Preview: Chelsea vs. FC Schalke 04

Chelsea face off against Schalke after an entertaining weekend for both sides. Chelsea will hope to defeat the German side, who are first in the group. With a win, Chelsea can go top of the table and make up for their shocking home defeat to Basel earlier in the group stages.

Preview: Chelsea vs. FC Schalke 04
Preview: Chelsea vs. FC Schalke 04

Schalke have a tremendous record in the Champions League thus far as they are unbeaten in their last 13 Champions League group stage games (9 wins, 4 draws). Although they do face an injury crisis with 6 of their players out of action. Schalke coach Jens Keller suggested that he will have to play a makeshift lneup against Chelsea as they still wait on the report on the fitness of the players. Injuries include striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, central defender Kyriakos Papapdopoulos and midfielder Marco Hoeger. They also had Jefferson Farfan ruled out for some four weeks earlier this month.

"We have to show a different face against Chelsea," said Keller after their narrow 3-2 win over promoted Eintracht Braunschweig on Saturday. He did not know "what kind of team" he would be picking for selection but he promised that there would be "many young players" involved.

Goretzka and Meyer are two well renowned names who are always there to be heard when one speaks about quality young prospects. Both played a crucial role in their win against Braunschweig and also scored for themselves. They look likely to be involved in the crucial Champions League fixture.

The German sensation Julian Draxler has gained attention from all across Europe and is considered to be one of the best prospects up for grabs. He is also considered to feature against Chelsea along with their new signing of Kevin Prince-Boateng. Boateng will be returning from his injury so it is still unsure whether he will be selected for the play or not.

Defensively, Schalke have been perfect so far in group play, but they will be put to the test against Chelsea — a team which has suddenly found its offensive groove, scoring 11 goals in three straight wins.

Schalke currently have six points from the two games they have faced against FC Basel and Steaua Bucharest and are winless against Chelsea in their two previous Champions League encounters (1 draw, 1 loss) and have failed to score in both attempts. Their last game in London was against Chelsea rivals Arsenal, which Schalke won 2-0 at Emirates (October 2012).

"Obviously Chelsea are the favourites to win the group," said Schalke sports director Horst Heldt.

"We have six points on the table and Chelsea have only three. They are still the favourites but it is them who are under pressure after losing on matchday one," said Heldt.

Chelsea who were stunned with a 2-1 loss against FC Basel at Stamford Bridge have done well to recover in the previous games, domestically and in Champions League. The fluidity seems to be back for the Mourinho men but something is still missing even with Eto'o scoring his first goal for Chelsea at the weekend against Cardiff City.

Mourinho will be looking to carry the winning mentality into the Tuesday's game after seeing his side win 4-1 against Cardiff. The scoreline looks flattering but Chelsea look awfully cagey at times and it requires a substitution or two and a change in formation (i.e. 3 at the back) to get them back on track and win.

Chelsea's midfield has been carrying the burden of scoring on their shoulders and majority of the goals this seasons have also come from the midfield. Eden Hazard, who enjoyed a spectacular game against Cardiff scoring two and assisting one, has still never scored in Champions League after making 13 appearences.

Keeping the win against Bayern Munich (2012 final), Chelsea have only won 1 of their 7 away trips to Germany and that came against Vfb Stuttgart way back in Febuary 2004.

John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic have been entrusted heavily with the duties at the back for the Blues. Ashley Cole remains sidelined with a rib injury he picked up on international duty. Torres returned to action on the weekend after his knee injury and was used as a second half substitution sees him as a candidate to start upfront for Chelsea.

Mourinho does not have any other injury issues so he will have a good talented squad to choose his starting team from. Kevin De Bryune has been out of action for quite a while and is tipped to make his way back into the team. Although Andre Schurrle did miss the game on weekend through leg muscle injury.

Coach Jose Mourinho was not available in the news conference after he was banned from the touchline for berating officials during the game.

Schalke have a very mean defense in Champions League and are yet to concede a goal thus far while the mighty Blues from London have been in some scoring form. It will definitely be a classic match-up.