Chelsea open their 2013/14 Champions League campaign with a clash against German side Schalke at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Where to Watch Live
Chelsea's opening Champions League game is set for a 7.45 pm BST (12.15 am IST) start with live coverage on Ten Sports in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action in the UK on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD and NOW TV, with the option to live stream the match online HEREor HERE.
Viewers in the US can watch the Champions League game on Fox Soccer Plus, with an option to live stream HERE. Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can catch the action via live streaming HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can do the same HERE.
Chelsea are currently in the form of their lives, sitting at the very top of the Premier League after registering wins in all their opening four Premier League games against Burnley, Leicester City, Eveton and Swansea City.
The Blues new signing Diego Costa has especially been very impressive, ending the West London side's attacking problems by netting seven goals in four Premier League fixtures.
Despite Chelsea being impressive in the Premier League, their real test begins when they face Schalke on Wednesday.
Last season, despite their striker issues, the Blues still managed to record a comfortable win over Schalke both home and away. This time around the Blues are again expected to cruise against the German side considering the contrast in form of the two sides.
While Chelsea are sitting at the top of the Premier League, Schalke are currently in 16th place in the Bundesliga with one draw and two defeats.
However, despite their excellent form of late, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insists that his side are capable of doing even better.
"We are far from perfect; we try to improve every day. Obviously there was an evolution from last year to this year, but last season we did well too. We reached the Champions League semi-finals and were fighting for the league," Mourinho said.
"It will be difficult to do better this year but we have the – we are a better team, a better group. The second season [at a club] is a good time for evolution, for improvement and for the team to be in good shape."
Meanwhile, Schalke will be hoping that their Champions League form will be better than performances in the German Cup and the Bundesliga.
While they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of third division side Dynamo Dresden in the DFB-Pokal, they have not been able to record a single win in the Bundesliga either, drawing to Bayern Munich (1-1) and losing to Hannover 69 (2-1) and Borussia Monchengladbach (4-1).
Last season, they were able to book a place in the last sixteen of the Champions League despite succumbing to 3-0 defeats to Chelsea in both the home and away games of the group fixtures.
Finally their run in the 2013/14 Champions League ended when they suffered a 9-2 aggregate defeat at the hands of eventual champions Real Madrid.
Although the German side have been placed in a relatively easy group (G) alongside Chelsea, Sporting Lisbon and Maribor in the Champions League this season, Schalke boss Jens Keller insists that his side will be fighting tooth and nail to ensure a place in the knockout stages.
"We want at least to emulate what we achieved last season – we want to get through to the knockout rounds," Keller told UEFA's official website.
The 43-year-old German boss admits that Chelsea are going to be the biggest threat in the group.
"We've learnt [from previous games against Chelsea] that mistakes get punished. We learnt that home and away last season. We know they're a top team and now with the new acquisitions they've made they are even more so," he added.
However, he feels that Schalke are capable of pulling a rabbit out of the hat and causing an upset in the Champions League this season.
"You've got to remember that anything is possible in football. When we played against Bayern Munich [a 1-1 draw on 30 August] people thought we wouldn't have much of a chance yet we showed what we can do."
Expected Lineups: Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois; Branislav Ivanović, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta; Cesc Fàbregas, Nemanja Matić; Andre Schürrle, Oscar, Eden Hazard; Diego Costa.
Schalke: Ralf Fährmann; Marco Höger, Kaan Ayhan, Marvin Friedrich, Dennis Aogo; Kevin-Prince Boateng, Roman Neustädter, Sidney Sam, Max Meyer, Julian Draxler; Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.