The Slovenia Times

Champions League: Maribor Against Chelsea!


Maribor are bringing to Stanford Bridge two points from the previous two matches, after draws with Sporting Lisbon at home and Schalke 04 on the road. Chelsea are also undefeated with four points to lead Group G.

The European champions from the 2011-12 season and the third-placed team from last season in England will play without their leading scorer Diego Costa, who is out with a thigh injury.

Chelsea's head coach, the flamboyant Jose Mourinho, says he respects the Slovenian champions having analysed the team's play and the fact that Maribor has not lost a game in the Champions League this season, including the qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Maribor head coach Ante Šimundža is downplaying the significance of his team's defeat in the Slovenian premiership on Saturday on the preparations for Tuesday's match.

"We are keeping a positive attitude. An important game is ahead, at which our maturity and winning mentality will come to the fore," he told the press.

Šimundža has high aspirations despite the tough challenge for the team. "We want a positive result and we want to prove our worth. We want to play the game the right way, he said, adding that he was looking forward to a tactical battle with Mourinho.

Maribor and Chelsea will meet again in a fortnight in week 4 of the group stage, as the Slovenian champions host the Blues at Ljudski vrt stadium.


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