Schalke v Chelsea: Blues must wait until home leg to bridge gap
When the draw for Group E was made, many believed Chelsea would stroll it. However, two wins from two have left Schalke in command and at the Stadion Gelsenkirchen the Bundesliga outfit rarely give much away.
Schalke’s perfect start to the campaign has left them in charge of Group E and if Chelsea are to supersede them and top the group, then they must be looking at getting at least four points off them.
This would see Chelsea go level on points with the German side, but technically ahead of them because of a favourable head-to-head record.
And settling for a point in the inhospitable surroundings of the Stadion Gelsenkirchen may not be a bad gameplan for Jose Mourinho or a bad punt for that matter, at odds of 5/2 with Ladbrokes.
The Bundesliga’s current fifth-place team have a formidable record on their own patch in this competition, only losing twice there in 13 previous Champions League outings.
A 3-0 victory against strugglers Steaua Bucharest on matchday one in Germany may not be much to write home about, but a run of five straight wins on their way to the semi-finals of the 2010/11 edition, is slightly more foreboding.
Only a 95th-minute Burak Yilmaz strike for Galatasaray in the round-of-16 saw them lose in Gelsenkirchen last season in four home games in the competition, while fellow Premier League outfit Arsenal were forced to settle for a point in Germany also.
Chelsea certainly have the players to hurt them, though the Blues are yet to fully click this season, despite picking up some decent results.
Mourinho has adopted caution on the road before and won’t be put off doing so again and the Portuguese will have to make sure a close eye is kept on Julian Draxler.
The 20-year-old midfielder has bagged in both Champions League games to date and represents a 10/3 shot to score anytime with Ladbrokes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim three £10 free bets when you bet £10.