Champions League Preview: Basel - Schalke
The Swiss home side pulled off one of the shocks of matchday one when the club defeated Chelsea and it faces the Gelsenkirchen side for the top spot.
By Ryan Benson
St Jakob Park in Switzerland will play host to the fixture and the home side goes into the contest in good form, having not lost any of its last 10 matches in all competitions, while the club sprung a surprise in its Group E opener.
Murat Yakin’s side traveled to Chelsea with many expecting a comfortable home win, but goals from Mohamed Salah and Marco Streller in the final 20 minutes saw the Swiss side leave with three points.
Schalke also won on matchday one, beating Steaua Bucharest 3-0 at home, but drew 3-3 with Hoffenheim at the weekend after a weak second half.
The Gelsenkirchen-based club has not impressed defensively in the Bundesliga so far this season, conceding 16 goals in its opening seven matches. Four of those came in a 4-0 home loss to Bayern Munich on Sept. 21 - the club's worst defeat at its own stadium in 32 years.
Jens Keller can take solace in the fact that Schalke has only lost one of its last 11 away matches in Europe, with the Germans winning two and drawing another pair last season.
Basel had won six matches in a row before Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sion, while that clash also yielded a potentially costly defensive injury as Fabian Schar was carried off with a knee injury.
The problem is not as serious as first thought, but the Switzerland international is a doubt for Tuesday.
The club does have some good news on the injury front, however. Matias Delgado, Taulant Xhaka both returned to action against Sion, while Geoffrey Serey Die and Arlind Ajeti could make comebacks.
Keller has significantly more to contend with. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Christian Fuchs (all knee) are definitely out, with Ralf Fahrmann (foot) and Julian Draxler (knee) doubtful.
According to reports in Germany, midfielder Jermaine Jones has been suspended by the club after a run of substandard performances.
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Top 3 Predictions
Basel 1-2 FC Schalke 04
- 16.35 %
Basel 2-1 FC Schalke 04
- 15.5 %
Basel 0-2 FC Schalke 04
- 10.39 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||2013-12-11||FC Schalke 04 2 - Basel 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||2013-10-01||Basel 0 - FC Schalke 04 1|
|2014-04-16||Basel 4 - FC Zürich 2||SUI1|
|2014-04-13||FC Sion 0 - Basel 1||SUI1|
|2014-04-10||Valencia CF 5 - Basel 0||EL|
|2014-04-06||Basel 0 - FC Thun 0||SUI1|
|2014-04-03||Basel 3 - Valencia CF 0||EL|
|Returns:||Basel $27.50||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to $100 CAD|
|Returns:||Draw $30.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to $100 CAD|
|Returns:||Schalke $27.50||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to $100 CAD|
|-||Matias Emilio Delgado||Midfielder|
|-||Mohamed El Nenny||Midfielder|
|-||G. Serey Die||Midfielder|
|44||Giovanni-Guy Yann Sio||Striker|
|17||Jefferson Agustin Farfán||Striker|