Thursday 27 July 2017

Which Chelsea will turn up and what reception will Jose get? 5 talking points ahead of Porto v Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims only one Premier League manager is not under pressure
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims only one Premier League manager is not under pressure

Chelsea take on Jose Mourinho's former club Porto in Champions League Group G on Tuesday night and here are some of the talking points.

WHICH CHELSEA WILL TURN UP?

It seems strange to even suggest that a Jose Mourinho side is inconsistent, but that is the reality this season. But how will the Blues perform at the Estadio do Dragao?

Will it be the side which was given a -1 out of 10 rating for the first-half display at Newcastle? Or the one which beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Arsenal, scoring six, without conceding? It is too difficult to tell.

WHICH BLUES PLAYERS WILL PLAY?

Mourinho says he wanted to make six half-time substitutions at St James' Park, such was his frustration with his players, but he instead gave them time. Expect Diego Costa to start, two games into his three-match domestic ban. Do not be surprised to see John Terry, too.

Despite appearing marginalised and being on the bench in recent weeks, the captain could provide much-needed leadership in defence.

WHAT RECEPTION WILL MOURINHO GET?

The self-proclaimed Special One won the 2002-03 UEFA Cup with Porto and then the 2003-04 Champions League before leaving for his first spell with Chelsea and is fondly remembered. Not all the Porto players will be pleased to see Mourinho. Goalkeeper Iker Casillas had a rotten relationship with the Portuguese when he was boss of Real Madrid.

TIME FOR HAZARD TO SHOW HIS CLASS

The Belgian was Chelsea's star last season in winning the Premier League and Capital One Cup, but is nowhere near performing at the same heights this term. He continually runs up cul-de-sacs and appears short of confidence. If he is as good as some say - and Mourinho says he is the Premier League's best - he needs to show it in Europe.

ARE PORTO ANY GOOD?

Chelsea have won eight straight against Portuguese opposition, including against Benfica to win the 2013 Europa League final. Porto endured a rare trophyless season last term, finishing second in the Primeira Liga to the Lisbon club and have since lost Colombia striker Jackson Martinez.

The pedigree is there - and an English connection with Sir Bobby Robson - but a 2-2 opening draw with Dynamo Kiev suggests Chelsea, if they turn up, should win.

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