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Chelsea renew Schalke rivalry in Group G

Published: Thursday 28 August 2014, 21.55CET
Chelsea FC and FC Schalke 04 meet once more in Group G where there will also be long-awaited group-stage returns for Sporting Clube de Portugal and NK Maribor.
Chelsea renew Schalke rivalry in Group G
Eden Hazard scored Chelsea's third goal in the 3-0 victory at Schalke last October ©Getty Images
 
 
 
Published: Thursday 28 August 2014, 21.55CET

Chelsea renew Schalke rivalry in Group G

Chelsea FC and FC Schalke 04 meet once more in Group G where there will also be long-awaited group-stage returns for Sporting Clube de Portugal and NK Maribor.

Group G: Chelsea FC, FC Schalke 04, Sporting Clube de Portugal, NK Maribor

• Chelsea beat Schalke 3-0 home and away in last season's group stage.

• Maribor – in the group stage for only the second time after their 1999/2000 debut – have never played any of their three opponents before.

• Sporting are in the group phase for the first time since 2008/09 when they reached the UEFA Champions League last 16 for the first time. They suffered their heaviest home (0-5) and away (1-7) defeats in European competition in losing that tie to FC Bayern München.

• Chelsea's 2-1 home defeat by FC Basel 1893 on matchday one last term ended their ten-year, 29-game unbeaten run in group matches at Stamford Bridge.

• Schalke's Kevin-Prince Boateng had a penalty saved by Petr Čech when playing for Portsmouth FC in the 2010 FA Cup final. Chelsea eventually won 1-0 with a Didier Drogba goal.

Reaction
Jens Keller, Schalke coach
It was obvious that we'd get a tough task. Chelsea are favourites and we expect two tough matches against them. In the end we'll probably be battling Sporting for second place. It's never easy playing against Portuguese teams. Maribor look like the underdogs on paper, but it would be a big mistake to underestimate them. Our goal is to still be in the competition after Christmas.

Horst Heldt, Schalke sporting director
We still have a score to settle with Chelsea, as we lost both matches to them last season. Sporting have a lot of history and those will be intense matches against them.

Bruno de Carvalho, Sporting president
We are representing our country in the Champions League, where unfortunately we haven't played for a few seasons, so we will have to be humble and to play with respect and pride.

Ante Šimundža, Maribor coach
We are going to play against three different styles of modern football, so we have to prepare thoroughly. There is no need to explain that we will be competing against teams from the best leagues in the world. I am pleased that we will get to know all the famous architecture and background of the Champions League. But how will we compete on the pitch, only time will tell.

Zlatko Zahovič, Maribor sporting director
I am pleased that we have an opponent from Portugal, which is my second home. I used to win regularly against Sporting when playing for Benfica and Porto.

Tough group!!! What do you think?? #cfc #cl pic.twitter.com/oP1Qg30YKI

Last updated: 28/08/14 22.25CET

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