Steaua aiming to 'annihilate' Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Laurentiu Reghencampf is in confident mood ahead of Steaua's meeting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Photo: PA

Steaua Bucharest hope to capitalise on the vitriol towards Rafael Benitez at Stamford Bridge and "annihilate" Chelsea in the Europa League tomorrow night.

Steaua, who are 12 points clear in the Romanian league, hold a 1-0 advantage over last season's Champions League winners in the last-16 tie following their victory in Bucharest last week.

Due to his prior association with Liverpool, Benitez has been booed throughout his tenure as interim manager at Stamford Bridge and the visitors hope to score early and use any negative atmosphere to their advantage.

"We are well aware that the supporters, the crowd has a very big role, a very important role, especially if we were to go ahead early," Steaua boss Laurentiu Reghencampf said.

"That would not create a great atmosphere for the home team. We will try to score early and play well."

Steaua, who beat Ajax in the previous round after overturning a first-leg deficit, are unfazed by the challenge that awaits in west London.

Defender Mihai Pintilii said: "They are a very good side. They have some great individual players and extraordinary talent in their team.

"Tomorrow night we will be trying to annihilate them and to just play the way we can play."

Due to a knee injury Steaua may have to do without Iasmin Latovlevici, the left-back Benitez highlighted as a danger on the eve of the first leg and who delivered the cross which led to Raul Rusescu's successful penalty.

Steaua will still go on the attack despite the potential absence of one of their most impressive players.

"As always we will be trying to win the game," Reghencampf said.

"Of course it will be very difficult but I have a team that really likes to play football.

"It is a very important match for everybody. Not only myself. It's very important for my team and also Romanian football."

Benitez earlier expressed confidence in Chelsea progressing and revealed that his side had not practised penalty kicks. Steaua have, are undeterred by tackling the Blues and are focused on themselves.

"Chelsea are the strongest team we have met so far and I'm sure we will have some difficulties," Reghencampf added.

"We have practised penalties. We will see tomorrow evening.

"If I'm afraid of anything or if I'm concerned about anything then it's my own team.

"We had a not so pleasant game in Amsterdam, where we were not able to play the way we would like to. "Now my main concern is to try to get my players ready to play the way we would like to."

A repeat of the performances in the first leg will be enough for Pintilii.

He said: "We played very well and won the game. Tomorrow night it's similar.

"If they play the way they played in the first leg and we can play the way we played in the first leg, we can of course win it."