Chelsea have the chance to make their position at the top of Champions League Group G an even more commanding one as they take on Slovenian champions Maribor on Tuesday.
Nemanja Matic scored one of the Blues’ many chances away to Sporting Lisbon in their last European game to take them up to four points, and with Schalke 04 having failed to defeat Maribor at home, Chelsea seem to have enough within them to comfortably top the group.
They have largely been imperious this season, and Saturday’s win at Crystal Palace was another key example of how much Jose Mourinho has strengthened his side in the past few months in terms of game management and organisation as well as personnel. Matic plays such a key role in protecting the defence, but their second goal at Selhurst Park was something to behold.
Maribor are taking part in their first Champions League group stage campaign since the mid-1990s having beaten a woeful Celtic in the final round of qualifying. They will have been delighted by their draw in Germany and they possess some exciting players, but it would be a surprise if they come away with anything from Stamford Bridge despite having a habit of upsetting the odds.
Diego Costa is still absent for Chelsea because of a hamstring injury. Mourinho also has doubts over Ramires and Andre Schurrle.
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