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Preview: Chelsea v Schalke

José Mourinho says it will be "difficult" for Chelsea FC to better their semi-final run last season as they prepare for FC Schalke 04, who are rueing the loss of their captain.

Preview: Chelsea v Schalke
Preview: Chelsea v Schalke ©UEFA.com

Chelsea manager José Mourinho says the UEFA Champions League is "part of my history"
The Londoners have won all four league games this term, scoring 15 goals
Diego Costa has struck seven times in his first four appearances for the Blues
Schalke captain Benedikt Höwedes is sidelined with a hip injury
Chelsea beat the Bundesliga outfit 3-0 at home on matchday four last season

Possible lineups
Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanović, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Fàbregas, Matić; Schürrle, Oscar, Hazard; Costa.

Schalke: Fährmann; Höger, Ayhan, Friedrich, Aogo; Boateng, Neustädter, Sam, Meyer, Draxler; Huntelaar.
Out: Fabian Giefer (groin), Benedikt Höwedes (hip), Felipe Santana (hamstring), Sead Kolašinac (knee), Atsuto Uchida (knee), Joel Matip (groin), Leon Goretzka (hamstring), Jefferson Farfán (knee)

José Mourinho, Chelsea manager
Motivation is always the same, it does not change. What drives me is to try to win. I work for my club, for my players and for the supporters: I do not work for myself. It doesn't matter what the competition is or who the opponent is, we want to win every match – obviously we know we cannot do that but our approach doesn't change.

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. 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.

The tournament is part of my history and, even if sometimes I don't know it, I am part of the tournament's history. If I win it once more it will be three times with three different clubs and it will be unique. But how many great managers have not won it even once? In this country you have the greatest manager of them all [Sir Alex Ferguson] who won it two times. So from this moment, if I don't win one more match in the Champions League, my history is there – I won it twice and this is something to be proud of. But of course I want to win it again.

Jens Keller, Schalke coach
It's very difficult if you lose your captain and for the rest of the defenders he is a very important player. We will just have to put four players into the back four, but we still have a little bit of time to consider our options and what solutions we have open to us. I don't know how long he will be missing for. He is a very important player for us and he is very confident after winning the World Cup, plus we have lots of games ahead. Hopefully it won't be too long.

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.

Chelsea beat Schalke twice last season
Chelsea beat Schalke twice last season©AFP/Getty Images

German football has moved up a step since the summer and that's great for us. We want at least to emulate what we achieved last season – we want to get through to the knockout rounds. Chelsea will definitely have a say in this season's competition. They are a very, very good team. They showed that last season and they will challenge again this time.

You've got to remember that anything is possible in football. When we played against Bayern München [a 1-1 draw on 30 August] people thought we wouldn't have much of a chance yet we showed what we can do.

Weekend results
Chelsea 4-2 Swansea City AFC (Costa 45 56 67, Rémy 81; Terry og 11, Shelvey 86)
VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-1 Schalke (Hahn 17 50, Kruse 56, Raffael 79; Choupo-Moting 52pen)

Form guide (all competitions)
Chelsea: WWWW
Schalke: LDLL

Match facts
• How many home matches unbeaten are Chelsea against German opposition? Find out in our extensive match background

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