|UEFA Champions League 2014-15|
||vs|| Schalke 04
ScheduleWednesday, 17 September 2014 at 18:45 GMT / 19:45 UK / 00:15 IST
VenueStamford Bridge (London)
Next Wednesday, 17th of September 2014, the all powerful Chelsea will take on a fragile Schalke 04 at Stamford Bridge for both sides opening match at the UEFA Champions League this season.
The “new” José Mourinho’s Chelsea look unstoppable and completely different from the team that finished 3rd on the English Premier League last season. Last Saturday, the Blues completely annihilated Swansea, who were still unbeaten before the match, and cemented their position at the top of the league table with 12 points from four matches.
The new arrivals, Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas in particular, have completely transformed Chelsea’s game this season. Former Barcelona’s midfielder offered the team the much-needed creativity and passing depth, the absence of which was quite blatant last term in the midfield line, while the Brazilian born Spanish international brought in the firepower the Blues didn’t have in their forward line during last campaign.
The 2014-15 Chelsea have a new game style, fairly closer to the 4-3-3 formation Mourinho used with FC Porto a long time ago than to the 4-2-3-1 inconsistent system he tried to implement in the team last season. The Blues’ game has been more attack-driven so far this season and José Mourinho seems to be taking the opponents by surprise with this less conservative approach.
Next Wednesday, the Blues will make their debut at the UEFA Champions League this season against Schalke 04 and the most likely thing to happen is for Chelsea’s winning streak to continue, given the recent poor form of the German side.
As for Schalke 04, the match against Chelsea could not have come in a worst time. The German team are going through a terrible moment, as they failed to win any of their last eight matches and not even their draw against the all-powerful Bayern Munich two weeks ago was enough to tranquilize their enthusiastic supporters.
Last Saturday, Die Knappen were completely shredded during their visit to Borussia Moenchengladbach as they lost the match by a conclusive score of 4-1. Things are definitely not easy for Schalke’s manager, Jens Keller, and another defeat next Wednesday might in fact cost him his place at the helm of the Gelsenkirchen team.
The last time both sides met at Stamford Bridge was last year, and back then the Blues smashed Schalke by 3-0, with two goals from Eto’o and another from Demba Ba. Chelsea are firm favourites for next Wednesday’s match and if they manage to replicate their recent performances, Schalke is at risk of being severely hammered once again.
Stats: W-5 L-0 D-0
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Stats: W-0 L-4 D-1
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Chelsea (4-3-3) – Courtois - Ivanovic - Terry - Cahill - Filipe Luis - Matic - Fàbregas - Oscar - Ramires - Hazard - Diego Costa
Schalke 04 (4-2-3-1) - Fährmann - Ayhan - Höwedes - Matip - Kolasinac - Boateng - Neustäder - Sam - Draxler - Choupo-Moting - Huntelaar