Chelsea set for repeat showing against Schalke at Stamford Bridge as they open Champions League campaign

Chelsea vs Schalke 04 @ Stamford Bridge

September 17 – 19.45 BST

Chelsea versus Schalke 04 in a Champions League group stage match? You could be forgiven for thinking you’ve already seen this one.

Cast your minds back 12 months and you may remember Chelsea’s comprehensive 3-0 victories both home and away.

Worry not if this has slipped your mind however, as it is hard to envisage anything other than a repeat result this time around.

In fact, Schalke have yet to score against Chelsea in their four previous attempts.

The key man for the Blues so far has been Diego Costa. The Brazilan-turned-Spaniard has been prolific, netting seven times in four games this season.

Compliments go to head chef Cesc Fabregas, who has cooked up a buffet of chances for his countryman to feast upon.

If tonight’s visitors are to cause an upset, then 20 year-old Julian Draxler, commonly dubbed as a ‘wonderkid’ will undoubtedly have a say in it.

His form for club and country has led to a long list of admirers, most notably Arsenal, who allegedly tried to sign him in January.

They can also take confidence in that Chelsea were slow starters to their Champions League campaign last season, losing 1-0 at home to Basel.

However the Blues are injury free and among the favourites to win the whole tournament this time after agonisingly exiting at the semi-final stage last year.

Expect Jose Mourinho to field a strong side as he will look to qualify from the group as quickly as possible, beginning with three points tonight.

Referee: Ivan Bebek (Croatia)

Star man: Diego Costa

Danger man: Julian Draxler

Last season: November 6, 2013:  Chelsea 3 (Eto’o 31, 54, Ba 83) v Schalke 0

Picture courtesy of Brent Flanders, with thanks

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