Football: Chelsea ready to clinch last 16 berth

Football: Chelsea ready to clinch last 16 berth

PARIS - Chelsea travel to Switzerland to face FC Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday knowing that a point will be enough to seal their place in the last 16.

Last year, as reigning European champions, the Blues were eliminated in the group stage, but while they have not always convinced since the return to the dugout of Jose Mourinho, they have seized control of Group E since a shock home defeat to Basel in September.

That 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge has been followed by comprehensive victories away to Steaua Bucharest and twice against Schalke, Mourinho's men rattling in 10 goals and conceding none in those games to sit three points clear of the Germans at the top of the section.

As they return to the St Jakob-Park, scene of a 2-1 win in the first leg of last season's Europa League semi-final in April, Chelsea will be looking to extend a run of just one defeat in 13 matches in all competitions.

They were convincing 3-0 winners away to West Ham United on Saturday, a result that left them in third place in the Premier League and eased concerns about their away form, which had previously been patchy.

Veteran midfielder Frank Lampard scored twice against his former club at the weekend and now he is looking forward to gaining revenge on Basel following that September shocker.

"The great thing about that game is it's a bit of a distant memory now, because of results since then," Lampard told Chelsea TV.

"It wasn't easy to go and win three on the bounce and we still have a bit more to do. We can put the record straight on Tuesday.

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