UEFA Champions League Preview: Schalke 04 – Basel

By Juan Pablo Aravena
Champions League Matchday 5 takeaways
Photo Courtesy of the Official UEFA Champions League Facebook Page

With Chelsea all but set in the next round of the tournament, Schalke 04 and FC Basel will play against each other at the Veltins Arena looking to get a positive result to advance to the Round of 16.

After five contests, Basel has been a total surprise in the tournament as they have eight points and sit in second place of the Group E and Schalke, on the other hand, have seven points and they need to win if they want to maintain themselves in the competition.

Basel’s biggest strength in this European campaign has been their attacking play where Chilean playmaker Marcelo Diaz and Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah are the two names that stand out. Díaz operates in the middle of the pitch and Salah is the most advanced forward and if both can connect constantly, Basel could have great chances to come away with a result.

Schalke 04, on the other hand, needs to rely on their most experienced players to turn things around. Ghanaian midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng, Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Peruvian winger Jefferson Farfán all have a lot of experience in the international stage and if they can click offensively against a rather weak Basel defensive line, Schalke could turn things around to advance in the competition.

Prediction: Schalke 04 1-1 FC Basel

With two sides that are evenly matched against each other, it shouldn’t be a surprise if this one goes down as a draw. Basel clearly has the advantage in terms of the result and if they can defend properly, they could end up advancing to the next round.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google.

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