Roberto Di Matteo only has eyes on three crucial Champions League points when the Schalke coach welcomes Chelsea to the Veltins Arena this evening.
Having won several honours with the Blues as both a player and manager, including the European Cup two years ago, the spotlight will be on Di Matteo as he looks to outmanoeuvre Jose Mourinho - the man who has yet to deliver Champions League success to Stamford Bridge.
But the 44-year-old Italian is only worried about keeping up Schalke’s chances of reaching the knockout stages of this year’s competition, with his side currently second to Chelsea in Group G.
“I had a very good time as a player and as a manager in London. I spent many years of my life there and am still in contact with some of the people and the players,” he said.
“But there’s no time for sentimentality. The match is Schalke against Chelsea and I want to win with Schalke against Chelsea.”
A win for the Barclays Premier League pace-setters would see them seal progression out of the group whilst a defeat could leave Schalke open to being caught by either Sporting Lisbon or Maribor.
“The group is still wide open,” said Di Matteo. “Every team has the chance to reach the knockout round.
Olivier Giroud will miss both of Arsenal’s remaining Champions League group matches after the club made the mistake of not including the striker on their original squad list.
Giroud injured his ankle on August 23 and was not expected to return until January but came off the bench against Manchester United on Saturday and marked his comeback in style with a stunning late goal in the 2-1 defeat.
Clubs can only register 25 players on an ‘A List’ for the Champions League group matches, which must be submitted by September 2 and include eight home-grown players.