A fortnight on from our last meeting, Chelsea entertain the Bundesliga side aiming for a landmark European win. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton provide the facts and figures for our fourth group game…
A Chelsea win tonight would clear the way to the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League and exorcise the ghosts from a hallowe'en hangover on Tyneside.
Teams stuck on the same points are ranked according to head-to-head results, not goal difference, and the Blues have already won 3-0 in Germany. A win tonight and one other from either Basel away or Steaua at home will see the Blues through to the Round of 16.
As wonderful as the preceding fortnight had been, Saturday at St James' Park was one of those days when football mugged Chelsea down a side alley. Or perhaps it was identity theft - the team was unrecognisable from the one that triumphed in Gelsenkirchen. The team lacked pace and intensity and were loose in possession all over the pitch and lacked the killer instinct in front of goal.
Happily, along come two quick opportunities in four days to make amends. Chelsea have won six of the seven matches against German visitors and drawn the other, with Stuttgart, in 2004. Saturday's Barclays Premier League visitors West Brom are on a seven-game losing streak on the Fulham Road.
Success tonight would bring Chelsea's 100th win in UEFA competitions. The 10 victories in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup are not included in that as the tournament was not under UEFA's auspices. One of those was a 1-0 triumph against Munich 1860 at the Bridge in March 1966, our first over a Bundesliga side.
The Matchday 1 defeat against Basel was our first home loss in the group stage in 30 matches; 22 of the previous 29 were won and seven drawn.
Schalke looked jaded against Chelsea two weeks ago (though that could partly be their dark green Champions League strip) and slumped 1-3 again the following weekend at home to Dortmund.
However, last weekend the Gelsenkirchen side revived to take all three points away at Hertha Berlin in front of a 70,000-strong crowd. The hosts dominated possession without scoring whereas Schalke broke the deadlock during their best period, Adam Szalai heading in Dennis Aogo's corner (pictured). Julian Draxler ended Hertha's strong rally for an equaliser deep into stoppage time with a 20-yard strike.
Two weeks ago on the same night Chelsea were stunning Schalke, Steaua netted a last-minute equaliser against Basel to draw in Bucharest. They met again tonight in Switzerland full of confidence. The Romanian league leaders vanquished Viitorul Constanta 4-0 away this weekend. Their Swiss rivals, at home, put three past St Gallen. A win for Basel would virtually condemn Steaua to fourth place in the group with two games to go.
The nationality of tonight's referee Svein Oddvar Moen might invite unfair comparisons with his fellow Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo and the Chelsea-Barcelona game in 2009. When interviewed even Ovrebo himself admitted, 'Everyone who knows the laws of the game knows I should have done things differently.'
Moen, though, has twice handled Chelsea games - Copenhagen at the Bridge and Genk away - and performed admirably. He actually awarded the Blues a penalty in Belgium but David Luiz's spot-kick was saved.
Other Group E fixture
Tonight 7.45pm - Basel v Steaua Bucharest
|Champions League Group E table|
Click on the tabs above for more briefing.
- Score Predictor - November's prize will be a Gianfranco Zola signed print, so get predicting now ahead of the game.
Only three outfield players have started all Chelsea games in this season's Champions League under Jose Mourinho: Oscar, Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic. The manager has already said he will make a few changes to the team that floundered at Newcastle and it remains to be seen how many, if any, of that trio survives the juggling of resources.
Mourinho bemoaned the lack of urgency in his side and may well revert to Andre Schurrle to provide power and impetus from the flanks against his compatriots again.
Fernando Torres is not fit for this or Saturday's home game against West Bromwich Albion, after which there is another two-week domestic break for club football. Demba Ba is the freshest and more physical of the alternatives, and it was the muscle of Torres (as well as the pace of Eden Hazard) that Schalke found most difficult to live with.
Samuel Eto'o has the far greater experience at this level and has 27 goals to his credit. The Cameroonian has had the most shots on target for Chelsea in this competition - five over three games, without yet finding the net. He did, though, finish quite brilliantly in his last start at Stamford Bridge against Cardiff.
One or two switches may come in midfield and defence. Cesar Azpilicueta rather than Ryan Bertrand played left-back in Gelsenkirchen while Ashley Cole was injured. Bertrand is injured this time. Mourinho might fancy the pacy Spaniard's energy against a sometimes pedestrian Schalke rearguard.
For the visitors, solo striker Adam Szalai required treatment on an ear injury after Schalke's weekend win at Hertha Berlin but the striker, who has hit seven goals in all competitions, has made himself available.
Jens Keller's other concerns in the treatment room have barely eased from our first encounter, with star man Klaas-Jan Huntelaar out long-term and doubts about influential centre midfielder Marco Hoger, winger Jefferson Farfan and forward Chinedu Obasi. Young defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos played for Schalke's reserves at the weekend as part of his return to fitness.
The absentees have allowed 18-year-old forward Max Meyer (pictured below) to thrive and excite fans almost as much as the mercurial Julian Draxler, who is two years Meyer's senior and Schalke's leading scorer in this competition.
On Saturday at Hertha Berlin Jens Keller set up his side in safety-first mode, determined not to concede after successive demolitions by Chelsea and Dortmund. Goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand duly achieved his 100th clean sheet in 296 league games for Schalke.
With solidity in the first two-thirds of the field the Gelsenkirchen side stung Hertha on the break to run out 2-0 winners. Having seen Newcastle succeed using similar tactics against the Londoners it would be a surprise were Schalke not to play deep to try to frustrate Chelsea tonight and steal a goal on the break.
They are in much better form on the road: unbeaten in seven compared to three defeats in four at the Veltins Arena. The Germans also won 2-0 against Gervinho and co. at the Emirates in last season's group stage, drawing 2-2 at home. Their last away defeat was a 1-4 drubbing at Old Trafford in 2011.
The question remains whether their defence - whose flaws were exposed very early in our first meeting - can hold out in the absence of Torres's power. As at St James' Park Chelsea were winning the ball high up the field and quickly attacking the centre of the Miners' defence. The final passes strayed far too regularly against Newcastle but in the Veltins Arena Schalke were put to the sword.
Chelsea must be much more proactive tonight. In our first meeting the hosts laboured in defensive midfield, where Roman Neustadter and his partner Jermaine Jones, overrun at times, were both cautioned. Sead Kolasinac replaced the labouring USA player late on.
Dennis Aogo, their left back against Chelsea, has been preferred alongside Neustadter in the two games played since, with Christian Füchs stepping back into the left of defence.
WE HAVE HISTORY
This is only our second competitive meeting against Schalke at Stamford Bridge. The previous occasion was in the group stage of the 2007/08 Champions League.
In that October 2007 match, just as in Gelsenkirchen two weeks ago, the Blues were off to a flying start. Florent Malouda battled free of his marker Rafinha and shot low between goalie Manuel Neuer's legs inside five minutes.
In the second half Didier Drogba put Avram Grant's side in pole position in the group, steering a Paulo Ferreira cross past Neuer with a diving header. The game finished 2-0.
Chelsea first hosted a German team in March 1966 when a powerful Munich 1860 team were the visitors in the quarter finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. The away leg, played on a snow-covered pitch, had ended 2-2 with Bobby Tambling scoring twice for the Londoners.
At the Bridge Peter Osgood, rising from his sick bed after tonsillitis, took the Blues into the semi-finals. A long throw from John Hollins was poorly dealt with by the visitors' defence and Ossie headed past goalkeeper Peter Radenkovic, arguably their man of the match.
The Yugoslav, though, blotted his record in the dying moments by stamping on Terry Venables, whom he perceived to be time-wasting. He apologised after the game.
Munich 1860 won the Bundesliga that season. Chelsea were beaten by Barcelona in the Fairs Cup semi-final after a replay at Camp Nou.
Chelsea's biggest home win in the Champions League
05/12/2012 - Chelsea 6-1 Nordsjaelland - Group stage
Schalke's biggest away in the Champions League
16/01/2001 - Real Mallorca 0-4 Schalke - First group stage
Chelsea failed to beat a German side at home: 3,529
Schalke lost away in the Champions League: 917
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,091
Liverpool won the league: 8,586
Our defeat at St James' Park on Saturday ended a run of six successive wins in all competitions
The Blues have topped our group in eight of our 11 Champions League campaigns. In 1999/00 there were two group stages and we were runners-up in the second one. Last season was the first time we failed to progress to the knockout stage.
The Blues have a 70 per cent win record in home group Champions League games.
We have lost only three of our last 37 home Champions League matches (including 26 victories) since 2006.
