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Chelsea vs. Schalke 04, Champions League: squad news, TV & streaming information, preview

This is a match which should go a long way towards determining the the fate of Group E, and Chelsea's potential place in the Champions League group stages. Should be fun.

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Clive Rose

With Chelsea and Schalke tied atop Group E on six points a piece, it should be no shock that one of the matches predicted to be pivotal after the group was drawn has indeed become a pivotal one. Of course, with Basel on four points, behind the leaders, neither side can actually qualify yet, but a win would see one of the two sides well on its way to qualification. In the reverse fixture two weeks ago, Chelsea returned from Germany with a comfortable 3-0 win in hand. Since then, however, the Blues slumped to an insipid 2-0 defeat away to Newcastle.

Unfortunately for Schalke, Jose Mourinho was understandably-miffed by the result, saying in his press conference:

'My teams can lose matches, they always have, they have never been unbeatable, Chelsea are the same, but there is losing because the opponent was better than you, or because you were unlucky, like at Goodison Park, and there is losing because you were not the team with the ambition and determination we wanted to be, that's why I was disappointed.

'My bad reaction with the players was not after the game, it was at half-time because I was feeling the mentality was not the best. Sometimes, when you win a lot players forget why they've won, probably they forgot why they won three, four, or five matches, why they won against Schalke, Arsenal and Man City, they think they won just because they are good.

While the potential to spring a surprise still exists, There's no doubt Mourinho will want to get his side back on track as quickly as possible, and to avoid a second successive home loss in the Champions League. History suggests that the Portuguese manager is exceptionally-good at doing both of those things.

On the other hand, look for Schalke not to chase the game and put the onus on a Chelsea attack questionable at breaking down defensive sides. Club captain Benedikt Höwedes said the following:

"We still have a bit to  make up for, we lost the first leg, which was a bit  annoying because we had many good chances to score. We now want to keep a clean sheet, be compact at the back and become  dangerous with our counter attacks."

It should be an interesting battle, but Chelsea should definitely be expecting to get the goals needed to see of the challenge of the Germans. Schalke, as it happens, have shipped a magnificent twenty-two goals in just eleven Bundesliga matches, including heavy losses against Wolfsburg, the all-conquering Bayern Munich, and local rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Date/Time: Wednesday, 6 November 2013, 19:45 GMT; 2:45pm EST; 1:15am IST (next day)

Venue/Location: Stamford Bridge, SW6 London, England

Forecast: A cool, breezy day with steady, light rain all day and into the evening. A pleasant change from the blustery conditions from the weekend.

On TV: Sky Sports 2 (UK); Fox Soccer Plus (USA); TEN Sports India, TEN Sports Live (India)

Online: Sky GoNOW TV (UK); Fox Soccer 2 Go (USA)

Chelsea Team News: The big news is that Fernando Torres picked up what has been reported as a "muscular injury" yesterday in training, and will miss both this match and the Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion at the weekend. Ryan Bertrand, who looked in line to replace Ashley Cole after the latter's poor performance against Newcastle, also misses out after picking up a knock in training. Marco van Ginkel, a long-term absentee, is the only other player to miss out through injury.

Schalke Team News: The Germans are very much still deep in the injury crisis they were in when last we met them. Important first team players like Jefferson Farfan, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and Marco Hoger are all missing tomorrow. Schalke do have skillful players left, including the much-vaunted Julian Draxler, the controversial Kevin-Prince Boateng, and captain Benedikt Höwedes.

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