October 23, 2012 11:31am
Tough task: Chelsea visit a Shakhtar Donetsk side who are on a record-breaking 21-game domestic winning run
John Terry is expected to captain Chelsea when they continue their defence of the UEFA Champions League trophy against Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine on Tuesday night.
The centre-back is serving a four-match domestic ban for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand but is set to start in Europe.
Terry, who has received the backing of manager Roberto Di Matteo, will therefore be under full scrutiny when taking on Shakhtar at Donbass Arena.
But Premier League leaders Chelsea, who impressed in Saturday's 4-2 win at Tottenham Hotspur, also have a job to do and cannot afford to be distracted.
After throwing away a two-goal lead to draw against Juventus in their opening game in Group E before defeating Nordsjaelland, the London club have four points.
They sit at the top of the standings but they are level with Shakhtar and the back-to-back games versus Mircea Lucescu's side could be decisive in the long run.
With Juventus preparing for two games against minnows Nordsjaelland, and a probable pair of wins, Di Matteo's Chelsea will know they cannot drop too many points.
And Shakhtar pose far from a simple task, with Lucescu's team currently on a record-breaking 21-match winning run in the Ukraine Premier League.
Lucescu has also spoken of the added motivation of facing the current kings of Europe and is not intimidated by Chelsea's domestic form, having described his side as "stronger than Tottenham".
Frank Lampard, who was a late substitute at the weekend, is likely to join Terry in returning to Chelsea's starting XI against Shakhtar.
Di Matteo has been rotating the midfielder amid reports he could be allowed to move to the MLS in January but the 34-year-old has started all of this season's Champions League matches.
Chelsea did not pick up any new injuries in the victory over Tottenham and so the only decision for Di Matteo is to choose which of his players he wants to rest.
Shakhtar have a full squad to select from and the major threat to Chelsea will be Brazilian playmaker Willian.
The 24-year-old was reportedly the subject of failed bids from Stamford Bridge in the summer and the previous January and Lucescu has predicted his star man will issue a reminder to the English club.
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UEFA Champions League
Tue 23rd Oct - Group G
Spartak Mos2 - 1Benfica
Barcelona2 - 1Celtic
Tue 23rd Oct - Group F
BATE Borisov0 - 3Valencia
Lille0 - 1Bay Munich
Tue 23rd Oct - Group H
Galatasaray1 - 1Cluj
Man Utd3 - 2Braga
Tue 23rd Oct - Group E
Nordsjaelland1 - 1Juventus
Shak Donetsk2 - 1Chelsea
UEFA Champions League Group A
|1||Paris St Germain||6||15|
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H
Shakhtar Donetsk v Chelsea
Petr Cech wants Chelsea to learn the lessons from their defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk when they play Manchester United.
Frank Lampard is expected to learn on Thursday whether injury will rule him out of Chelsea's clash with Man Utd
Roberto Di Matteo is refusing to read too much into Chelsea's below-par performance against Shakhtar Donetsk.