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UEFA Europa League

  • April 25, 2013
  • • 20:05
  • • St. Jakob-Park, Basel
  • Referee: P. Kralovec
  • • Attendance: 36000
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Basel - Chelsea Preview: Swiss side aim to add Blues to growing list of English scalps

Basel - Chelsea Preview: Swiss side aim to add Blues to growing list of English scalps

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After knocking out Tottenham in emphatic fashion in the quarter-finals the hosts will be looking to dispatch Rafa Benitez's side, whose concentration lies elsewhere

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

BASEL

Sommer
Steinhofer, Degan, Dragovic, Schar
Salah, Cabral, F Frei, Stocker
Streller, Bobadilla
CHELSEA

Cech,
Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Bertrand
Moses, Lampard, Ramires, Oscar, Mata
Torres

Basel have just one injury concern heading into their first ever European semi-final, with Philipp Degen (muscular) a doubt. However, Arlind Ajeti is ready to deputise.

Chelsea defensive duo Ashley Cole (hamstring) and Gary Cahill (knee) have handed Rafael Benitez a timely boost ahead of Thursday's tie.

The left-back has not been seen since April 1, while the former Bolton man underwent minor surgery on March 30.

Elsewhere, Oscar (groin) has also been passed fit after being withdrawn during Sunday's 2-2 draw with Liverpool and joined the squad on Wednesday morning's flight to St Jacob-Park.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Basel are unbeaten at home in this year’s Europa League campaign and have only failed to win once at St Jakob-Park since the start of September domestically.
  • No side has scored more goals from set-pieces in the Europa League than Basel (seven).
  • The Swiss Super League champions have not lost in their last four meetings against English opposition, scoring at least twice on each occasion (against Manchester United and Tottenham).
  • The Swiss side have the worst disciplinary record in this year’s Europa League, picking up 27 yellow cards and three reds.
  • Chelsea have faced Swiss opponents just once before, losing in the first round of the 2000-01 Uefa Cup to FC St Gallen.
  • Fernando Torres (pictured right) has scored four goals in his last three Europa League appearances.
  • The west London club have lost four of their last five European away matches, including back-to-back defeats on the road against Steaua Bucharest and Rubin Kazan.
  • Chelsea can become the first side to win Uefa's two top club competitions in reverse order in successive seasons.

Players to watch

Mohamed Salah

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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The 20-year-old was one of the standout performers for Basel over the two legs against Tottenham, with his fleet-footed approach complimenting the Swiss side's counterattacking style. Chelsea will now be aware of his ability, so all eyes on Salah to see if he can again impress against English opposition.

Oscar

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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The Brazilian has adjusted to European competition with ease since joining Chelsea last summer, notching twice on his debut in the Champions League and striking away to Sparta Prague in the Europa League. Can Oscar's burgeoning talent propel the Blues to a second consecutive European final?

Editor's Prediction

Tottenham were stunned by Basel's counterattacking style during the quarter-finals, especially in the first tie between the two sides, as the Swiss side added another scalp to an ever-growing list of Europe's biggest sides.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are likely to make a number of changes with their Champions League berth for next season still not secured, and could well fall into the same trap as Spurs as they adjust to Basel's terrifying speed.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Basel

Chelsea

Wins
2
0
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

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