I thought I'd throw together a quick updated fixture list for everyone that shows what matches our Champions League campaign are sandwiched between. In my opinion, our important ties against Shakhtar fall between big games against the top Premiership teams. After the jump is the full listing:
* denotes Premier League/Capital One Cup fixture; Champions League games in bold; credit to Graham for the original Champions League fixtures listing
* Sat September 15th: QPR vs. Chelsea (Away)
Wed September 19th: Chelsea vs. Juventus (Stamford Bridge)
* Sat September 22nd: Chelsea vs. Stoke (Home)
* Wed September 26th: Chelsea vs. Wolverhampton (Home)
Tue October 2nd: FC Nordsjaelland vs. Chelsea (Farum Park)
* Sat October 6th: Chelsea vs. Norwich City (Home)
* Sat October 20th: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea (Away)
Tue October 23rd: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Chelsea (Donbass Arena)
* Sun October 28th: Chelsea vs. Manchester United (Home)
*Sat November 3rd: Swansea City vs. Chelsea (Away)
Wed November 7th: Chelsea vs. Shakhtar Donetsk (Stamford Bridge)
*Sun November 11th: Chelsea vs. Liverpool (Home)
*Sat November 17th: West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea (Away)
Tue November 20th: Juventus vs. Chelsea (Juventus Stadium)
*Sun November 25th: Chelsea vs. Manchester City (Home)
* Sat December 1st: West Ham United vs. Chelsea (Away)
Wed December 5th: Chelsea vs. FC Nordsjaelland (Stamford Bridge)
* Sat December 8th: Sunderland vs. Chelsea (Away)
As I briefly stated, our first encounter with Shakhtar at the Donbass Arena comes between our first encounter against AVB at White Heart Lane and our first encounter against an RvP-led Manchester United (assuming Rooney is still out-of-favor or injured).
Just two weeks later, we get to welcome Shakhtar to Stamford Bridge between our matches against Swansea City (hopefully their good form has subsided) and a home tie against Liverpool (probably without Lucas.. so very much winnable but will be difficult as always).
Our away Juventus tie comes before a big home fixture against Manchester City. I'd presume RDM would trot out the first 11 on both games barring any genius tactical maneuvers. Our games against Nordsjaelland fall between mid to lower tier EPL clubs. I would hope Chelsea B-team would be able to handle those fixtures when called upon.
As long as we win all our home games and one away fixture (Nordsjaelland), we should be in very good position to move on to the knockout rounds. Of course, I'd prefer to just win every match and ensure safe passage to the knockout rounds.. but the Juventus and Shakhtar away ties will be tough. KTBFFH!