Chelsea's Juan Mata attends a news conference at the Donbass Arena stadium in Donetsk October 22, 2012. Chelsea will play against Shakhtar Donetsk in a Champions League soccer match on Tuesday.
(Photo : REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (UKRAINE - Tags: SPORT SOCCER HEADSHOT))
Group E of the Champions League resumes Tuesday.
Chelsea comes into Tuesday's match tied for first place in the group with Shakhtar Donetsk. The winner of this match will have opened up a comfortable gap in the standings after the matches. A draw however could potentially open up a three way tie. Chelsea started the tournament in disappointing fashion with a 2-2 draw to Juventus. Chelsea held a 2-0 lead after two first half goals from Oscar, but then the Italian side ran back and tied the match 10 minutes from time. They rectified that mistake with a dominant 4-0 win over Nordsjaelland in early October where Juan Mata added two goals and gave Chelsea a +4 goals differential.
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Chelsea has been tremendous thus far in the Premier League with seven wins and one draw in eight games. More importantly, they have opened a substantial 4 point lead in the Premier League and have gotten production all around from Fernando Torres (4 goals), Frank Lampard, Bransliav Ivanovic, Juan Mata (3 goals each) among others. Eden Hazard has two goals, but he and Mata have 5 assists each and have alongside Oscar created a dynamic trio in the midfield.
There opponents are equally dangerous. In the Ukrainian League they have won 12 games and lost none. But the telling statistic is that they have scored 38 goals and allowed only 6 goals. With 36 points, they are a full 12 points ahead of their next best opponent. In the UCL they won 2-0 over Nordsjaelland and then drew 101 to Juventus. Henrikh Mkhitaryan leads them in the tournament with 2 goals.
Prediction: Tough to bet against Chelsea who is in fine form and far more skilled than Donetsk. Of course, one must not overlook the surprise factor that Donetsk can offer in front of their fans. 2-1 Chelsea.
Schedule: 2:45 p.m. EDT