Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea: Opposition analysis

A look at the Blues' Romanian opponents ahead of tonight's Champions League encounter

Chelsea face a testing away trip to Romania on Tuesday when they take on Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League with Jose Mourinho having already admitted that defeat could be costly in their attempts to qualify from Group E.

The 2011-12 European champions have left themselves with work to do after letting a one-goal lead slip away to Basle, as the Swiss champions departed Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago with all three points after two second-half goals.

Blues’ manager Jose Mourinho has already accepted that his side face an early exit from the competition if they lose in Bucharest, and he will take no comfort from the fact that Chelsea have already lost in the same stadium earlier this year.

The then-reigning Champions League holders suffered a 1-0 defeat at the National Arena when they met Steaua in the last-16 round of the Europa League, having already been knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages.

Follow live coverage of Tuesday's Champions League action, including Arsenal v Napoli, Celtic v Barcelona and Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea

 

Chelsea, under the guidance of Rafael Benitez, did manage to overturn the deficit with a 3-1 win in London, and they went on to lift the Europa League when they beat Benfica 2-1 in Amsterdam.

But on that day in Bucharest, Raul Rusescu – now of Sevilla – converted a first-half penalty to condemn their high-profile opponents to defeat. That Steaua side also contained defender Vlad Chiriches, who has recently joined Chelsea’s London rivals Tottenham, with the two sides coincidentally meeting each other in the Premier League on Saturday, ending in a 1-1 draw.

Steaua are also looking for their first points of the campaign after they lost 3-0 in a comprehensive defeat to Bundesliga side Schalke. They qualified for the group stages after a 2-2 draw at Legia Warsaw was enough to see them through on away goals, having earned a 1-1 draw in Romania. They also saw off Dinamo Tibilisi and Skopje in the qualifying stages.

That defeat to the Germans has proven to be their only loss this season, with an unbeaten league run stretching over seven matches seeing them rise to the top of the Romanian Liga 1 table once again.

Overall, they have lost just once in their opening 16 matches, although Chelsea will pose a much tougher threat to them. If they are to triumph though, they will look towards their top-scoring striker Federico Piovaccari, who has scored four league goals this season as well as three goals in this competition so far.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
The RBS Six Nations trophy at the Aviva Stadium ahead of Ireland vs England
rugby
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West found himself at the centre of a critical storm over the weekend after he apparently claimed to be “the next Mandela” during a radio interview
music
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?