FC Basel vs Chelsea – On Thursday are on the schedule two very interesting semi-final matches of the Europa league. In the first one will meet two teams that this season play very aggressively, which actually brought them in the final stage of the competition. Specifically, the Blues from London are for a long time one of the most efficient teams in European club competitions, while Basel thanks to this style of play has made some great results on the European scene in recent years. Let us say that this is their first mutual match in official competitions. Begins: 25.04.2013 – 21:05 CET
Regarding Basel, they are currently in a quite good shape and in this calendar year have been defeated just once, in the second leg of the Europa League eight-finals, when Russian Zenit defeated them away with 1-0. However, the Swiss champion eventually passed on, thanks to home victory of 2-0. After that, they also displayed a great game in the quarterfinals against Tottenham in London. Both matches ended with the same score of 2-2, but in the end Swiss champions were a lot more concentrated in the penalty shoot-out and won passage to the semi-finals. When it comes to the domestic championship, the situation is also excellent because they are in a series of five wins and two draws, which in the end put them in the leading position in the standings, with three points more than second-placed Grasshoppers. But at this moment their thoughts are certainly totally focused on match with Chelsea and it is expected that coach Yakin will field the strongest team, except for injured defender Voser and suspended attacker Bobadill.
Probable lineups FC Basel: Sommer – P.Degen, Schar, Dragovic, Park – Die, Diaz – Salah, F. Frei, Stocker – Streller
Unlike Basel, Chelsea players have much easier reached this semi-final, given that in the previous round against Russian Rubin won at home in the first match with 3-1, so the rematch was just a routine job, even though they lost it with 3-2. After that they had a very difficult game in the FA Cup semi-finals, when fatigue apparently caught up and were eventually defeated with 3-2. Of course, after that for them it was very important to return in the winning rhythm in the championship, where having a big battle for qualification in the Champions League. So, already in the next match won in the away game against Fulham with 3-0, and weekend latter played away match with Liverpool, which only after a goal scored in injury time managed to draw 2-2. But the Blues continues to hold fourth place, with one point less than the third Arsenal, and one more than Tottenham, with whom they have to play one late match. Regarding the team for the match with Basel, it will likely see a few changes, because Benitez has traditionally rest some players in the Europa league, while still out of action are injured defenders Cahill and Cole and midfielder Romeu.
Probable lineups Chelsea: Cech – Azpilicueta, Luiz, Terry, Bertrand – Ramires, Lampard – Moses, Mata, Benayoun – Torres
FC Basel v Chelsea Pick
Of course that Blues from London are absolute favourite in the finals, but Basel has so far in countless situations proved that can be an extremely unpleasant at home and will probably and this time try with somewhat offensive game to reach favourable results ahead of the rematch at Stamford Bridge .
Tip: Both team to score
Odd: 1.75 - Ladbrokes