A preview of tonight’s Champions League clash between Chelsea and Basel.Where: Stamford Bridge, London
When: Wednesday September 18, 2013 19:45
Watch Live: Click here to watch live with Sky
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says he will hand starts to Frank Lampard and Oscar in his midfield tonight as they take on Swiss side FC Basel in their opening match of this season’s Champions League.
The Europa League holders also faced these opponents last season en route to their success in Amsterdam last season, winning both legs with an 5-2 aggregate scoreline in the semi-finals of the competition.
Chelsea are not currently in the best form going into this game, having endured their worst start to a Premier League season for ten years, losing 1-0 to Everton at the weekend.
Their somewhat unusual participation in last season’s Europa League was down to their shock exit at the group stage of the Champions League, something Mourinho will be keen to avoid this season, though his side have an easier-looking group this year than last year.
Having only rejoined Chelsea this summer, Mourinho has dismissed the club’s Europa League win last season, saying: “I want to start the group phase by winning because last season Chelsea went outside its natural habitat of the Champions League and went out into a competition which isn’t a Chelsea competition and we don’t want to do that again.”
Mourinho has no fresh injury concerns going into tonight’s game, and will have some thinking to do about his selection upfront, with Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba all competing for one spot.