Chelsea attract record crowd for Steaua tie

Chelsea's visit to Steaua Bucharest for a Europa League last 16 first leg later on Thursday will break the National Arena's attendance record following a frenzied buying spree for tickets.

"We'll see a record as more than 55,000 will watch the game," Steaua general manager Mihai Stoica told local media on Thursday.

"Steaua fans know how to create a great atmosphere so we'll see something unique tonight."

Romanian league leaders Steaua, who won the European Cup in 1986 by beating Barcelona in the final, edged past Ajax Amsterdam 4-2 on penalties in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Chelsea, who this season became the first holders to fail to progress beyond the group stages of the Champions League, eliminated Sparta Prague in the previous round of Europe's second-tier club competition.

The 55,600-capacity National Arena's attendance record was set in October when 53,329 watched the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Romania and Netherlands.