Champions League preview: FC Copenhagen v Chelsea

Chelsea will look to revive their faltering season when they travel to FC Copenhagen in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Stamford Bridge outfit won the League and FA Cup double last year in their first campaign under Carlo Ancelotti, but they have struggled to replicate that success this season.

The team are a distant fifth in the Premier League table, 12 points behind leaders Manchester United and looking hard pressed to retain their title.

And their defence of the FA Cup ended on Sunday, when they lost to Everton on penalties in a fourth-round replay.

That leaves the Champions League as the club’s best chance of collecting silverware this season.

Despite their enviable record in the latter stages of the tournament over recent seasons, it remains to be seen how far they can advance this time.

While round of 16 opponents Copenhagen are hardly one of the heavyweights left in the competition, they nevertheless represent a difficult proposition for Ancelotti’s side.

With the Danish league on winter hiatus from December until March, Copenhagen have not been in competitive action since their last Champions League outing on December 8.

While the team will be well-rested for the visit of Chelsea to the Parken Stadion, they are also likely to be lacking match sharpness.

Before their lengthy break, Copenhagen were dominant at home and are 19 points clear in the league.

They also impressed in Europe, holding Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at home and beating Panathinaikos and Ruben Kazan.

Revitalised former Chelsea wide-man Jesper Gronkjaer has been a key part of Copenhagen’s successful season and will relish the chance of lining-up against his former club.

Fernando Torres may make his Champions League debut for Chelsea following a January switch from Liverpool, but left winger Yuri Zhirkov and centre-back Alex are likely to be absent through injury.