Enjoy as much as you can Liverpool fans, because with the looks of it, it’s going to be a long, long time before you grace the pitch on Wednesday nights. As for Manchester City; well their usual adventure of the CL group stage is about to end, while, we don’t really care about Arsenal, do we?
So, that leaves us with the only team in England, worthy enough to lead the English clubs in Europe consistently every year. Chelsea, of all the English clubs, have been most consistent on the European front for quite a while now and Jose Mourinho’s little horses will look to continue their amazing unbeaten streak, as they travel to Germany to lineup against Bundesliga club Schalke.
Sitting at the top of the CL Group G, 3 points above the Bundesliga club, a victory for the Blues will all but secure Chelsea’s passage to the Champions League group stages but, much of the focus will be on Mourinho’s opposite number in the home dug-out, Roberto Di Matteo.
“I don’t play against him. If I play against him, he wins because he plays better than me. Unless I am fitter, which I don’t know, but normally he wins because he is much better than me. It is Chelsea against Schalke, it is not me against Di Matteo.” – Jose Mourinho
The Italian led us to our maiden Champions League triumph in 2012, but as Mourinho rightly recognizes, this is a battle between the two football clubs and there won’t be any room for sentiments when both the Blues face-off against each other.
So, here we are with some of the Chelsea vs Schalke 04 – Key Players That May Influence The Outcome of this game and the group G tomorrow:
ERIC MAXIM CHOUPO-MOTING vs JOHN TERRY
Signed as a free agent this summer from Mainz, the lanky forward has been the most impressive player with 5 goals and 2 assists in the 12 apps so far, for the injury-hit Bundesliga outfit this season.
Deployed alongside Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in a 4-4-2 formation, Choupo Moting scored a brace in the last home win against Wolfsburg. His playing style makes him a good dribbler of the ball, can pose a real danger with his direct plays while, having a good height also makes him a decent threat in the air.
John Terry, with his impressive performances for the Blues this season, will have a handful of a job on his hands stopping both the Schalke forwards from getting into goalscoring positions especially Choupo-Moting, who comes into this fixture on the back of a good form. A battle to watch out for!
BENEDIKT HOWEDES vs DIEGO COSTA
Captain of Schalke, Howedes missed the trip to Stamford Bridge last time due to an injury. But, the versatile defender will be back against Chelsea tomorrow, making his battle with Diego Costa, a very interesting one to watch out for.
Deployed mostly as a CB, the German is one of the most versatile players, capable of playing anywhere in the back four. But, the German will surely have one of the toughest job on his hands, when he lines up against the most fierce striker in the world right now, in Diego Costa. The Spanish striker has already amassed 11 goals in his 11 apps so far this season, and with the looks of it, he is just getting started!
With Costa’s ability to run in behind defenders, creating goalscoring spaces at will for himself and his team-mates with his sheer physicality and brute strength, it might not end up so well for Howedes and co. Nevertheless, it would be a fun battle to watch out for tomorrow.
ATSUTO UCHIDA vs EDEN HAZARD
Atsuto Uchida has been one of the better performers for the Bundesliga side so far this season, but so had been lots of other fullbacks for their respective teams, before they had the misfortune to come up against Eden Hazard!
Hazard has been nothing short of amazing for Chelsea this season, or as Mourinho would put it, ” He has reached a different level with us this season “.
With his consistent performances that have garnered him praise from all over the world, the Belgian’s sole objective would be to continue his glorious form and destroy anyone who comes up against him on his quest to greatness. Unfortunately, Uchida might be in for a nightmare, coming up against Hazard in this kind of form. Still, when isn’t it fun to watch the little Belgian at the wings! So, do look out for this battle at our left side of the pitch tomorrow.
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt