Chelsea v Basle: Champions League match preview

A look ahead to tonight's Champions League fixture at Stamford Bridge

2012 champions Chelsea will look to recover from two successive defeats with this fixture, a rematch of last season's Europa League semi-final. On that occasion, the Blues won 5-2 on aggregate and Jose Mourinho's old adversary Rafael Benitez secured their passage to a fourth European title.

Four months later, with both teams back in Uefa's top-level competition, it could be a much tighter affair. Mourinho, a winner with Porto in 2004 and Internazionale in 2010, seems determined that Chelsea avoid an early elimination: "I don't want to win the Europa League. It would be a big disappointment for me."

Blues duo Marco van Ginkel and Kevin De Bruyne could make their Champions League debuts; the other summer arrivals, Andre Schurrle, Samuel Eto'o and Willian, have a combined total of 115 appearances in the competition. Aside from youngsters Thomas Kalas and Kenneth Omeruo, out with long-term injuries, there are no absentees for Chelsea to contend with.

 

KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7:45pm             

                                                  

PAST TWO MEETINGS…

Chelsea 3 (Torres, Moses, Luiz), Basel 1 (Salah), Europa League, May 2013

Basel 1 (Schar), Chelsea 2 (Moses, Luiz), Europa League, April 2013

 

STATS…

Jose Mourinho has never lost the opening match of a Champions League group, recording seven wins and three draws.

Swiss clubs have only won twice in 30 away matches against English sides.

Fernando Torres scored nine times in European competitions last season, six of them in the Europa League.

 

ODDS…

Chelsea to win: 1.3

Basel to win: 5.5

Draw: 9

 

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 7:45pm

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links