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Chelsea ready for Juve test

Roberto Di Matteo has admitted the UEFA Champions League is becoming more difficult each year as he prepares for a tough challenge against Juventus.

Last Updated: 20/11/12 at 19:24 Post Comment

Roberto Di Matteo: Says the Champions League is becoming harder each year

Roberto Di Matteo: Says the Champions League is becoming harder each year

Di Matteo guided Chelsea to European glory last season to join a select band of Italian managers to have won the competition.

The Blues still have work to do to make it through to the last 16 this term and Di Matteo is focused on trying to pick up a win in Turin rather than what reception he is likely to receive at the stadium.

Asked if he was returning home full of pride, Di Matteo said: "I'm proud to have led this club to that trophy.

"Wherever we go, it's a moment where we are a good club. We've shown it and we have to show it again."

Chelsea are currently level on points with Shakhtar Donetsk at the top of Group E, one ahead of Juve, and it is a similar tale across Europe as many of the big clubs are yet to secure passage to the next round.

Only Manchester United boast a 100 per cent record after four group games, with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan joining Chelsea in suffering defeats.

Di Matteo said: "Every year now, it's becoming more and more difficult.

"We had APOEL, who showed how a relatively small club can do very well in the Champions League. Every season, you see clubs surprising in the Champions League.

"It becomes more competitive and difficult every season, and clubs with new investment and traditional clubs like Juventus coming back after many years, often ending up in pots two, three or four. It makes it very difficult."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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