Basel-Schalke Preview: Group G top two target back-to-back triumphs
The Swiss hosts pulled off one of the shocks of matchday one when they defeated Chelsea and they face 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 go into the contest in good form, having not lost any of their last 10 matches in all competitions, while they sprung a surprise in their Group E opener.
Murat Yakin’s side travelled 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 have not impressed defensively in the Bundesliga so far this season, conceding 16 goals in their opening seven matches. Four of those came in a 4-0 home loss to Bayern Munich on September 21 - their worst defeat at their own stadium in 32 years.
Jens Keller can take solace in the fact that Schalke have only lost one of their 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.
They do 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, though the USA midfielder will definitely not feature regardless, as he is set for knee surgery.
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Top 3 Predictions
Basel 1-2 Schalke 04
- 16.35 %
Basel 2-1 Schalke 04
- 15.5 %
Basel 0-2 Schalke 04
- 10.39 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Dec 11, 2013||Schalke 04 2 - Basel 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 1, 2013||Basel 0 - Schalke 04 1|
|Dec 14, 2013||Basel 1 - FC Luzern 1||SUI1|
|Dec 11, 2013||Schalke 04 2 - Basel 0||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Basel 1 - Grasshopper Club Zürich 1||SUI1|
|Dec 1, 2013||BSC Young Boys 2 - Basel 2||SUI1|
|Nov 26, 2013||Basel 1 - Chelsea FC 0||UCL|
|-||Matias Emilio Delgado||Midfielder|
|-||Mohamed El Nenny||Midfielder|
|-||G. Serey Die||Midfielder|
|44||Giovanni-Guy Yann Sio||Striker|
|17||Jefferson Agustin Farfán||Striker|