The Blues start the competition as one of the favourites for the competition, as they do most seasons.
The Champions League is the Holy Grail of trophies for Chelsea fans and owner Roman Abramovich.
The Russian billionaire has pumped money into Chelsea and has got his reward with Premier League titles but the Champions League is the trophy he now craves.
I believe that Abramovich would rather win the Champions League than retain the Premier League title this season. Although a double would please the Russian even more.
It is the trophy that is missing from the trophy cabinet at Stamford Bridge. The Champions have come so close in recent years. Their best performance came in 2008 when they were defeated by Manchester United on penalties.
They have also had numerous semi-final appearances and will be hoping to go one better than in runners-up this season.
When Chelsea exited the Champions League to Inter last season everybody, including me were saying that the squad were past their best and they needed an injection of new young players. They haven’t strengthened significantly but have started the season in blistering form. Maybe it’s this old team’s year.
Carlo Ancelotti is part of an exclusive club of those who have won the European Cup as both player and manager. He is an experienced coach and has the tactical nous to win another Champions League trophy.
Ancelotti is acknowledged as one of the nice guys in football management. So the old adage of nice guys finishing last certainly doesn’t apply to this guy. He is a winner and has developed a good style of play at Chelsea.
I was really surprised by the summer exit of mercurial midfielder Joe Cole. I believed that Ancelotti had made a mistake by letting the England international leave but I’m starting to think he got it right. Cole was on huge wages and has struggled with injuries in the last few years. He hasn’t exactly made a fantastic start to his career at Liverpool either.
Ancelotti also allowed veteran German midfielder Michael Ballack leave. Which I thought was inevitable with midfielder starting to look his age. Chelsea really haven’t missed the pair and haven’t as of yet missed Portuguese centre-back Ricardo Carvalho, who I believe is still an excellent player at the age of 32.
Tonight’s clash against the Slovak side should be comfortable for the English side. However it seems that Zilina are treating this like a cup tie. For Chelsea though this could be just the first step on the long road to Champions League success.
I’ve heard a few of the Chelsea players say that they are desperate to win the competition. Maybe that is the wrong word for the likes of John Terry and Petr Cech to be using.
A lot of the Chelsea players are getting to the end of their careers and they won’t have many more Champions League campaigns left in them. However there is no need to be desperate but rather confident that they can succeed in Europe’s top competition.
Chelsea are due some luck in the Champions League after some awful decisions and incidents going against them in recent seasons.
Maybe this season they will get the bit of luck that is needed to win the Champions League. Or maybe they will experience more torment at the hands of Europe’s top competition.
Will Chelsea win the Champions League this season?
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