Jose Mourinho does not like to lose. Period. That defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League will still be jarring, even after Chelsea's recovery which sees them just a point away from the last 16.
Come Tuesday night, Mourinho and his Chelsea side will have a little revenge on their minds when they travel to Basel in a must-win game for the latter.
Basel, after their surprise 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on Matchday One, have stuttered since, picking up just two points from three matches. That has put them in a tough position with five points from six matches, leaving them needing a win realistically to keep their hopes alive.
Chelsea are top of the group with nine points, and will qualify for the knockout stages with a draw. If the Blues win on Tuesday, they go through as group winners. Schalke are second on six points, and if the German side beat Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday, with Basel losing to Chelsea, then the Swiss side will get knocked out with a game remaining in Group E.
Basel manager Murat Yakin will hope to awaken the ghosts of Stamford Bridge September 18, 2013 past, to help them pull off another improbable victory.
"We are prepared for the match and are looking forward to it," Yakin
said. "We want to play in the Champions League after the winter break and we also want to get our first [Group E] win at home.
"A draw will be enough for Chelsea, but big clubs usually want to finish first in the group so as to have a better position in the draw. We want to do everything possible to set up a final [deciding group game] against Schalke, but, first of all, we want to give our fans a good match and win our first game at home.
"In our first game against Chelsea we showed that we had prepared well. They surprised us a little with their lineup. The player at the press conference didn't play. It was interesting to see, but I landed my first win against Mourinho. Tomorrow [Tuesday] it is important that we start as one team and we win as one team and we show this to our fans."
Mourinho wants to qualify for the last 16 with Tuesday's match, and believes the pressure is entirely on Basel to go and pick up all three points against the English Premier League side.
"The pressure is on Basel, not us -- we can qualify tomorrow and Basel, even if they win, still have to play a final match in Gelsenkirchen," Mourinho said. "So for them the situation is difficult, which shows clearly that after the first match we did our job and they didn't. But they are a very good team. It is going to be a big match for them."
Team News: Marcelo Diaz joins Behrang Safari on the injured list for Basel, with Serey Die expected to play despite missing much of training on Monday with a knock on his foot.
Fernando Torres is expected to return after missing the Premier League win over West Ham, while Ashley Cole is a doubt. Marco Van Ginkel is a long-term absentee.
Key men: Basel: Mohamed Salah caused plenty of problems for Chelsea in the reverse fixture and the speedy winger will again look to dent the London side.
Chelsea: Oscar was in prime form for Chelsea against West Ham and the Brazilian will look to continue his good run against Basel.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 1.15 am IST start on Wednesday morning with live coverage on Ten HD in India. You can catch the action live online by clicking the link HERE. To live stream the match in the U.S. via Fox Sports click HERE. To catch all the action via live streaming in the U.K., click HERE. To catch it via live stream in North Africa and the Middle East, click HERE.
Expected lineups: Basel: Vailati; Voser, Schar, Ajeti, Xhaka; Serey Die; Salah, Elneny, Frei, Stocker; Streller.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Lampard; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Eto'o.
Prediction: 2-1 to Chelsea