Roberto Di Matteo prepares to defend Chelsea’s Champions League title against Juventus, “one of the most difficult teams we could have been drawn against.”
The Italian tactician surprised many by winning the trophy when he stepped in for Andre Villas-Boas midway through last season and opens this campaign at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening.
“The objective is always to get past the group, that's our first target,” said Di Matteo in a Press conference.
“We have three champions in our group, from Italy, Ukraine and Denmark, so it will be difficult. It's not just them; other teams who have joined the Champions League this season are very strong. It's very competitive and probably even stronger than last year.
“When you are at a big club like Chelsea, there is always pressure to win trophies and bring more success.
“Juventus are a very strong team, everybody recognises that and they are on a long unbeaten run.
“They have a lot of quality, experienced and younger players and this is one of the most difficult teams we could have been drawn against.”
Di Matteo suggested the Bianconeri would be content with a draw, or at least take an old-fashioned approach.
“Their side will be similar to the one that came here a few years ago, determined to sit back, but they will try to impose their football, they like to get on the ball but we will try to limit their spaces on the pitch.”
Chelsea were surprise winners of the Champions League, especially after almost crashing out against Napoli, and their manager insists it was not a fluke.
“You need to deserve everything you get. We worked very hard and prepared well for the different opponents we faced. It can't just be luck, of course you need a portion, but that's a minor part of it.
“It's difficult because of the fierce competition. Every season there are new strong teams who qualify, such as Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, which makes it difficult, but we will try because it's not impossible.”