Boss urges Blues to make own destiny

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has urged his men to forget about their past disappointments in the Champions League and beat Bayern Munich on Saturday night (Bayern 4/6, Chelsea 4/1, draw 16/5 – Match Prices with bet365).

The Blues have never won the competition and lost out in the 2008 final to Manchester United when John Terry slipped while taking his spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out.

They also suffered a controversial injury-time defeat to Barcelona in the semi-final 12 months later as the search for an elusive first victory in Europe’s elite club completion continues.

But an amazing triumph over the Catalans in the semi-finals has given the Stamford Bridge outfit the chance to atone for the previous woes and Di Matteo, who only took charge of the team back in March after Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking, is confident his charges can wipe the slate clean with victory in the Allianz Arena.

“You make your own destiny and fate,” he said. “Reaching the last stages of this competition is difficult enough let alone the final.

“We can win it and we have to believe and have the confidence to do so.”

Chelsea will have to do without inspirational skipper John Terry, who is suspended, along with Ramires, Raul Meireles and Branislav Ivanovic, and it may well have to be another top defensive display that sees them lift the trophy (Chelsea 1-0 Winners – 12/1 with bet365).

But Di Matteo is adamant the Londoners will claim the top prize at some stage and hopes that it will be this weekend.

“Sooner or later it will come,” he added. “We hope it’s Saturday. But with the quality that’s been at this club before and will certainly come into this club again, it will happen.”

Ramires – Blues focused on Benfica not Barca

Chelsea midfielder Ramires insists there will be no talk of a possible semi-final showdown with Barcelona ahead of what he expects to be a tough clash with Benfica on Wednesday night (Chelsea 8/13, Benfica 9/2, draw 3/1 Match Prices with bet365).

The Catalans are through to the last four of Europe’s elite club competition after taking care of AC Milan on Tuesday and they will face the winner of the tie at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea hold a 1-0 advantage going into the second leg court courtesy of Salomon Kalou’s 75th-minute winner in Lisbon last week and they are strong favourites to progress to the last four of the Champions League (Chelsea 1/8, Benfica 5/1 To Qualify with bet365).

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has already made it clear that he feels Chelsea were lucky to win the first leg and is confident of overturning the deficit in west London.

And Ramires stressed that it is the media and not the players that have been broaching the subject of a potential showdown with Pep Guardiola’s side.

“There’s a lot of talk already about Barcelona but we, as players, don’t look that far ahead,” the Brazil international said. “We’re concentrating on every game as it comes.”

The 25-year-old South American admits that his side are in a decent position in the tie but is expecting Benfica to come out fighting.

“We’ve got an important advantage from the first game, for sure, but we’ll face a serious challenge in this match with 90 minutes ahead of us,” he added. “When you’re playing Benfica, you know it’ll be tough.”

Samba star set for Blues bow

Chelsea (13/8 with Bet365 to win the Premier League title) have bolstered their squad on the eve of the Premier League season with the capture of Brazilian star Ramires for a fee in the region of £17million.

The defending champions have been chasing the 23-year-old all summer and have finally secured him on a four-year deal ahead of tomorrow’s clash against West Brom.

The Blues are 1/6 with Bet365 to win the game and Ramires could figure after the club received international clearance.

“Every player in the world would love to play for Chelsea and it’s a great opportunity that was given to me, I will give my best to repay this chance, and I am very happy,” Ramires revealed.

Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti is also delighted to have landed the player and believes he will be a big hit at Stamford Bridge.

“He is a fantastic player, a fantastic midfielder, he is very young and will be the future of the Brazilian national team, and I hope he will be the future of Chelsea.”

Kaka backs Ramires at Blues

Real Madrid playmaker Kaka has backed his Brazil team-mate Ramires to help Chelsea (13/8 to win the Premier League with Stan James) retain the Premier League this season.

Ramires joined the Blues from Benfica for £18m this week after impressing manager Carlo Ancelotti at the World Cup in South Africa.

Fellow midfielder Kaka believes the 23-year-old will flourish in the Premier League.

He told the Daily Star: “I am pleased that Ramires has joined a top European club.

“For me there is no doubt that Chelsea have signed the very best young central midfield player in the world.

“Now he is at Chelsea I think he will become the best midfield player in the world within two years and will be placed in the same bracket as Claude Makelele, Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira.”

Chelsea will be looking to win more silverware this season and will begin the defence of their Premier League title against West Brom (10/11 to be relegated from the Premier League with Stab James) at Stamford Bridge on August 14.