Chelsea v Basle: Juan Mata desperate to play role for Blues in Champions League

The Spaniard has had little game time under Jose Mourinho

Juan Mata is desperate for some Champions League action as Chelsea look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season by beating Basle on Wednesday.

Everton forward Steven Naismith scored in first-half injury time on Saturday to tear up Jose Mourinho's unbeaten record since he returned to Stamford Bridge.

Mata has endured a difficult start to the season under Mourinho, starting just two games despite being named player of the season for the previous two campaigns.

Indeed the 25-year-old playmaker, who has recently been dropped from the Spain squad, is yet to finish a game for the Blues this season and has been an unused substitute on three occasions.

Part of the reason behind Mata's absence has been because of a niggling thigh injury he suffered at the Confederations Cup, but he is now fit and ready to help Chelsea begin their quest to win their third European trophy in as many years.

"I can confirm that I'm feeling good after the muscular problems I've been suffering since pre-season," the Chelsea midfielder wrote on his personal blog.

"After one defeat you just want the next match to come as soon as possible, and probably the Champions League is the best way.

"I really want to live a night like this at Stamford Bridge. It's a different feeling, even more since we won the title two years ago.This competition brings great memories to all of us and makes us feel really excited.

"I'm looking forward to playing at home again and I hope we win so we can face the next Premier League game with a good taste.

"The next few weeks ahead are very intense: five games in just 14 days. In order to get ready for them it is very important to get confidence and to be positive."

Chelsea beat Basle 5-2 on aggregate in the Europa League semi-finals last season.

Eden Hazard, who started in both legs, admits it would be unthinkable for a club of Chelsea's stature to lose two games in a row.

"We have another game on Wednesday in the Champions League and we need to win because Chelsea is a big club and if we lose two games it's very bad for us," the Belgium winger said on Chelsea's website.

"We need to work in training to help us win that game."

PA

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