Chelsea v Schalke: Away specialists to frustrate Mourinho’s men
Jose Mourinho reckons Chelsea ‘forgot’ how to keep winning when losing at Newcastle last time out and with Schalke so strong on the road and Fernando Torres ruled out; punters can expect this collective amnesia to remain for another game in the Champions League.
Although Chelsea prevailed as comfortable 3-0 winners in Gelsenkirchen, the stats point to this Schalke side being a much harder beast to tame on the road, as the German side are now unbeaten in their last seven away in all competitions.
When added to the fact that Basel have already breached the once impenetrable Stamford Bridge stronghold by winning in west London on matchday one, there is real attraction in the 7/2 on offer that Schalke escape with a point.
Another big factor behind this theory is the absence of Torres. Much maligned for his lack of Premier League goals, the Spaniard has regularly been the Blues’ best weapon in European competition.
His two goals at Schalke capped a match-winning performance and led many commentators to believe that the Torres of old ‘was back’.
Without him, Mourinho is likely to turn to Samuel Eto’o, a former Champions League winner with unquestionable pedigree, but with questionable sharpness at the age of 32, having scored a solitary goal in 10 Chelsea appearances to date.
Only Wolfsburg have prevented Schalke from scoring on the road in nine games this season, so backing both teams to find the net at 4/5 looks a decent bet also.
A plus point for Chelsea is the return to full fitness of German international Andre Schurrle, who was only given 20 minutes in the defeat to Newcastle, which suggests he should be called upon from the start here.
After scoring a hat-trick for his country and then notching his first Chelsea goal in their home league win over Manchester City, the former Bayer Leverkusen star is well priced at 11/5 to score any time in the match in current form.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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