Preview: Chelsea vs. Basel

Preview: Chelsea vs. Basel
© PA Photos
Sports Mole looks ahead to Chelsea's Europa League semi-final against Swiss side Basel.

If Chelsea avoid defeat to Basel on Thursday evening, then they will have booked their place in their second European final in as many years.

Brazilian David Luiz proved to be the match-winner when the two sides met in Switzerland last week as his late free kick secured a 2-1 victory for Rafael Benitez's side in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie.

While the Blues have no suspension concerns, they will be without striker Demba Ba, who played for Newcastle United in the competition earlier in the season and is cup-tied as a result.

In his absence Fernando Torres is likely to feature as a lone centre-forward, with Frank Lampard also included as he goes in search of the two goals that will see him become Chelsea's leading goalscorer of all time.

Basel, who need to win the match if they are to reach May's final in Amsterdam, have also been tipped to start with one striker, with Marco Streller the most likely candidate.

If Basel were to record a positive result, it would be their first victory in England in 19 attempts.

Recent form

Chelsea: LLWDWW

Basel: DWWDLL

Possible starting lineups

Chelsea: Cech; Cole, Terry, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta; Luiz, Ramires; Lampard, Moses, Mata; Torres

Basel: Sommer; Degen, Park, Dragovic, Schar; Stocker, Serey Die, F. Frei, El Nenny, Salah; Streller

Sports Mole says: 2-1

Chelsea's Victor Moses celebrates scoring against FC Basel on April 25, 2013
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