AVB plays down Mata factor

Andre Villas-Boas has played down the significance of Juan Mata’s knowledge of Valencia ahead of Tuesday’s all-important Champions League match against the Spanish club.

Mata spent four years with Valencia before leaving them to join the Blues in August, and manager Villas-Boas has spoken to him about what Chelsea can expect.

Villas-Boas said: “Of course Mata will always be a player who knows Valencia inside out. It doesn’t mean the information we can share is going make the difference.

“But yes, we have been speaking about things because it is always valuable information.”

And Villas-Boas insists his team will not play for a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

As well as a victory, a 0-0 draw would be enough to take Chelsea to the knockout phase of the tournament, but any other result would put Valencia through at their expense.

“We know Valencia will want to get something because a goal represents a lot for them and that makes things even more difficult for us,” said the Portuguese.

“But we have to take the initiative, because that’s what we’ve been doing and we won’t change our strategy. The strategy will be the same: to take the initiative.”

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