ROBERTO Di Matteo will be the central figure as his current side host the team he guided to Champions League glory. But, what’s the bet Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79)?
Schalke v Chelsea | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 5
Yes, as mentioned above, Schalke manager Roberto Di Matteo will no doubt receive lots of attention in this Champions League match. He takes on the side he managed to 2012 Champions League glory and will be eager to make another impression here.
One man who won’t get involved in any fanfare or plaudits will be current Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. You can imagine he’ll detest the idea of Di Matteo revelling in any nostalgic glory in this fixture and I think he’ll be well up for taking all three points. It was predictable to hear he refused to discuss the Italian in Monday’s press conference.
When assessing a Chelsea Champions League match, you always have to factor in how seriously they’ll take it. Three weeks ago they dropped points against Maribor with a trip to Anfield just two and a half days later. This time it’s Sunderland on the horizon. Do the math.
Chelsea are still yet to lose a competitive fixture this season and when they get into gear, they are a formidable outfit. They’ve been more off the boil than on it in this group but still head the table. Only the 6-0 win over Maribor five weeks ago got the pulse racing, so maybe they’re due another big performance. Man City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool have been Chelsea’s direct opponents after a Champions League match this year, as mentioned above, this time it’s just Sunderland.
Schalke’s home form this season has been very impressive in the Bundesliga with four consecutive wins preceded by two draws. Di Matteo’s side have also (controversially) beaten Sporting Lisbon at the Veltins-Arena but dropped points against Maribor.
It’s a very impressive record for sure, but I just feel that Mourinho will desperately want to get one over on Di Matteo and clinch a Champions League knockout berth at the same time. Watch them go!
Schalke 04 v Chelsea – Chelsea to win (17/20)