Basel v Chelsea battles: Hazard takes on ex-Liverpool man, Cole faces Salah

07:00 25 April 2013

Chelsea

Chelsea's Eden Hazard. Photo: PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Chelsea, last season’s Champions League winners, play Tottenham’s conquerors Basel in the Europa League semi-final first leg in Switzerland tonight.

Here we take a look at the key contests the Blues must win to take an advantage into next week’s second leg at Stamford Bridge.

ALEKSANDAR DRAGOVIC v FERNANDO TORRES

Torres likes the Europa League, particularly since suffering a broken nose in the home tie with Steaua Bucharest. The mask-wearing Spaniard scored twice against the Romanians as part of a run of four goals in three games in the competition. Austrian Dragovic is a combative character who has played all bar 37 minutes of Basel’s campaign and will be responsible for keeping the striker quiet.

PHILIPP DEGEN v EDEN HAZARD

Right-back Degen is in his second spell at Basle and endured an injury interrupted time at Liverpool. Rafael Benitez, now Chelsea’s interim boss, took Degen to Anfield, but the Swiss struggled to make an impact. Belgium’s Hazard, with his mesmerising skill, has been a key component of Chelsea’s side in his first season and will be an integral figure if the Blues are to reach the final.

MOHAMED SALAH v ASHLEY COLE

Salah was outstanding against Tottenham in the previous round and might have made Basel’s progress more comfortable, but for some profligacy. England centurion Cole - if selected to return following his hamstring injury and ahead of Ryan Bertrand - will face a busy evening trying to stall the tricky winger’s progress.

Related articles

Live Blog Transfer Window Live - January 28

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

The dinosaur skeleton is being shifted from the museum by the largest animal to have ever lived on Earth.

Read more

New research finds that men are more partial to a posed self-portrait than women.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Valentine's Day in London

If you’re struggling over what to buy for the special person in your life in your life, our Valentine’s Day in London section is here to help.

Match reports

TOP STORIES

Chelsea Transfer News

Quizzes

Adrian Chiles is no longer ITV's main man... so why not test your knowledge of some of his (and others') greatest gaffes? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

With news of presenter Adrian Chiles’ sacking by ITV, it’s a good time to remember some of the most memorable punditry blunders.

Read more
£50million Fernando Torres and former Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglous are two of the biggest transfer flops in recent Premier League history

The transfer window is a time for optimisim, but it doesn’t always work out for the best...

Read more
Chelsea Wikipedia quiz  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Chelsea have had their fair share of club legends in recent times, but have also been the setting for some major flops.

Read more
Can you name these moustaches?

Movember is upon us once again and men across the country are growing moustaches to raise money to battle prostate cancer.

Read more