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Chelsea vs. Basel: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

COBHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Jose Mourinho of Chelsea and his support team look on during a training session on September 17, 2013 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2013

Chelsea welcome Basel to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League on Wednesday as they look to win a European title for the third consecutive year. 

The London club are the only team to win the Champions League and Europa League titles in consecutive seasons.

Now Jose Mourinho has returned to erase what is the biggest blemishes on his resume: not winning a Champions League with Chelsea.

Through four Premier League games, Chelsea are sixth in the table, level on points with the two Manchester clubs but below on goal differential. It has not been the perfect start to the season, but it's nothing to get worried about.

European football has been kind to Basel. With the money accrued from the Champions League, they have been able to consolidate their power in Switzerland by winning the last four Swiss Super League titles.

Basel appeared on the radar of many casual fans when they beat Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League group stage to send the Red Devils down to the Europa League.

They are not the kind of opponents Chelsea will be taking lightly.

Here's a quick preview for this Champions League clash.

 

When: Wednesday Sept. 18, at 2:45 p.m. ET; 7:45 BST

Where: Stamford Bridge, London, England

Watch

TV: FOX Sports 2 (US); Sky Sports 1 (UK)

Live Stream: FOX Soccer 2Go (US): Sky Go (UK)

Odds (courtesy of Bloomberg Sports)

Chelsea Win: 76.3 percent

Basel Win: 5.5 percent

Draw: 18.2 percent

 

Top Storyline: Where Will the Goals Come from?

One of the issues for Chelsea over the last few seasons has been the consistency of their strikers. Bringing in Samuel Eto'o is a good short-term move and will help until Romelu Lukaku returns from loan at the end of the season.

Eto'o started the Blues' 1-0 loss to Everton but looked below his best. He still needs to gel with the rest of his Chelsea teammates. Mourinho could instead choose Fernando Torres or Demba Ba against Basel.

No matter who is selected, Chelsea need somebody to step up in attack. Basel will be sitting deep and playing defensively. The Blues must make the most of whatever chances they can get close to goal.

 

Prediction

Basel have caused a few surprises over the past few seasons in the Champions League, but don't expect a shock here. If this match was in Switzerland, perhaps it would be a much closer contest. At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea should be able to take over the game early.

The Blues have a superb group of attacking midfielders, and that creativity should be able to break down an organized Basel defense.

Mourinho won't be afraid to win ugly in this one. Once Chelsea get that critical opening goal, he could easily have the Blues drop back close to goal and eliminate any chance of Basel hitting back on the counter, which is the Swiss club's best route to goal.

Chelsea 2, Basel 0

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