If anyone's watched Schalke this season, they'll be aware that even when they've had some great results (they drew at home against Bayern Munich) they've been really rather poor. And mostly they haven't had great results, either. Coming off an execrable performance against Borussia Mönchengladbach this weekend, the Germans now travel to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, where most observers are predicting a pasting.
And to make things even scarier for Schalke, they'll do so without their captain, Benedikt Höwedes.
I'm not going to get carried away and proclaim that Chelsea will be able to roll over Schalke without trying very hard -- these kinds of matches have had a bad habit of biting us in the ass -- but it's difficult to imagine a more favourable time to be playing them. Schalke are in terrible form, and now they're missing their captain and best defender. If the Blues don't pick up the points on Wednesday, we'll only have ourselves to blame.