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 July 25

 

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 15:01
The Back to the Future preview of Secret Cinema has been cancelled

Secret Cinema have cancelled their Back to the Future events until July 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:49
The two parts of the chair were inspired by the curves of an anonymous male model [Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker][Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker]

A London designer has created a unique chair designed to look, feel and smell like human skin.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more

Chelsea Transfer News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Lionel Messi controls the ball against Kenneth Omeruo.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Quizzes

Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more
Which London club play their home games at this stadium...? (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground buff? Test your stadium knowledge with this brilliant quiz.

Read more