Chelsea Have No Reason to Fear Other Sides in Champions League Defence

Paris Saint-Germain has assembled a dream line-up to attempt to win the Champions League and end Chelsea’s reign as champions of Europe. Lio...

Paris Saint-Germain has assembled a dream line-up to attempt to win the Champions League and end Chelsea’s reign as champions of Europe. Lionel Messi’s move to Mauricio Pochettino’s men has handed them the best trio of forwards on the continent, adding the Argentine to Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in the final third. The trio certainly has the potential to blast their way to the Ligue 1 title, and they definitely have the credentials to capture the European crown for the first time.

Therefore, Chelsea needs to be flawless in their bid to become the first English team to defend the European title since Nottingham Forest achieved the feat between 1979 and 1980. Only Liverpool have competed in back-to-back finals since, albeit the Reds lost on their first appearance against Real Madrid in 2018. PSG are the leading contenders when you study the Champions League betting odds for the title, although Manchester City are not far behind. Chelsea are slotted in behind Bayern Munich in the minds of the bookies, which could give Thomas Tuchel and his men a reason to be slighted.

They played excellent knockout stage football to win the Champions League last term, besting Atletico Madrid, Porto, Real Madrid, and City in the final. The Blues have bolstered their ranks with the addition of Romelu Lukaku, which hands Tuchel a game-winning striker in his team along with a stout experienced midfield and backline that can handle all situations.

Although PSG may have the firepower to blow teams away in the final third, they have struggled to cope with the pressure on the grand stage time and again in Europe. Whereas Chelsea were calm and composed to see off Atletico, Porto, and Real Madrid before the final. PSG lost their heads under duress from Manchester City in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Composure cannot be bought. Messi has been the standout player in Europe for the last 15 years, but even he could not bring success in the Champions League to Barcelona every season. Mbappe and Neymar were unable to rise to the occasion for PSG in the last campaign, while the temperament of the latter has been called into question in big moments.

When the pressure was on Tuchel and his team last season, Chelsea was on point and disciplined. Even City was unable to break through their defensive line in the final last term. The German has instilled a stoic attitude at the back, bringing out the best in Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, and Antonio Rudiger. N’Golo Kante is the security blanket that all managers crave in front of his backline. The Frenchman has been outstanding since Tuchel’s arrival and continues to provide a defensive shield that even the best attacks in the Premier League and the Champions League have not been able to penetrate.

The addition of Lukaku is vital. Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the game in the victory over City, but he and Timo Werner have not been prolific since their moves to Stamford Bridge. A striker that can score with one chance is a rarity, but the Belgian can certainly match the best on the continent with his ability to take his opportunities as highlighted by his outstanding record.

PSG, Manchester City, and Bayern may be considered stronger contenders in the minds of the bookies, but Chelsea is well placed to defend their crown and appear to have the perfect blend within their squad to make another charge for the final at the least. It will take a special team to displace them from their perch as kings of Europe.

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