Jose Mourinho was punished for playing a game of selection brinkmanship against Basel, but injuries to Eden Hazard and Marco van Ginkel and an upcoming suspension for Fernando Torres should ensure a full-strength Chelsea are sent out to land win odds of 7/10 in Bucharest.
Steaua are 4/1 for a victory in the match betting while the stalemate can be backed at odds of 13/5.
In Hazard’s absence Juan Mata is sure to return to the starting XI.
Mata’s goal-creating, point-saving second-half introduction against Tottenham reminded Chelsea that the Spaniard’s creativity can be a life-saver.
Hazard’s quality is beyond dispute, but Chelsea only won seven per cent more games last season when the Belgian was selected than when he wasn’t.
Mata’s inclusion from minute one was by comparison a huge influence on their 2012/13 form, with Chelsea winning just 29 per cent of the games he failed to start and a massive 62 per cent of those in which he did make the XI.
Hazard was also outscored and out-assisted by the former Valencia schemer in both Premier League and European action.
Fernando Torres’ domestic suspension should ensure the Blues’ 2012/13 top European goalscorer starts.
Mata’s countryman found his scoring Shangri-La on the continent last term, notching nine times in 16 appearances – a far better return than the pedestrian eight goals he managed in 28 Premier League starts.
Samuel Eto’o was preferred to Torres in the Blues’ upset defeat against Basel but managed just a single shot in a limp display.
The latter is facing a domestic ban for his sending off against Tottenham, making it all the more likely that he’ll play instead of the Cameroonian, who may be rested with future battles in mind.
Torres notched against Steaua in last season’s Europa League meeting between the two sides and he’s 17/4 to either start or bookend the scoring in Romania.
Ramires’ return will add midfield bite in place of Marco van Ginkel.
The Brazilian was Chelsea’s most committed tackle-maker in the Champions League last term averaging 3.2 per game and his tenacity and energy were undoubtedly missing as Basel overwhelmed Chelsea late on at Stamford Bridge.
Van Ginkel’s deeply unfortunate cruciate ligament injury against Swindon means that Ramires should be catapulted back into the starting line-up.