Roberto Di Matteo meets former club Chelsea in Champions League
He accomplished with Chelsea the thing that Jose Mourinho craves. Ex-Blues legend Roberto Di Matteo is already a Champions League winning manager, and he did it against all the odds.
It is this ability to inspire a collective team spirit that gives new club Schalke a chance in their next Group G game against the west London side, though are 10/3 outsiders with Coral to win the match. Since taking over the Bundesliga outfit, RDM has steered them to seventh in the domestic league, winning four and losing three; a rate of 57.14 per cent.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are still undefeated all season, though are narrowly odds-on to take all three points back from the Gelsenkirchen Stadium. The two sides drew last time out, Julian Draxler the inspiration for Schalke; however, it will come as a relief to Mourinho that the 21-year-old talent is injured.
Unsurprisingly, Diego Costa is the favourite in the scorer market for the visitors, and is 3/1 to break the deadlock, having been on target against West Bromwich Albion last time out. It was Cesc Fabregas who netted first in the reverse fixture, taking just 11 minutes to grab the opener. As a result, he is 10/3 to score again anytime.
For the hosts, Dutch centre forward, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar levelled at Stamford Bridge, just past the hour mark and he is 13/2 to strike last. Left winger Eric Choupo-Moting seems to have discovered some form recently, having bagged a brace in the 3-2 win over Wolfsburg, and is a 2/1 shout in the anytime market.
Despite Di Matteo winning the Champions League with Chelsea, Mourinho is not interested in any individual duels with the Italian.
“I don’t play against him,” said Mourinho. “If I play against him, he wins because he plays better than me. Unless I am fitter, which I don’t know, but normally he wins because he is much better than me. It is Chelsea against Schalke, it is not me against Di Matteo.”
Speaking about the chances of qualifying from the group, the Portuguese boss was non-committal. “The group is easy to analyse,’ Mourinho said. “Any one of us can finish first, second or third.
“Obviously Sporting (Lisbon) and Maribor can finish fourth also, but we can finish first, second or third. To finish third and go to the Europa League should be something that would be against the evolution of this team,” he added.
“This team wants to be a very good team and to be a very good team you have to play against the best teams in the best competitions. I would feel very frustrated if we have to go to the Europa League, so the objective is to get enough points in these two matches to go to the last 16.”