Old Trafford

Next Game

Man Utd v Chelsea

Sunday, 26 October 2014, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Stamford Bridge

Last Game

Chelsea 6 - 0 Maribor

Tuesday, 21 October 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group G

Key trip looms for Blues

Chelsea return to Germany for the first time since winning the European Cup when they visit Schalke.

Last Updated: 19/10/13 at 12:53 Post Comment

Hazard is excelling under Mourinho

Hazard is excelling under Mourinho

Chelsea return to Germany for the first time since winning the European Cup with their Champions League Group E hopes hinging on the double-header with Schalke.

The Blues won the 2012 tournament in Munich, against Bayern Munich, but last year suffered the ignominy of being the first holders to exit in the group stage.

They responded by winning the Europa League, but manager Jose Mourinho has no desire to play in the second-tier competition and hopes to guide his side into the knockout stages of the premier event.

Chelsea responded to the surprise loss to Basle with an emphatic win at Steaua Bucharest and require another away victory against group leaders Schalke in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday to go halfway towards Jose Mourinho's 12-point target.

For the Blues to succeed, much relies on their playmaking trio, deployed behind a lone striker.

Belgium forward Eden Hazard is sure to be among the three, having excelled under Mourinho.

Hazard, who is fit again after missing the trip to Romania due to an ankle injury, told chelseafc.com: "It's so great to play with Juan (Mata), with Oscar and with Andre (Schurrle).

"We have to work together to make playing together easier. When we do that we always make chances and score goals."

Schurrle, who scored a hat-trick for Germany in the 5-3 World Cup qualifying defeat of Sweden and also netted against the Republic of Ireland, is a doubt for a first return to his homeland since moving to Stamford Bridge from Bayer Leverkusen with a leg injury.

He performed well against Bayern in the European Super Cup in Prague and also at Steaua last time out, but the Blues should make light of his likely absence, with options at Mourinho's disposal.

Brazil forward Willian and Kevin de Bruyne are also in contention for the three roles, along with Mata, Oscar and Hazard.

Hazard, for his part, knows he is a marked man and that space is at a premium, meaning he must adapt to continue to be effective.

"It's difficult for me," the 22-year-old former Lille forward added.

"I need to change something on the pitch and understand the situation each game.

"Against three defenders it is different than against one, and obviously more difficult.

"I need to play more simply, but also more quickly."

Schalke may leave more space for Hazard and company to attack as they go in search of their third win in three games this season following the 3-0 defeat of Steaua and 1-0 win at Basle last time out.

Chelsea have been at their best this season when playing at a high tempo and playing on the counter-attack might suit them.

Following the loss to Basle, Mourinho said Chelsea have little margin for error.

A draw will be the least he would expect from the trip to Germany, who have lost only three of their last 12 home fixtures in the competition, qualifying included, winning nine.

Avoiding defeat would put Chelsea in a strong position ahead of the home clash with the Germans on November 6.


New Sky Bet customers: Claim free £5 bet every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

F

ergie, aren't you supposed to make a beep beep noise when backing up like that?

simonthfc
Ferguson: Club made Moyes decision

S

ome of these are quality! Why you no like him F365?? :(

left right out
The, Erm, 'Best' Of Henry James Redknapp

W

e're our own worst enemy. We're suicidal in defence, and we may just get slaughtered on Sunday. Other than that, I am very pleased with my team.

bob the manc
Van Gaal: We can catch Chelsea

Footer 365

Champions League: Real Madrid ease past Liverpool with 3-0 win at Anfield

Real Madrid produced a first-half masterclass as they overpowered Liverpool 3-0 in the Champions League at Anfield.

Champions League: Late goals give Arsenal 2-1 victory at Anderlecht

Arsenal scored twice in the final two minutes to come from behind and secure a 2-1 Champions League win at Anderlecht.

Massimo Cellino defends Giuseppe Bellusci after Cameron Jerome's racism claim

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has defended Giuseppe Bellusci after the defender was accused of making a racist comment.

Mail Box

Do Man City Have A 'Small Mentality'?

That's one claim in the mailbox after Vincent Kompany focused on a few hundred CSKA fans sneaking into the ground instead of City blowing a two-goal lead...

City: Like A Deer Caught In The Headlights

...while Chelsea just live for Champions League nights. That's one view in a mailbox that also includes several happy football fans and looks forward to Michael Carrick's return...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property