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Chelsea cautious despite positive past omens

Published: Thursday 29 August 2013, 22.04CET
Chelsea FC have the benefit of recent wins against all their Group E rivals, but they will not be taking FC Schalke 04, FC Basel 1893 and FC Steaua Bucureşti lightly.
Chelsea cautious despite positive past omens
Chelsea and Steaua were matched earlier this year ©Getty Images
 
 
 
Published: Thursday 29 August 2013, 22.04CET

Chelsea cautious despite positive past omens

Chelsea FC have the benefit of recent wins against all their Group E rivals, but they will not be taking FC Schalke 04, FC Basel 1893 and FC Steaua Bucureşti lightly.

Ron Gourlay, Chelsea chief executive
It's an interesting draw, there's no easy games any more. The good thing is we played two of the teams last year so we know them very well; we played Basel in the Europa League semi-finals and Steaua in the last 16, so we know from those experiences they'll be tough games. Schalke we played in 2007/08 on the road to Moscow and that'll be another difficult game but when you look at the teams we could have got in pots two and three, it could have been very, very hard. When you look at the games we have got, we know the opposition well so we're reasonably happy.

Jens Keller, Schalke coach
I think it's a really appealing group. We can certainly compete with these teams, even if Chelsea are the big favourites. FC Basel have also proved their worth on the European stage in recent years. It will be a tough task, but I believe that every team that has made it to the group phase is also looking to progress.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Schalke forward
I've never played against Chelsea or Basel before, so I'm particularly looking forward to those games. It's always nice to play against a team for the first time. We've faced Bucharest before but that will be a great game as well. Every match in the Champions League is special so we want to stay in the competition as long as possible. Chelsea are the favourites on paper. Our aim is assert ourselves and reach the last 16.

Murat Yakin, Basel coach
We've been drawn against two very attractive teams in Chelsea and Schalke – I had been hoping to get an English side from pot one and a German side from pot two. Chelsea are a top team in England and it will be interesting playing against a side managed by José Mourinho.

Schalke are a traditional club in Germany and meeting them means we will play in a stadium that I have never seen before – unfortunately, I was injured when we faced them back in the [2004/05] UEFA Cup. Steaua will be a tough challenge that I'm looking forward to. We'll take what we've been given and aim for second place. I don't feel that it is impossible.

Laurentiu Reghecampf, Steaua coach
It is a group in which we have a chance to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages. I know all the teams very well. We played against Chelsea recently in the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League, against FC Basel we played friendlies both in the summer of 2012 and in the winter of 2013, while Schalke 04 are from Germany and I watch the Bundesliga on TV.

All the groups are strong, so I cannot say if we had good luck or bad luck. In my opinion the two matches against Chelsea will be extremely difficult, but my big desire is to take revenge now and I am happy that we have the opportunity to play against them. Schalke are also a very strong team and we will prepare the matches against them thoroughly. We have our chance to qualify for the knockout stage and we will have to take advantage of it.

Last updated: 06/09/13 0.37CET

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