Group E: Chelsea
Did You Know?
Chelsea were the first holders to exit in the groups
How They Qualified:
Premier League's third place
Story So Far
After conquering Europe in 2012, Chelsea suffered the ignominy of being dumped out in last season's group stage. However, they have of course welcomed Jose Mourinho - the 'Special One' - back to Stamford Bridge this summer and hopes are high for an improved campaign. Almost £60million spending in the recent transfer window also suggests club owner Roman Abramovich will not accept any sort of failure.
Can They Be Confident?
They could not have asked for a much easier draw. Schalke have been group winners in the past two seasons but they finished fourth in the Bundesliga in the last campaign and a whopping 36 points behind winners Bayern Munich. Basel were beaten in the semi-finals of last season's Europa League-winning campaign while Steaua Bucharest have only ever won four of their 36 games in the group stages.
- Galatasaray, 26/02/2014 - 19:45
- Galatasaray, 18/03/2014 - 19:45
In the latter years of his career but still Chelsea's captain and a dominant centre-back when free from injury.
Another of Chelsea's old guard but is the club's all-time top scorer and remains a man for the big occasion.
A speedy, inventive Brazilian who will hope to replicate the impressive performances he produced at Shakhtar
Who will they face?
The dominant force in Switzerland since pretty much the turn of the Millennium and they will be well known to Chelsea after last season's Europa League semi-finals.
Murat Yakin's team have been growing in confidence in Europe after recent progress and they are not to be underestimated, while striker Marco Streller is experienced.
Swiss sides are without a victory in their last 19 competitive visits to England, which suggests Basel might be making a slow start at Stamford Bridge.
Group winners in their past two campaigns and Jens Keller's side represent Chelsea's only real competition for top spot in the group this season.
As Arsenal discovered last season, Schalke are a typical Bundesliga side who play with pace and purpose and are dangerous on the counter-attack.
They can at times choke on the big stage and have won only one of their five opening games in the group stage of the Champions League.
Back in the group stages for the first time since 2008/09 and another side who were defeated by Chelsea in their Europa League-winning campaign.
A triple deadline day deal for Ionut Neagu, Fernando Varela and former player Pantelis Kapetanos was a boost but Steaua remain outsiders.
Boss Laurentiu Reghecampf's commitment to playing attractive and offensive football can sometimes leave them open and exposed in European competition.
Bayern 1 Chelsea 1 (Chelsea win on pens) - May, 2012 - Chelsea lifted the European Cup for the first time in their history with a nerve-shredding shootout success over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Chelsea 3 Liverpool 2 - April, 2008 - On a night of immense drama in this second leg at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea gained some semi-final revenge over Liverpool thanks to two goals from Didier Drogba and a Frank Lampard penalty.
Chelsea 4 Barcelona 2 - March, 2005 - This classic in the last 16 against their Spanish rivals, Barcelona, saw John Terry's header earn aggregate progression and cancelled out Ronaldinho's stunning goal.
December 16th, 2013 1:52pm
Pellegrini looking forward to Barca test
Manuel Pellegrini is looking forward to facing Barcelona in...
- 2012/13: Group stages
- 2011/12: Winners
- 2010/11: Quarter-finals
- 2009/10: Last 16
- 2008/09: Semi-finals
Facts and figures
5Goals scored by Oscar in six Champions League appearances
9Fernando Torres was the third highest scorer in 2012/13 European competition
7Number of Chelsea home games without defeat by German opposition
4Chelsea's number of the top scoring African players in the Champions League
2Chelsea have a 100 per cent record at home against Romanian opposition