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Preview: Chelsea v FC Basel

Date: 1st May 2013 at 5:45 pm
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Luiz celebrationChelsea have one foot in the Europa League final after their 2-1 against FC Basel in the first leg and will be confident of finishing the job at Stamford Bridge as they bid to make their second successive European final.

Ashley Cole (suspended), Oriol Romeu (injured) and Demba Ba (ineligible) are the only players that are unavailable to Benitez but David Luiz, Ramires and John Obi Mikel are a booking away from being suspended from the final if we get there.

Murat Yakin, Basel manager, will be without Kay Voser (injury) and Aleksandar Dragovic is suspended.

The XI I’d pick:

P. Cech

C. Azpilicueta – G. Cahill – J. Terry – R. Bertrand

D. Luiz – F. Lampard

V. Moses – J. Mata – E. Hazard

F. Torres

It’s a hard team for Benitez to pick as he will want to go strong to get us into the final but also has a big game against Manchester United to think about. I reckon he will have to take the risk and start David Luiz, who will have to be careful, but Ramires could get a breather after picking up a knock at the weekend. Frank Lampard will likely start as he continues to chase a goal record.

In an ideal scenario we put Basel to bed as early as possible and allow ourselves the luxury of being able to take off the likes of Luiz, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard to keep them fresh for the next match.

Chelsea have scored at least 2 goals in their last 4 UEFA Europa League matches. Hopefully we see a comfortable victory tomorrow night.

Provisional Squad:

Cech, Turnbull, Hilario, Ivanovic, Bertrand, Luiz, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Oscar, Mata, Mikel, Moses, Lampard, Hazard, Torres, Benayoun, Marin, Ake, Ferreira.

Who would be in your Chelsea XI for tomorrow’s Europa League semi-final second leg clash at Stamford Bridge?

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