Basle v Chelsea: Jose Mourinho eyeing Champions League victory to ease December workload

A win in Switzerland on Tuesday will confirm the Blues' place in the last-16 and mean the final Group E match with Steaua Bucharest will become irrelevant

Jose Mourinho wants his Chelsea side to confirm their place in the Champions League knockout stages by beating Basle in Switzerland on Tuesday night to ease the December workload.

Basle inflicted Chelsea's first home loss in the group phase of the tournament in nearly 10 years, ending a 29-match unbeaten streak, at the start of Group E, leaving the Blues and returning boss Mourinho fearful of a repeat of the 2012-13 season.

The Blues suffered the ignominy of becoming the first winners to exit the tournament at the group stage in defence of their title, before responding by beating Basle in the semi-finals en route to winning the Europa League.

Since the Basle blow on September 18, Chelsea have responded with a 4-0 win at Steaua Bucharest and two 3-0 defeats of Schalke, the early pace-setters, and they require one point to advance to the next round, while a fourth win would seal top spot in the pool.

Mourinho hopes to secure Group E at St Jakob Park, so that the result in the home match with Steaua on December 11 is an irrelevance.

"We are going to try to win and kill," Mourinho said.

"We have so many matches in December that if we can have one less - and the one less is the crucial match against Steaua - it would be a help.

"We are going to try to win. In the end if you get a point you qualify, you have a point, but we have to try to win the game there.

"Also because it was not a good feeling to lose against them at home - so, no revenge, nothing, not at all, but to try to win against a team that beat us at Stamford Bridge I think is important."

Chelsea's December schedule sees them play nine times, with Southampton at home in the Premier League followed by fixtures against Sunderland - a side the Blues also face in the Capital One Cup next month - Stoke and Crystal Palace.

There is a trip to Premier League leaders Arsenal on December 23 and home matches with Swansea and Liverpool to complete the calendar year.

Mourinho insists he is not yet thinking about the Arsenal contest at the Emirates Stadium.

"Let's see how we arrive there," he said.

"Who knows what happens? Who knows in which position we are and they are on December 23? Who knows?

"Maybe they are third and we are fifth? You never know. In this Premier League, anything can happen.

"Just play match after match and see what happens. "(Winning at West Ham) was important to win because if we lose we are seven points from them (Arsenal) and seven points in this league is not dramatic, but seven points are seven points."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders