Basel vs. Chelsea: 6 Key Battles to Watch in Europa League Semifinal 1st Leg

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Basel vs. Chelsea: 6 Key Battles to Watch in Europa League Semifinal 1st Leg
Dmitry Korotayev/Getty Images

They may be close to avenging their poor Champions League campaign by reaching the semifinals of the Europa League, but for anyone expecting Chelsea to breeze through to the Europa League Final by brushing aside FC Baselyou may want to look at the Swiss side's recent form in continental competition.

After all, this is the team who knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League in 2011-12, beating them 2-1 and drawing 3-3 at Old Trafford in the group stages to send them crashing out. 

And more recently, they disposed of Andre Villas-Boas' much-fancied Tottenham side, beating them 4-1 on penalties after finishing extra time still level (4-4 on aggregate). So it's fair to say Chelsea will be under no illusions when they travel to Switzerland for a game that could shape their season.

Basel, currently managed by former captain Murat Yakin, are having an impressive season so far, topping the Swiss League by three points and on course for the Champions League qualifiers.

However, after being knocked out the FA Cup by Manchester City and fighting for a top-four finish, Chelsea will be fired up and determined to knock out the Swiss giants.

Here, ahead of Thursday's crunch encounter, we look at the six battles which could be key in determining the outcome of this exciting clash. Don't forget to let us know your opinions!

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