Europa League: Chelsea v FC Basel match preview
A look ahead to tonight’s Europa League semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge
Thursday 02 May 2013
European Champions Chelsea host FC Basel in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final. The home side are firmly in the driving seat having already secured two away goals in Switzerland. But manager Rafael Benitez will have to be wary and learn from Tottenham’s mistakes that knocked them out of the competition.
The Swiss champions face a tough task to score the two goals needed. It may be their first ever trip to Stamford Bridge but they should not expect a warm welcome against the last English team in the competition who will be desperate to obtain their second successive European trophy after a dismal Champions League campaign. It is also the Londoner's last chance for silverware.
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, who has featured for much of the Blues' Europa League ties, will have the opportunity to equal Bobby Tambling's all time goal-scoring record for the club at the Bridge should he take part.
Despite Ramires having to go off with a dead leg on Sunday against Swansea, the Brazilian will be able to join the rest of a fully fit squad. Basel also have a clean bill of health after Philipp Degen escaped injury from David Luiz's horror tackle in the first leg.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 8.05pm
FC Basel 1 (Schar) Chelsea 2 (Moses, Luiz), Europa League, knock-out phase, April 2013
This marks Basel's first ever semi-final in a major Uefa competition.
Fernando Torres has four goals in his last four games in the competition.
Chelsea have not kept a clean sheet in their last 11 European matches.
Benitez is the only manager left in the competition who has won the trophy before.
Chelsea to win: 1.53
FC Basel to win: 7.6
TV: Live on ITV at 8.05pm
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
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