Jens Keller’s team suffered a 3-0 defeat to the west London team on Matchday 3 in the group stages, but only trail Jose Mourinho’s side on goal difference after picking up six points from their opening two matches against FC Steaua Bucuresti and FC Basel 1893.
'Not here to see the sights'
Despite that defeat a fortnight ago, Kevin-Prince Boateng was in confident mood ahead of the game at Stamford Bridge. “We’ve come here with the wind in our sails following our win over [Hertha] Berlinand are determined to get something from the game,” said the 26-year-old. “We haven’t come here to lose or do any sightseeing, we’ve come here to do our best and pick up points. That’s our aim.”
“We know we’re the underdogs,” admitted Keller at Tuesday evening's press conference. “It’s a very important game for us and we haven’t won against any of the big boys yet. We have to try and avoid conceding an early goal and having to chase the game. It’s important we’re focused right from the start, keep it tight and try to counter-attack with pace.”
Szalai and Neustädter fit
Midfielder Roman Neustädter has travelled with the Royal Blues after recovering from an ankle knock picked up against Hertha at the weekend, while Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos has also been included in the squad. Adam Szalai, meanwhile, has recovered from the ear injury he suffered in the capital and could start on Wednesday.
“We have to be as determined and solid as we were against Hertha,“ said the Hungarian international. “It’s important that we stop Chelsea from mounting quick attacks and if we create chances of our own, we have to take them. We know we’re up against a tough side, but we want to go to London with confidence and take something home with us.”
Mourinho: 'Veltins victory means nothing'
Schalke will be buoyed by the fact that Fernando Torres, who grabbed a brace at the Veltins-Arena, has been ruled out of Wednesday's game with a thigh injury. Keller doesn't feel the Spaniard's absence will make much of a difference, however. “They have a number of exceptional players and I’m sure they’ll be able to make up for Torres’ injury with the squad they have at their disposal,” said the 42-year-old.
Chelsea head coach Mourinho, meanwhile, will be looking for a reaction from his team following a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United FC in the Premier League at the weekend. However, the Portuguese is wary of die Knappen's impressive form on the road: “Their away record is very good, not just in the Bundesliga, but also in European competitions,”
he said. “Our result out in Germany at this moment means nothing.”
Chelsea: P. Cech - Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, A. Cole - Ramires, Lampard - Willian, Oscar, Schürrle - Eto'o
Schalke: Hildebrand - Uchida, Höwedes, Matip, Kolasinac - Neustädter, Aogo - K.-P. Boateng, M. Meyer, Draxler - Szalai
Enjoy this interview with Schalke's golden boy Julian Draxler, exclusive to the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: