Chelsea will face Basel at Stamford Park for their initial match in the Group E UEFA Champions League [UCL] match tomorrow. The two clubs are in the same group with FC Schalke 04 of Germany and FC Steaua Bucuresti of Romania.

How will these teams measure within the group phase and who will advance in the next round. A review of Chelsea and the Group E UCL teams is in order.

Chelsea

The Blue Nation is number three in the 2012/13 UEFA Coefficient with a new manager and a sense of pride. They managed to hold back Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup in spite of their defeat on the basis of penalties.

Chelsea last won the 2011/12 UCL trophy by defeating Bayern Munich on the basis of penalties. This appears to be a team hungry for another victory with Petr Cech as its goal keeper.

David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ashley Cole, and Frank Cole may have a prominent role in midfield and defense. Fernando Torres will likely be benched and used at the last minute if things are tough.

Basel

Basel is expected to be one of the tough competitions in spite of its UEFA 2012/13 coefficient of 35. In the current UCL season, the Swiss accumulated three wins and a draw.

The Swiss team’s last match was against the Bulgarians Ludogorets. They scored two to nothing against the Bulgarians to advance in the UCL.

Yann Sommer will be the predominant goal keeper with Arlind Ajeti in the defense. The midfielder Matias Delgado may play a prominent role in the group matches.

Schalke 04

The German club Schalke 04 has the 2012/13 UEFA Coefficient of 15. They possess potent scorers such as forwards Adam Szalai and Jefferson Farfan.

Julian Drexler may play a prominent role as a midfielder in these UCL Group matches. Schalke 04 has one draw and one win in the current UCL match.

Steaua Bucuresti

The Romanian club is famous for its achievements in football and its owner the now imprisoned Gigi Becali.  Staeua Bucuresti won the 1985/86 UCL trophy after defeating FC Barcelona.

In spite of its 2012/13 UEFA Coefficient of 64, the Romanians have three wins and draws. The potent goal scorers are forward Federico Piovaccari, midfielders Gabriel Iancu, Mihai Pintilli, Christian Tanase, and Nicolae Stanciu.

The Romanians are hungry for a victory and may be the surprise element in this Group stage. It would be an error to underestimate them.

Predictions

Chelsea will advance in the next round of the 2012/13 UCL along with either Steaua Bucuresti or Schalke 04.

 

You Tube Video courtesy of Roberto Alvarez-Galloso