Chelsea, Jose Mourinho in need of a win against Dynamo Kiev
LONDON (AP) — Jose Mourinho could use a win.
Chelsea has lost its last three matches, including its sixth of the Premier League season on Saturday against Liverpool. The team’s next game is against Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday in the Champions League.
“It’s a big game,” Mourinho said. “It’s a game that we cannot lose.”
Because of the team’s struggles, many have speculated that the players are working against Mourinho.
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, however, wrote on Twitter that he was not involved any revolt.
“I am extremely happy at Chelsea and have an excellent relationship with the manager,” Fabregas wrote. “There may be certain individuals from the outside trying to destabilize this club but I strongly believe that we will bounce back and come good again.”
Elsewhere in Group G on Wednesday, Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts FC Porto.
Here are some things to know about Wednesday’s matches:
The pressure is intensifying around Mourinho, and it shows.
After the English champions lost to Liverpool, leaving them in 15th place in the standings, Mourinho answered every question during a television interview with, “I have nothing to say.”
With Dynamo visiting, Mourinho needs to galvanize a squad which has already lost nine times in all competitions this season.
Another loss on Wednesday would leave Chelsea with a difficult task to progress to the knockout stage of the Champions League and could see his second spell as manager at Chelsea come to an end.
RELYING ON REBROV
Dynamo coach Sergei Rebrov played for Tottenham and wants to use his experience in England to heap more misery on Mourinho.
The teams met in Ukraine two weeks ago and drew 0-0, but Rebrov was impressed with what he saw from his players.
“I think we looked worthy, our team acted orderly and created chances,” Rebrov said. “I used to feature in the Premier League and I know that if you don’t do your best on the field, things will be tough for you. It is all about competition and character.”
Dynamo is second in Group G with five points, with Chelsea third with four.
Porto traveled to Israel without two of its most influential players — Algeria playmaker Yacime Brahimi and Brazilian central defender Maicon both have thigh injuries.
Brahimi has grown into a pivotal player for Porto and was among the 10 nominees announced Monday for the African player of the year award. Maicon marshals a Porto defense that has conceded only four goals in eight Portuguese league games.
Porto should be rested after its domestic match last weekend against Uniao da Madeira was postponed because of bad weather in the Portuguese islands.
Maccabi Tel Aviv is one of two teams without a point after three group matches in this season’s competition.
Avi Rikan is out to change that.
“Having some big teams coming to Israel is a great feeling and the fans enjoy it as well during the days leading up to the match and the game itself,” Rikan said. “We were kind of shell shocked the first couple of games but we have started to play better and we have three games left.”