Chelsea vs. Schalke 04, UEFA Youth League: Open Thread / Pre-match buildup for tonight

Clive Rose

Tonight, Chelsea look to take a significant and, for all intents and purposes, decisive step towards qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League. But before all that, as has been the case for all three previous group stages matchdays, the U19 squad will play their parallel UEFA Youth League match.

(There's also an early game in the Champions League proper, with Zenit hosting Porto in one of those random Russian time zones that calls for a 12pm EST kickoff time.)

Unlike the seniors, the youth have had zero problems so far in Europe and have put the Chelsea academy on display with impressive numbers on both sides of the ball. Three wins from three with 10 goals scored and none conceded, Dermot Drummy's charges would ensure their qualification for the knockout rounds with another win today against the team they beat a fortnight ago 2-0 away with goals from Lewis Baker and Nathan Aké.

Both players also scored in Chelsea's come-from-behind draw on Friday in the U21 Premier League and should be in line to start in this one as well. In fact, as normal, it should basically be the same lineup as we usually see at the under-21 level, dotted with the familiar names of Feruz, Kiwomya, Swift, Brown, Baker, Loftus-Cheek, etc. But that doesn't mean there's any room for complacency!

"I say to them they've got to keep performing, keep playing well and get the eye of the first team manager, and the only way they'll do that live right, train right and play right."

-Dermot Drummy; source: chelseafc.com

The match starts at the top of the hour, 3pm local time (10am EST), and admission is free for those who are able to make it down to Aldershot's home ground. For those of unable, the match will be live on Eurosport. No stream on Chelsea TV today because of that, unfortunately.

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