Chelsea on the Path of History at Stamford Bridge as the Blues Host Basle in the Europa League Semi- Final Second- Leg.

Chelsea’s game against FC Basle in tonight’s Europa League clash at Stamford Bridge may have come at a time when Jose Mourinho’s frenzy floats like a ghost all around the West London club. However, the players and staff at the club are not willing to fall for the ghost as their success against Basle tonight is as imperative as ever.

Chelsea maintain a 2-1 lead from last Thursday’s first- leg semi- final clash away at Basle and will have to finish up the encounter at Stamford Bridge tonight.

The Blues have never won the competition in any of its previous formats and if they triumph in Amsterdam in two week’s time, they will become only the fourth team to win a classic European treble (the European Cup/ Champions League, the UEFA Cup/ Europa League and the now defunct Europa Cup- Winners’ Cup.)

If only for ten days before the Wembley showdown, Chelsea could become the first European Champions and Europa League champions at the same time. Benitez has had a rough time as interim manager at Chelsea but many still doubt if success in Amsterdam on the 15th of May could change the fans’ perspective of the interim manager.

“We still have a lot of things to do,” Benitez said. “When I signed, I said I wanted to do a professional job. I have done this from the first day. The aim is to stay as high as possible in the Premier League, and to win a trophy would be fantastic.

“We can talk later on. Today we talk about Basle and the semi- final, how difficult it will be and how happy we would be to get into the final. I want to concentrate on the game.

“It is important for everyone to reach the final. We have the opportunity. My concern is that we will think we are already in the final. It’s not the case.

“We play against a very good team, a team who have scored goals away. Basle will come trying to score as they did against Tottenham. They will push, that’s the only way for them to qualify.”

Notwithstanding, much of the pregame conference had Rafael Benitez fielding a barrage of Mourinho’s question with the interim manager stressing the need for focus.

Victor Moses and Team- Mates Knows How Focused They Ought to Be.
Victor Moses and Team- Mates Knows How Focused They Ought to Be.

“Each one has his way,” Benitez said, when asked of his thought of Mourinho’s flirty remarks.
“My way is to concentrate on the next game, that’s it. It’s not my business.”

Basle manager Murat Yakin also has his eyes set on Wednesday’s semi- final second- leg clash as the Spaniard. He promised effort and dedication from his Swiss champions and hopes any Mourinho goings- on will help.

“Maybe that’s good for us,” Yakin said. “It will be important to score first. We have confidence we can score first and that can help us achieve a small miracle.”

Basel knocked out Spurs on penalties in the last round but have never won in England and must cope without their stylish young center- half Aleksandar Dragovic, who is suspended for Wednesday’s match. Striker Marco Streller is also a doubt for this match.

Chelsea has never lost at home in European Competitions for the past two years, likewise, they must be willing to learn from the disappointment of their Capital One Cup loss to Swansea and their FA Cup loss to Manchester City, both at the semi- final stage of either competitions. Ashley Cole is suspended for the Basle game with Ryan Bertrand likely to stand in for the left full- back.

Rafael Benitez is also supporting club legend Franck Lampard to reach a club record of 202 goals for Chelsea in the Englishman’s illustrious career.

Franck Lampard.
Franck Lampard.