Schalke vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man & Predicted Score
Chelsea will be looking to book their place in the knockout stages when they take on Schalke in the Champions League this evening. Here’s a match preview.
Chelsea will be looking to book their place in the knockout stages when they take on Schalke in the Champions League this evening.
The Blues head into the game sitting three points clear of the Germans in Group G so travel to the Veltins-Arena knowing victory would secure top spot with a game to spare.
Jose Mourinho’s men continued their sensational start to the season with a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday which saw them not only maintain their unbeaten record in all competitions, but with Southampton drawing last night the West Londoners are now six points clear of their nearest rivals.
But they will be concentrating on European matters this evening and the game sees Chelsea come up against Roberto Di Matteo – who guided the club to their first ever Champions League trophy back in 2012.
The Italian replaced Jens Keller in the Schalke dug-out last month and has enjoyed a positive start to life in Germany, but with third-placed Sporting Lisbon just a single point behind, Di Matteo will be desperate to get one over his former side to give their chances of qualification a major boost.
Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns for the game so Mourinho has virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Diego Costa is now considered 100% fit after recovering from his troublesome hamstring injury while Ramires is also back in contention after a groin problem.
The only player left behind is youngster Nathan Ake after he was ruled out with an injury he sustained while away on international duty.
On the other hand, Schalke have several injury concerns heading into the game. Key attacker Julian Draxler is out after suffering a thigh injury last month so he joins Jefferson Farfan and Sidney Sam on the sidelines.
Sead Kolasinac is also out with a knee injury while Fabian Giefer is struggling with a hip injury. However, Joel Matip should come back into the starting eleven.
Diego Costa: The Spaniard continued his excellent start to life at Stamford Bridge with yet another goal at the weekend and with Mourinho claiming Costa is now fully-fit, Schalke are certainly going to want to keep a close eye on him this evening.
Schalke have a decent home record in Europe, losing just five of their previous 20 games, but Chelsea look formidable at present so we think the Premier League pace-setters will edge this one to secure qualification to the knockout stages. Schalke 1-2 Chelsea.
What team would you pick for the game and whats your predicted score?
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