A desperate Chelsea side will make the trip to the Parken Stadium to face FC Copenhagen for the first leg of the last-16 round tie on Tuesday.
Chelsea's season has been thrown down the drain after a torrid three-month period, which saw them eliminated on three fronts - the Carling Cup, the FA Cup and the Premier League title race. The Champions League remains the Blues' only realistic chance of silverware this season.
Things haven't quite worked out the way owner Roman Abramovich wanted since he splashed £75 million for signing Fernando Torres and David Luiz in January. Torres hasn't showed any signs of his quality while Luiz is cup-tied and won't play in the Champions League this season.
Chelsea come to this game on the back of elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of Everton who won 4-3 on penalties. It increased the pressure on manager Carlo Ancelotti who was forced to the point of asserting that he wouldn't quit Chelsea. In the pre-match press conference, Chelsea skipper John Terry said it was the players who were responsible for the slump and that they had to 'man up' behind Ancelotti.
The players are 100% behind the manager,'' he said. He's got total confidence in us, and that will remain the same. We believe in the manager and the players. We have to man up a little bit as a group of players and take responsibility. It's down to myself as captain, Lamps (Frank Lampard) and Didier (Drogba) - as well as the rest of the squad who have a responsibility - to look at their own form, their own characters and just make sure we stay together.''
Chelsea are fragile at the moment and on Tuesday, Copenhagen will look to hit where it hurts. With former Chelsea star Jesper Gronkjaer in their ranks, the Danish champions have their domestic title more or less in the bag with a 19 point lead over second placed Odense and will look to make a mark in the Champions League. They qualified impressively for the knock-out stages finishing second behind Barcelona with an unbeaten home record. They won four matches against BATE Borisov, Rosenborg, Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos, and even held Barca to a 1-1 draw.
In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if Copenhagen got the better of Chelsea in the game. They have one thing Chelsea doesn't - confidence. In the pre-match press conference, their head coach Stale Solbakken revealed that some of his players think they are a better side than the English champions.
He said, Some of my players are so daft that they think they're a better side than Chelsea. Maybe I should be talking them down a bit. Some have only lost one or two games playing in this side, so they think it's easy. Confidence is very high in the team.''
It will be an interesting encounter, with Fernando Torres, on his European debut for Chelsea, and Didier Drogba expected to play together up front. The next few weeks could make or break whatever remains of Chelsea's season and this game in particular can either provide the spark to rejuvenate them or dump them into further misery.
Match Fact -
Copenhagen and Chelsea met once previously in the 1998-99 Cup Winners Cup, drawing at Stamford Bridge and then losing 0-1 at home.
A draw wouldn't be a disaster for Chelsea, considering their current condition and it's likely they'll settle for a score draw and aim to assert control in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.