|Chelsea's home record against German teams|
|1965/66||TSV Munich 1860||W 1-0||Fairs Cup quarter-final second leg (agg 3-2)|
|1999/00||Hertha Berlin||W 2-0||Champions League group stage|
|2003/04||VfB Stuttgart||D 0-0||Champions League round of 16 second leg (agg 1-0)|
|2004/05||Bayern Munich||W 4-2||Champions League quarter-final first leg (agg 6-5)|
|2006/07||Werder Bremen||W 2-0||Champions League group stage|
|2007/08||Schalke||W 2-0||Champions League group stage|
|2011/12||Bayer Leverkusen||W 2-0||Champions League group stage|
Chelsea's last 10 years in Europe
2003/04 - Champions League - semi-final
2004/05 - Champions League - semi-final
2005/06 - Champions League - round of 16
2006/07 - Champions League - semi-final
2007/08 - Champions League - runners-up
2008/09 - Champions League - semi-final
2009/10 - Champions League - round of 16
2010/11 - Champions League - quarter-final
2011/12 - Champions League - winners
2012/13 - Europa League - winners, having transferred from the Champions League group stage
|Last six results|
|Oct 6||Norwich (a)||W 3-1|
|Oct 19||Cardiff (h)||W 4-1|
|Oct 22||Schalke (Champions League a)||W 3-0|
|Oct 27||Manchester City (h)||W 2-1|
|Oct 29||Arsenal (Capital One Cup a)||W 2-0|
|Nov 2||Newcastle (a)||L 0-2|
European games since
A home win: 1
A home draw: 4
A home defeat: 0
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Sat 9 Nov||West Brom home||3pm|
|Sat 23 Nov||West Ham away||5.30pm|
|Tue 26 Nov||Basel (Champions League) away||7.45pm|
Congratulations to Andre Schurrle, who celebrates his 23rd birthday today (Wednesday).
7 German league titles, last in 1958
5 German Cups, last in 2011
1 UEFA Cup in 1997
1 German Super Cup in 2011
Last 10 league seasons
2003/04 - 7th
2004/05 - 2nd
2005/06 - 4th
2006/07 - 2nd
2007/08 - 3rd
2008/09 - 8th
2009/10 - 2nd
2010/11 - 14th
2011/12 - 3rd
2012/13 - 4th
Schalke's last two Champions League campaigns have seen them win their group. This is their fifth group campaign.
Schalke's 2-0 victory at the Emirates against Arsenal in last season's Champions League group stage is the only time the Gelsenkirchen club have won on English soil.
They have lost only one of their last 12 European away fixtures.
Schalke have conceded 22 goals in their first 11 Bundesliga fixtures and although they moved up to sixth at the weekend they still have a negative goal difference.
They remain unbeaten in seven away games in all competitions, six wins, one draw.
|Schalke's away games against English teams in Europe|
|1958/59||Wolves||D 2-2||European Cup first round first leg (agg 4-3)|
|1969/70||Man City||L 1-5||Cup Winners' Cup semi-final second leg (agg 2-5)|
|2001/02||Arsenal||L 2-3||Champions League group stage|
|2007/08||Chelsea||L 0-2||Champions League group stage|
|2010/11||Man Utd||L 1-4||Champions League semi-final second leg (agg 1-6)|
|2012/13||Arsenal||W 2-0||Champions League group stage|
Ten-year European record
2003/04 - UEFA Cup second round (having qualified as Intertoto Cup winners)
2004/05 - UEFA Cup round of 32 (having qualified as Intertoto Cup winners)
2005/06 - UEFA Cup semi-finals having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2006/07 - UEFA Cup first round
2007/08 - Champions League quarter-finals
2008/09 - UEFA Cup group stage having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2009/10 - Did not qualify
2010/11 - Champions League semi-finals
2011/12 - Europa League quarter-finals
2012/13 - Champions League round of 16
|Champions League results|
|Aug 21||PAOK (Play-off h)||D 1-1|
|Aug 27||PAOK (Play-off a)||W 3-2|
|Sep 18||Steaua Bucharest (h)||W 3-0|
|Oct 1||Basel (a)||W 1-0|
|Oct 22||Chelsea (h)||L 0-3|
Champions League scorers (8)
Draxler 3, Szalai 2, Boateng 1, Farfan 1, Uchida 1,
|Last six domestic results|
|Sep 25||Darmstadt (Cup a)||W 3-1|
|Sep 28||Hoffenheim (a)||D 3-3|
|Oct 5||Augsburg (h)||W 4-1|
|Oct 19||Eintracht Braunschweig (a)||W 3-2|
|Oct 26||Borussia Dortmund (h)||L 1-3|
|Nov 2||Hertha Berlin (a)||W 2-0|
|Bundesliga table (top)|
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Svein Oddvar Moen, his two assistant referees and two additional assistant referees, are from Norway. Moen has previously handled two of Chelsea's Champions League matches: Copenhagen at home in the Round of 16 in March 2011 and Genk away in the group stage the following season.
There are no suspensions.
Champions League bookings list
Players receive a one-match suspension for collecting three and five yellow cards.
Schalke (6): Hoger 2, Aogo 1, Farfan 1, Jones 1, Neustadter 1.
Chelsea (4): Cahill 1, Cole 1, Lampard 1, Van Ginkel 1.