Gronkjaer keen to give former club the blues

FC Copenhagen’s Jesper Gronkjaer is eagerly anticipating the chance to pit himself against former club Chelsea in the Champions League.

Danish champions Copenhagen host the English Premier League title-holders at the Parken Stadion on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.

They will meet again at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge on March 16, with Gronkjaer excited about the opportunity of returning to the stadium he called home from 2000 and 2004.

“It’s going to be a special night,” Gronkjaer, 33, said.

“Not so much tomorrow, but the game at the Bridge in four weeks time. We want to finish the talking now and get on with the game and, to have a chance tomorrow, we have to play our own game otherwise it’s going to be hard.”

Copenhagen’s biggest challenge in the match will be to match Chelsea physically.

With the Danish league on a three-month winter break, they have not played a competitive game since December 7.

Regardless of their lack of match practise, Gronkjaer insists the hosts will be seeking to take the game to Chelsea right from the kick-off.

“We’ll try and get our top form tomorrow and we also know if we reach our top form we can cause problems tomorrow,” he said.

“I think we’re confident and we’ve had a good build up to the game, so now I’m just looking forward to playing.”

Gronkjaer coach Stale Solbakken echoed the sentiments of his veteran winger, but would also be content to emerge from the first leg with honours even.

“0-0 is a good result for us, but it’s our home game and obviously we’ll go for it,” Solbakken said.

“So it will be make or break for us tomorrow. I think we should decide the pace of the game and obviously try and get as good a result is as possible. So 0-0 isn’t that bad.”