Mourinho: Chelsea know Schalke's away strength
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
José Mourinho warned "3-0 in Germany at this moment means nothing" as Chelsea FC aim to avoid the home reverse they inflicted on FC Schalke 04 a fortnight ago.
Article top media content
Having won 3-0 at FC Schalke 04 a fortnight ago to reduce fears of a second straight UEFA Champions League group stage exit, Chelsea FC hope to avoid a home defeat in Wednesday's rematch.
The two teams are level at the Group E summit, two points above FC Basel 1893, although José Mourinho is mindful of Schalke's away form and physicality. Schalke coach Jens Keller, meanwhile, knows the task they face despite the absence of the star performer in Gelsenkirchen, Fernando Torres.
José Mourinho, manager
Sometimes when you win a lot of times, players forget why they win. Probably they forgot why they won against Schalke, Arsenal and Man City. When you win and win and win – three, four, five matches – sometimes they forget. Maybe they think they win because they are good, but there are many other ingredients that make you a consistent winner.
Not just in the Bundesliga but in European competitions [Schalke] have very good results away – which means they feel much more comfortable playing away than at home. So that's a point and a clear point with statistics. The other situation is that they are a very physical team, which is not our case.
I don't know what they want from the group phase – if they are going to try everything to finish first, or if they are going to try to finish second and progress in the Champions League. I don't know if they come here to win the game clearly or if they come here just to get a point and be very defensive and try to qualify with that point plus the other two matches they have. So we have to be ready for both things, but for sure they are a difficult opponent and the result, 3-0 in Germany, means nothing.
Saturday: Newcastle United FC 2-0 Chelsea (Gouffran 68, Rémy 89)
Čech; Ivanović, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard (Schürrle 70); Mata (Willian 62), Oscar, Hazard; Torres (Eto'o 62).
• The west Londoners' six-match winning run and sequence of nine games unbeaten ended on Tyneside. Chelsea's haul of five points from their opening five away fixtures in the Premier League this season is their worst return since 2000/01.
Torres has been ruled out for the next week at least with what Mourinho called a "muscular injury", while left-back Ryan Bertrand is also unavailable having suffered an unspecified problem in training.
Jens Keller, coach
It's not only difficult for German teams, it's difficult for any team. The main thing is that we don't want to concede an early goal. We have to concentrate. Obviously if we concede an early goal Chelsea can sit back and wait for us to come – so that's what we've got to try and avoid.
Of course it's very important – we haven't won yet against the 'big boys' and we know we have a very important game ahead of us here. We're not here just to be visitors, we know we need to take something from the game.
Of course it helps us that Torres is not available for Chelsea as he is a great player – but Chelsea have a lot of great players and I'm sure they'll be able to find someone that can adequately replace him.
Saturday: Hertha BSC Berlin 0-2 Schalke (Szalai 26, Draxler 90+4)
Hildebrand; Uchida, Höwedes, Matip, Fuchs; Neustädter (Jones 80), Aogo, Boateng (Felipe Santana 87), Meyer (Clemens 78), Draxler; Szalai .
• Schalke are seven matches unbeaten away from home, winning six, in all competitions.
Ádám Szalai (ear) and Roman Neustädter (ankle) were both taken off injured at the weekend yet are available tomorrow. Kyriakos Papadopoulos has also travelled having been out for a year with a knee ligament injury; he played for the reserves last week. Jefferson Farfán (Achilles), Chinedu Obasi (shin), Marco Höger and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (both knee ligament) are sidelined
• The teams met in the 2007/08 group stage, with Chelsea 2-0 victors in London via goals from Florent Malouda (4) and Didier Drogba (47).