Chelsea’s 2016 Champions League Hopes
As reigning Premier League champions Chelsea should be expected to launch a serious assault on Ch...
As reigning Premier League champions Chelsea should be expected to launch a serious assault on Champions League glory in the coming season.
We can do it again !
However, Jose Mourinho was left dumbfounded by how poorly his side played when PSG shocked Stamford Bridge early in 2015 and the Portuguese may now think his men have questions to answer in this competition.
The gradual decline in the standard of the English top flight in recent years has certainly made it harder for the likes of the Blues to succeed in the Champions League and Europe's elite have put a decent amount of daylight between themselves and our four annual challengers.
If one English team is to challenge for the famous trophy this term however then surely it is Chelsea and in Mourinho they have the best possible man at the helm reports Casino Shorts, who review UK online casinos licensed by the Gambling Commission.
Triumphant with Porto and Internazionale when not considered among the favourites from the outset, Mourinho came up short in Madrid when expectations were sky high, before Carlo Ancelotti secured La Decima for Real, and the Special One will now be desperate to win the Champions League with a third different club.
The Blues cantered to the Premier League title in emphatic fashion in the Spring and it is easy to see why they are only 6/4 favourites to defend their domestic crown.
You will get 9/1 in a place about Chelsea securing success on the biggest stage in the Champions League though and those odds, that represent approximately a 10% chance of going all the away, appear about right.
Barcelona (10/3), Bayern Munich (5/1) and Real Madrid (11/2) head the betting, the Blues are fourth in most odds compilers' lists, and while Mourinho might be questioning his troops' mental strength on crucial European nights, they excelled in the Premier League's most important fixtures last season.
Chelsea conceded just three goals in six undefeated matches home and away against England's other three Champions League qualifiers and perhaps that chastising experience at the hands of the Parisians will ultimately prove to be the making of them.
The Blues were criticised for their style of play after the turn of the year and while the shift to a more conservative method did not have any adverse effects on home soil, a safety first approach just doesn't cut it any more versus the very best.
Barca, Bayern and Real all look to outscore opponents and Mourinho might, against his better nature, have to ask his charges to play more on the front foot when required.
Possessing the likes of Messi, Ronaldo and Muller respectively, the Big Three play to their attacking strengths and Jose would be wise to place greater faith in his game changers, chiefly Eden Hazard.
Hazard has the potential to belong among the world's very best but he'll need to perform to that level in the Champions League first and, if the Belgian can, Chelsea have what it takes to reach the 2016 Champions League final in Milan.