Last time The Blues were in European action, it was the pen. defeat to Bayern in the super cup. Chin Up Blues!!
Chelsea start the 2013/14 Champions League campaign by playing the Swiss league champions FC Basel the team we played against in the Europa League semi-final last season. Even though we managed to beat them on both legs, they managed to cause us lots of danger especially when they scored right before the end of 1st half at Stamford Bridge through Egyptian Salah (more analysis on their star player on this link).
Time: September 18, 2013 at 14:45 EDT, 18:45 GMT; 19:45 BST; 19:45 WAT; 20:45 CAT; 21:45 EAT; September 19, 2013 at 00:15 IST.
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, England
TV Info: Australia – ESPN 3 Australia | Canada – SportsNet World | France – BeIN Sports MAX 4 | Germany – Sky Sports 2 HD, Sky Sports 1 HD, Sky Sports 1, Sky Go, Sky Sports 1 | India – Ten Action | United Arab Emirates – Al Jazeera Sport HD 6, Al Jazeera Sport HD 4 | United Kingdom – Sky Sports 1/HD, Sky Sports 1 Ireland, Sky Go | United States – Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports 2, SiriusXM FC
Chelsea FC Squad news: Manager Jose Mourinho confirmed there are no injuries after the Everton game in the weekend and that every one will be fit for the Champions League game. “No injuries at all. Everybody is fit,” the manager reported!! But, it will be interesting to see who will be starting the game upfront leading the attack following the below par performance of Samuel Eto’o at Goodson park in the weekend. Despite that, Jose confirmed Lampard and Ramires will start in the pivot with Oscar returning to starting 11 as well.
FC Basel Squad news: The Swiss sides’ manager, Yakin confirmed that Serey Die (calf) and Mohamed Elneny (shoulder) will miss the match at Stamford Bridge. “We gained a lot of experience from last season. We’ll be playing for second place, we have Schalke and Steaua in the group too; obviously Chelsea are the clear favorites.” –Murat Yakin
- Chelsea are unbeaten in 13 European fixtures at Stamford Bridge (W11 D2) since a 1-0 reverse against Manchester United FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
- Philipp Degen played alongside Fernando Torres at Liverpool FC between 2008 and 2011 but never appeared against Chelsea.
- Basel coach Murat Yakin lost 3-0 with Switzerland against England in a UEFA EURO 2004 group fixture in Coimbra on 17 June. Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Terry featured on the other side.
- On 19 May 2010 Eden Hazard missed a penalty in Belgium’s 2-1 friendly win over Ivan Ivanov’s Bulgaria.
- Mourinho, who has lifted the trophy with both FC Porto (2004) and FC Internazionale Milano (2010) and is bidding to become the first manager to win the European Cup with three different teams, is also defending an unbeaten matchday one record in his 11th consecutive UEFA Champions League campaign. With Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid CF, his teams have recorded seven wins and three draws on opening day.
IN THE NUTSHELL:
The teams met in last season’s UEFA Europa League semi-finals, Chelsea winning 5-2 on aggregate on their way to lifting the trophy. Basel were thus denied the opportunity to become the first Swiss side to make it to the final of a major UEFA club tournament. The Blues have finished as group winners in seven of their last ten campaigns, qualifying for the knockout rounds as runners-up in two of the other years. Last year, however, they became the first UEFA Champions League holders to have their title defence ended in the group stage. Although they won two games at home and drew the other, defeats at FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus left them third in Group E. They began with a 2-2 home draw with Juve, maintaing their unbeaten matchday one record of eight wins and three draws.
Let’s hope we will get a winning start to our Champions League group stage against Basel at Stamford Bridge. KTBFFH!