Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chelsea vs Schalke

Chelsea will look to build upon their comfortable position in the Champions League group stages and shake off their defeat at Newcastle as they take on Schalke 04 at Stamford Bridge.

José Mourinho will make changes due to fitness and form from the game at St. James' Park - Fernando Torres will miss out through injury, while Juan Mata is likely to find himself on the bench at best.

Schalke, meanwhile, will look to build on their dangerous away form in the Bundesliga, with six wins and no defeats in their last seven games away from Gelsenkirchen.

Chelsea's 3-0 win at Schalke gave them a commanding position in the group after their shock loss to Basel, and a win here should see them take complete control. But Schalke - and Chelsea - are both capable of springing a surprise.

Two victories against Steaua Bucuresti and Schalke 04 have put Chelsea back on track as far as Champions League qualification is concerned.

Jose Mourinho's men lost their opening group encounter against Swiss side Basel, but the six points have seen them move to the top of the standings on goal difference.

On Wednesday they will play host to Schalke at Stamford Bridge, having defeated the German club 3-0 last time out in Gelsenkirchen.

It is expected that manager Mourinho could make some alterations to his starting lineup, with the likes of Gary Cahill and Samuel Eto'o thought to be pushing for recalls.

Meanwhile, Julian Draxler should start for the away side. The 20-year-old, who has scored two goals in the competition this season, is believed to have attracted the attention of Manchester United and Arsenal.

Schalke make the trip to West London in positive form away from home, having won six of their last seven matches on the road.

The two teams met at the Bridge back in the 2007, when the Blues ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba either side of half time.

However, Schalke claimed a 2-0 victory from their last trip to London in 2012 at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

Recent form

Chelsea: WWWWWL

Schalke: WWWLLW

Possible starting lineups

Chelsea: Cech; Cole, Cahill, Terry, Ivanovic; Essien, Mikel; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Eto'o

Schalke: Hildebrand; Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Aogo; Jones, Boateng, Neustadter, Draxler, Meyer; Szalai

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