| 24.9°C Dublin

Schalke coach Keller tips Chelsea to win Group G

Schalke coach Jens Keller says Chelsea are favourites to win Champions League Group G after his side were drawn with the Blues, Sporting Lisbon and Maribor.

The Bundesliga side's coach was under no illusion that his men will be challenging to finish second behind the Premier League side, probably with the Portuguese representatives.

"We always knew we were going to have a difficult task," Keller said on his club's website.

"Chelsea are certainly favourites for our group and they are going to be two very, very difficult games against them.

"I think that we're going to be challenging Sporting for second place in the end.

"It's not usually easy to play against Portuguese side. Maribor are the outsiders on paper, but it would be a huge mistake to underestimate them.


"We've set our sights on a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League."

Midfielder Julian Draxler has also set his sights on a place in the last 16, and also revenge against Chelsea.

"It's a very interesting group," he said. "We sold ourselves short twice last year against Chelsea and we want to do better this time and show what we've got in us.

"Sporting have been one of the top clubs in Portugal for many years now. Therefore, we know what to expect.

"Maribor are hard to judge, but they have beaten Celtic in the play-offs so they are not here by fluke."

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has won UEFA's award as the best player in Europe last season after scoring a record 17 goals in the Champions League.

The Real Madrid and Portgual forward beat Bayern Munich pair Manuel Neuer of Germany and the Netherlands' Arjen Robben.

The voting was by journalists from UEFA's 54 member countries at the Champions League groups draw event.

Ronaldo also ensured Portugal qualified for the World Cup by scoring a memorable hat trick in a playoff win against Sweden.

Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery previously won the award first presented in 2011.

UEFA created the prize after the original European Footballer of the Year honor, known as the Ballon d'Or, merged with FIFA's world player award.

Nadine Kessler of Germany won the women's award.