Marco Streller: The man who could bring down Chelsea

FC Basel

Chelsea are heavy favourites for their Champions League opener against FC Basel but they’ll have to keep one player in particular very quiet.

Marco Streller is no stranger to Chelsea. He started both legs of the Europa League tie last season and the Swiss would be the first to admit he didn’t play anywhere near his best as the Blues comfortably strolled through 5-2 on aggregate.

That seems to have left a bitter taste in his mouth, providing extra motivation as he went through the process of pre-season heading into the current campaign and he’s got off to a flyer.

The 32-year-old has bagged four goals in five Swiss Super League appearances, solidifying his status as Basel’s main man in attack.

A grin would have likely broken out across his face when Basel were put in the same group as Chelsea for the Champions League and the only thing on his mind this week ahead of the match is going to be revenge.

So how do Chelsea contain him? Well they did a pretty good job over two legs not so long ago. Streller is not as quick as he once was so he plays far higher up the pitch to compensate for his lack of pace.

Chelsea can make it difficult for him by maintaining a high defensive line when they build pressure, which means he’ll be easier to track and contain on the counter attack. He does drift to either side of the defence but the Blues should have more than enough to cover him.

However, his form this season in front of goal has so far been outstanding. If he gets a decent half chance then there’s a very good chance he could grab a shock goal, which may go a long way to causing an upset.

What do you think? Can Streller be the thorn in Chelsea’s side?

image: © _becaro_

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