Basel's English graveyard awaits for Chelsea

Having become the first defending champions not to progress beyond the group phase of the following campaign's competition, failure to qualify for next season's tournament would complete a startling fall from grace.

updated: April 25, 2013 11:52 IST
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Basel: Chelsea will attempt to succeed where Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur both failed when they tackle Swiss side FC Basel in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

Winners of last season's Champions League, Chelsea have had to make a priority of Europe's second-tier cup competition this term as opportunities for winning silverware have fizzled out around them.

They are just two matches from the final in Amsterdam on May 15, but in Basel they face a team who sensationally knocked United out of last season's Champions League and put paid to Spurs in the last round of the Europa League.

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