Blues looking for revenge against Basle

Chelsea will on Tuesday bid to exact revenge on Basle and confirm their place in the Champions League knockout stages.


The Swiss side inflicted Chelsea's first home loss in the group phase of the tournament in nearly 10 years, ending a 29-match unbeaten streak, at the start of Group E, leaving the Blues and returning boss Jose Mourinho fearful of a repeat of last season.

The Blues suffered the ignominy of becoming the first winners to exit the tournament at the group stage in defence of their title, before responding by beating Basle in the semi-finals en route to winning the Europa League.

Since the Basle blow on September 18, Chelsea have responded with a 4-0 win at Steaua Bucharest and two 3-0 defeats of Schalke, the early pace-setters.

Following the opening loss, Mourinho targeted 12 points for progression and now the 2012 European Cup winners need just three more to reach that target.

Victory at Basle would seal top spot in the pool, while a draw, taking Chelsea to 10 points, is sufficient for a place in the knockout stages, prior to the home match with Steaua on December 11.

The Basle loss was Chelsea's only home defeat so far this season, but the away form has been far from convincing, with only one win in the Premier League.

Germany forward Andre Schurrle hopes Chelsea can take their home form on the road when they play in Switzerland.

"We have to get the same feeling like at Stamford Bridge, to be the better team, to have the ball possession, to play to create chances, to play like at home," Schurrle told Chelsea TV.

With no further international distractions in 2013, club football is the sole focus for Schurrle and his team-mates.

The 23-year-old hopes the Blues can build momentum in the crucial festive period.

He added: "It will be very important to win the next matches, to win in a series and to get a good feeling in every match."

Chelsea won 2-1 at St Jakob Park in April courtesy of David Luiz's last-gasp free-kick. The Blues then won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, but only after Basle went in front on the stroke of half-time.

The 5-2 aggregate success took the Blues to Amsterdam and the Europa League final with Benfica, which they won to become the first club to hold the Champions League and Europa League trophies at the same time.

Mourinho has been dismissive of the Europa League success and now his side are within reach of taking the second-tier competition firmly off the agenda for this season.

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