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Cech keen to banish Blues

Chelsea will bid to exorcise some demons in this week's Champions League Group E clash with Schalke.

Last Updated: 02/11/13 at 14:24 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Champions League. Click here to bet.

Petr Cech: Looking forward to Champions League game

Petr Cech: Looking forward to Champions League game

Victory will take Jose Mourinho's men a significant step of the way towards qualification for the knockout stages - something which was beyond them 12 months ago.

The Blues suffered the ignominy of becoming the first winners to exit the tournament at the group stage in defence of their title.

Their campaign under the returning Mourinho this season did not begin entirely as planned as Swiss side Basle inflicted Chelsea's first home loss in the tournament in 29 matches and nearly 10 years.

Chelsea responded by beating Steaua Bucharest 4-0 and Schalke 3-0 as part of an October run of six wins from six games, featuring 18 goals scored and just two conceded.

Recent Novembers have not been so profitable - Chelsea have played 21 games in the last three Novembers, winning just six - and Rafael Benitez last term replaced Roberto Di Matteo in the month after the premature Champions League exit.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech said on chelseafc.com: "We always say, 'Be careful because November was not the greatest month', and we said it again two years ago and again last year.

"The last three seasons it didn't really work out and that is very hard to explain.

"But the past is the past. Hopefully this time it will be a different story because at the moment we have a good momentum from October and we would like to carry it on and keep winning games.

"Since we lost to Everton and Basle we have had exactly the reaction we were looking for.

"When you have a bad result you need to step up and put things right, and we have done that.

"We are now in a good position in the league and a good position in the Champions League group, and we have to carry on like that because it's a long campaign."

Schalke were the early pace-setters in Group E, having beaten Steaua and Basle in their opening two games, but the Germans were comprehensively beaten by the Blues in Gelsenkirchen in the last round of matches.

Mourinho's men were content to allow Schalke the lion's share of possession, but the threat of Jens Keller's group was limited and the Blues punished them on the break, with Fernando Torres scoring twice and Eden Hazard netting a third.

Following the loss to Basle, Mourinho targeted 12 points for progression and victory over Schalke would take Chelsea to nine with two games to play, at Basle on November 26 and at home to Steaua on December 11.

Bet with SkyBet  Champions League. Click here to bet.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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