Chelsea head into their Premier League blockbuster with Manchester United on Tuesday rested and ready to win their way back into the top four.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have played twice since Chelsea defeated FC Copenhagen 2-0 in Denmark last week and the Blues will hope to benefit from the rest in potentially their last chance to be involved in the Premier League title race.
A win would lift Chelsea into fourth, one of the Champions League spots, and see them trail table-topping United by 12 points with a game in hand, leaving captain John Terry to describe the fixture as a must-win match.
“We are very confident at home and the way they (United) play might help us,” Terry said.
“I’m not sure how they are going to come at us but other teams that have come to the Bridge have sat back and we’ve found it hard to break them down. It is a must-win game for us and the fans are going to be up for it.”
Despite the fact last year’s Premier League runners-up were 4-0 winners at Wigan on Saturday, they have just won four league matches on the road this season and have not won at Stamford Bridge since a 3-0 triumph in 2002.
Chelsea’s three-pronged attack of Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba could also cause Manchester United real problems and although Torres is yet to score for his new club after a 50-million-pound deadline day move from Liverpool, a goal on Tuesday could make him a fan favourite.
Chelsea will miss midfielder Yossi Benayoun while Alex and Yuri Zhirkov are also likely to miss out with knee and calf concerns respectively.
The fixture, originally scheduled for December but postponed due to heavy snow, means Manchester United have two massive Premier League fixtures in less than a week.
After travelling to Chelsea on Tuesday, Ferguson’s side will travel to Merseyside in preparation for a match against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, in potentially a crucial week in the title race.
Nani, who has been one of the best performers all season for last year’s Premier League runners-up, said it is vitally important his side do not lose either of the two fixtures, with Arsenal snapping at their heels.
“We have some tough games coming up,” Nani said.
“It’s the most important period of the season and I think that if we can beat Chelsea and Liverpool then we’ll have a fantastic opportunity to win the league.”
“But that’s easy to say: it’s much harder to do it. Chelsea and Liverpool are fantastic teams and obviously they’re desperate to win as well. We know it won’t be easy.”
“Of course, we may not be able to win every game, and if we end up getting a draw against somebody then it’s not the end of the world. The important thing is not to lose.”
Manchester United are likely to be without defensive pair Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand due to ankle and calf injuries, while Anderson, Park Ji-Sung and Antonio Valencia are still weeks away from returning.