|UEFA Champions League 2014-15|
| Schalke 04
ScheduleTuesday, 25 November 2014 at 18:45 GMT / 18:45 UK / 00:15 IST
Next Tuesday, 25th of November 2014, the all-powerful Chelsea will travel to Germany to measure forces with Roberto Di Matteo’s Schalke 04 at the Veltins-Arena for this UEFA Champions League's group stage round, on a match that will certainly be special for the Italian manager, since he will face the team he commanded before his “sabbatical” managerial break, and also for José Mourinho, who won the Champions League with FC Porto back in 2004 at that particular Stadium.
Chelsea continue their flawless campaign at the English Premier League and their win over West Brom last Saturday was a proof that they are, by far, the most consistent English team at the moment. Nevertheless, Chelsea’s international performances have not yet been that impressive. The Blues are at the top of their Champions League group with eight points from four matches but it was certainly expected that they would have already secured a place at the next stage of the tournament by now. However, their surprising draw at Slovenia against Maribor two weeks ago forced them to wait for another match before claiming the first place of the group, since Schalke, despite their compromising defeat at Lisbon, still nurture some hopes of claiming the lead of the group.
José Mourinho has been “creating” a new and fairly stronger Chelsea since last Summer,a team that bears no resemblance to the one of last season. The arrival of Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas, along with some Mourinho’s tactical adjustments, have transformed Chelsea into a completely different team that is comfortably sitting at the top of the English Premier League table, still undefeated.
For the match against Schalke, the Portuguese boss will certainly not make many changes in the team that defeated West Brom over the weekend, but it is likely that he will promote the return of Petr Cech to the team, as it happened against Maribor two weeks ago.
As for Schalke, the German team had a dreadful start at the Bundesliga this season but things have apparently been changing since Roberto Di Matteo’s arrival. Early in October, Schalke announced the Italian head coach as their new manager after sacking Jens Keller, who failed to meet expectations this season. So far, Di Matteo has managed to grant four wins from seven matches and the team seems to be regaining some of the confidence levels they lost during Jens Keller’s era.
The match against Chelsea is of major importance for Schalke, who were already eliminated from the German Cup (Pokal) earlier this season by the third tier historical side Dynamo Dresden, and, in case of defeat, they could severely harm their aspirations of walking through to the next stage of UEFA Champions League as well.
Regardless of Schalke’s clear recent improvements and despite the fact that they forced Chelsea to a draw at Stamford Bridge the last time both sides met, they probably don't stand a chance against José Mourinho’s Blues, who are firm favourites to win the match.
Stats: W-2 L-3 D-0
Recent Form - WLLWL
Stats: W-4 L-0 D-1
Recent Form - WWDWW
Schalke 04 (4-1-3-2) - Fährmann - Uchida - Höwedes - Santana - Fuchs - Boateng - Neustäder - Höger - Kirchhoff - Choupo-Moting - Huntelaar
Chelsea (4-3-3) – Courtois - Ivanovic - Terry - Cahill - Filipe Luis - Matic - Fàbregas - Oscar - Willian - Hazard - Diego Costa