A win away to a Schalke 04 side managed by former hero Roberto Di Matteo will guarantee Chelsea’s progress into the Champions League knockout stages with a game to spare.
While the Premier League has been plain sailing, performances in Europe have not always quite been up to scratch for the Blues, although they still top the section with two wins and two draws. The latest of them away to Maribor left manager Jose Mourinho critical of his side for a below-par showing.
The Portuguese has also warned that this clash will not be simply a battle between himself and Di Matteo, the only man to lead Chelsea to victory in this competition, but it will still be intriguing to see who comes out on top in the tactical battle.
Schalke sit second in Group G and would move to within touching progress of the last 16 if they can triumph here, for all of their inconsistency, which included a rollercoaster two games against Sporting Lisbon. It has been a similar story in the Bundesliga, with three wins and two defeats since Di Matteo took charge, leaving them in seventh place.
Their task here will be made harder by the absence of Julian Draxler, who misses out along with Jefferson Farfan and Sead Kolasinac. Chelsea have no new injury problems, but Loic Remy could feature after recovering from injury.
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