Chelsea will host German side Schalke tonight looking to take one giant leap towards Champions League knockout stages and Jose Mourinho would certainly want his team to improve on the dismal performance against New Castle during the weekend. The Blues are currently at 2nd in the table, 5 points behind Arsenal and tied with Liverpool.
The 2-0 loss suffered at St. James Park last week would come as a wake up call for the Blues who were flying high with a 9 game undefeated streak after their mediocre start to the season. Chelsea have already managed to beat Schalke in Germany, but the German side are considerably stronger on their travels and will look to give Mourinho’s men a run of their money. Three points today will keep the Blues on top of Group E and confirm their promotion.
With such a dismal performance last time around, it is assured that Jose Mourinho will make several changes to his starting lineup.
As far as the team news is concerned, Mourinho has confirmed that Torress and Bertrand will miss out. Talking to the press ahead of the game, Mourinho said:
“Fernando has a muscular injury, we have to wait for the scans tomorrow but it’s easy to say he’s out tomorrow and at the weekend, after that is the international break and we’ll have to see if he can recover.
‘Bertrand is injured, just today in training so I cannot say what, but he’s also out of selection.
Here is a look at the possible line-up Jose Mourinho might deploy against Schalke.
Peter Cech will continue to guard the Blues goal, while the back four in front of him will certainly be changed. Branislav Ivanovic who had a poor outing against Newcastle could lose his place to Mou’s favourite Spanish full back Cesar Azpilicueta. Elsewhere Terry should keep his place while Cahill could get a nod ahead of David Luiz and at left-back Ashley Cole will continue as Bertrand is out injured.
With a plethora of options at disposal, it will be interesting to see what Mourinho does to his midfield lineup. While Ramires is a confirmed starter, Lampard might be pushed to the bench in favour of Obi Mikel in the midfield role, while Oscar should retain his No.10 role. On the wings, with Hazard and Mata having had poor shows recently, Willian and Schurrle might be deployed.
With Torres out of the game, Eto’s should be the most likely candidate.