Chelsea will be hoping to shake off their weekend defeat to Everton with a victory over Basel on Wednesday evening. Jose Mourinho will already know which players he will be call upon to face the Swiss side, with Oscar likely to have a big role to play. But what exactly will the Brazilian's role be in the Champions League this season?
Oscar's Champions League Form Last Season
There is little doubt that Chelsea had a truly dismal Champions League campaign last season. The then European Champions were dumped out in the group stages of the competition. One shining light though was Oscar, who scored five times in Chelsea's six group-stage ties. In fact for a period he was a completely different player in Europe than he was domestically.
In the Premier League he only managed to score four goals in 34 games and boasted a weak 43 per cent shot accuracy and converted just 8.7 per cent of his chances. However, in the Champions League he was a different animal with 89 per cent of his shots being accurate with a sensational 55.6 per cent chance conversion rate.
How important will Oscar be?
It is clear that Oscar enjoys European football and is at his most productive on this stage, particularly in front of goal. Oscar is likely to be used more in a no.10 behind the striker in this season's competition, the role Juan Mata had last season. As a result we can expect him to both look to create chances and to take them himself. In last season's competition he managed to create 10 chances in his six games for Chelsea, essentially two chances per start.
Not only will he be crucial in this regard but he also has a big tactical role to play. Last season he played very closely to Andrea Pirlo during the 2-2 home draw versus Juventus and he will play a similar role this season. Oscar is a very hard-working attacking midfielder, this is proven by the fact in last season's competition he averaged two tackles per game, which demonstrates that he has a lot to offer going forward and defensively.
If Oscar can recreate his scintillating Champions League form, he can be a hugely important player for Chelsea in this years European campaign. With a year of European experience under his belt, Chelsea fans and Jose Mourinho will hope that he can step-up his performances and become even more integral to the Chelsea side. As the no.10 behind the forward he will have a big role to play between the lines of attack and midfield and will be an important link between the midfield pivot and the Chelsea forwards. He will also have to drop-off and help out the midfielders when Chelsea are without the ball, something he is more than capable of doing.