Champions League: Schalke and the Cannon Fodders!
ChelseaSeason takes a good look at Chelsea’s competitors in Group G of the Champions League, featuring Schalke & Co.
Once again the final for the Champions League is to be held in German City, Berlin to be precise. Financial Fair Play has already kicked in, ask City! There are a couple of other first timers in this year’s competition for the Cup with Big Ears! Accumulated yellow cards will be cleared beyond the quarter-finals and just like the World Cup and Premier League, vanishing spray will grace the pitches. Chelsea are up against Schalke for the first match of the Blues’ Campaign, which they hope could end like 2012, and given the circumstances there’s every hope that they can. As a matter of fact it could not be any better than this.
Monaco (city) hosted the draw for the group stages on the 28th of August and the groups took shape. Here’s what Chelsea’s group looks like:
|Chelsea vs:||Match Dates||Home/Away Team|
|Schalke||17 September/ 25 November||Away/Home|
|NK Maribor||21 October/ 5 November||Away/Home|
|Sporting CP(Lisbon)||30 September/ 10 December||Home/Away|
all dates for GMT
Considering the opponents that the other English teams will have to face up against, Group G (above) of the Champions League should be an easy ride for Chelsea, especially considering the fact that this is the last year under the old seeding rules. Next year, the domestic league positions will dictate the teams’ seeding into their respective pots.
Chelsea face a visit from the German team Schalke in their first match of the group stages. If the recent form of the visitors is anything to go by, then Chelsea have a lot of things to be cheering about, likewise for their fans. Recently in the Bundesliga, Borussia Monchengladbach battered Schalke 4-1.
Here’s what Schalke manager Jens Keller had to say after the match:
“What you could see was how hard it is for us at the moment to cope with all of the players we are missing,”
“We had four players out there who had not played for months. It was clear that we’re not in our rhythm yet, and so we deserved this defeat.”
When his side come out to meet Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge, they will certainly miss the injured players even more. The injured list for Schalke 04 includes:
If Schalke are to cope with the threat that Chelsea will posses, and with their current form it is a given, then Schalke might be in for an even greater loss than what Monchengladbach inflicted on them this past weekend. Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Hazard, Schurrle and Oscar are all able to sniff incompetence, and if that is the stance that Schalke are marching on with then Keller’s head might be up for grabs soon.
Schalke have been consecutively easing into the round of 16, and in 2010 they went all the way to semi finals. This season looks a little bit difficult, especially with the mentality that they seem to be playing with. Chelsea have never lost to Schalke in the Champions League and if the current scenario continues then this would be least likely season to break that trend.
Other competitors for Schalke and Chelsea in the Group G of Champions League group stages are Sporting Lisbon of Portugal and NK Maribor is a Slovenian Club if you didn’t already know. Both of the latter clubs have the profile of whipping boys for the group that is however dependent on how Schalke turn up in the Champions League. Missing Players can’t be blamed for upsets against Lisbon or Maribor.
Chelsea should cruise as group leaders into the round of 16. Fingers crossed for a positive game at SW6.