Eden Hazard says the players have only one thing on their mind ahead of the game with Basel tonight. A point would guarantee our qualification to the knockout stage of the Champions League but a victory would ensure we finish top of Group E with a game to spare, an enviable position to be in considering the packed December schedule that awaits the Blues.
Our Belgian winger has no intention of looking that far ahead yet, though, and is adamant that adopting an approach which might see us settle for anything less than a win will only end up producing negative consequences. Instead, confidence must been drawn from our previous ventures abroad this campaign.
‘If we think one point is okay we will lose,’ the 22-year-old stressed.
‘We will try to play like we did against Bucharest away and Schalke away, and to score lots of goals again. The most important thing is to try and win the game. If we can do that we will be happy.’
Our fourth game against the Swiss champions in seven months takes us back to the scene of a Europa League semi-final triumph in late April, a game in which Hazard started, as he did in the return leg a week later. The Belgian also played the full 90 minutes of our home reverse to Basel earlier this season, so is as well-placed as anyone to assess the qualities of our opposition tonight and the squad’s desire to make up for that 2-1 loss in September.
‘We know it’s difficult away. Basel has a really big atmosphere and their fans are really good,’ Hazard remembers.
‘It’s a revenge for us because we lost the first game at home. It wouldn’t be good for Chelsea if we lost both our games against Basel. We need to win.
‘They are a good team. We know that because they beat us already this season. We need to play well if we want to take the three points.’
– You can listen to the game live wherever you may be with live audio commentary.