Chelsea’s Champions League opponent Schalke is marching in with a win

Kevin Prince Boateng

Could Schalke’s win over Hertha BSC Berlin lead to a winning streak? A victory over Chelsea would secure the first place in their group.

No one really knows what to make of Chelsea’s next Champions League opponent Schalke.

The side from the heart of Germany’s Ruhr Valley played devastating bad against Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund. Schalke ultimately want to compete with these top notch clubs but the third most valued side in Bundesliga with an estimated market value of £152.72m played like if they weren’t even on the pitch.

That’s one part of the story, the other is: Schalke performed very well against Bundesliga’s third seat Bayer Leverkusen, against Champions League opponent FC Basel, who defeated Chelsea and against Hertha BSC Berlin last weekend.

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Former Tottenham Hotspur’s Kevin-Prince Boateng led his side with “calm, and experience occasional esprit” the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote.

Boateng’s midfield colleague Chelsea’s target Julian Draxler played great in Schalke’s 0-2 win too. The young gun was facing a crisis probably battling with pressure by his own high transfer market value. But Draxler made some nice moves on Saturday. Schalke’s goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand, the former German international, was considered a weak spot of the defence and still is but he was perfect in Berlin.

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Also good news for Schalke: Defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos is starting his comeback after being sidelined with a knee injury for almost a year. The Greek international had a fine match with the youth team this weekend. It is still questionable when he returns to the first-string side. Will he travel to London with his team?

So it's been an up and down season for the German team. Might it change now? Could Schalke’s win over Hertha BSC Berlin lead to a winning streak? A victory over Chelsea tomorrow would secure the first place in their group.

It might help that Chelsea just lost their six game winning streak. After the 0-2 loss to Newcastle United Jose Mourinho said: “The result is a consequence of one team not being there. When that is the case, they normally lose – so that is my explanation for the result.”

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Mourinho continues: “We deserved to lose. Maybe they did not deserve to win but we definitely deserved to lose. […] I made 11 mistakes. I should have picked the other eleven rather than this one. That is the feeling I have when my team has played so badly.”

The Chelsea manager hints with his statement that he will change his line-up. If that’s the case Andre Schurrle, who played great against Schalke three weeks ago, might be on the pitch.

Will that help? Or will Schalke continue their winning streak by defeating Chelsea?

image: © goatling

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