Following a disappointing Premier League defeat to Newcastle United, Chelsea’s attention returns to the Champions League as Schalke visit Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have recovered well in Europe since the shock defeat by Basel on Match day one, with away games against Steaua Bucherest and Wednesday’s opponents Schalke producing seven goals without reply. However, Group E remains tight, with the Germans level on points with Chelsea, and Basel two points behind, although their failure to win in Romania was a major boost for Jose Mourinho’s team.
Going into this game, the Chelsea players have much to prove to Mourinho, who declared himself ‘angry and worried’ by Saturday’s loss at St. James’ Park, which saw Arsenal extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points. The trio of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar struggled to create chances, and with Mourinho promising changes, Andre Schurrle and Willian could step in as a result.
Schalke kept a rare clean sheet at the weekend as Hertha Berlin were beaten 2-0, and despite losing by a three goal margin against Chelsea previously, they looked capable of breaching the 2012 champions’ defence.
Jens Koller’s side are still severely hampered by injuries, with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Jefferson Farfan, Chinedu Obasi and Marco Hoger all on the sidelines, while Chelsea were handed a blow on Tuesday with Fernando Torres sustaining a leg injury, so Samuel Eto’o will come in.
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