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With Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, Chelsea will be out to win the major trophy which has eluded them thus far, the Champions League...

STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES

With the attacking force of Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka to name but a few, Chelsea have more than enough attacking firepower to mount a serious threat to any opposition in the competition.

With a squad comprised of so many stars, it is hard to pinpoint a weakness at Chelsea, but despite having one of the best goalkeepers in Europe between the sticks, their reinforcements are somewhat suspect. In pre-season alone, both Ross Turnball and Henrique Hilario made costly mistakes which will have left Ancelotti believing that Petr Cech’s fitness will be key to their chances of lifting the trophy come May.

STARS & KEY PLAYER

Didier Drogba is due a successful Champions League campaign after two notorious dismissals, and should he transfer his impressive domestic form to the European stage, Chelsea fans could be in for a profitable campaign.

Since Ancelotti’s arrivals last summer, Florent Malouda has transformed his Chelsea career, becoming one of the Premier League’s most prolific attacking threats from the wings, and his pace and movement will be invaluable for the English league champions in Europe this season.

COACH & TACTICAL

Ancelotti will line his Chelsea side up in his favoured 4-3-3 formation, with Malouda and Anelka supporting Drogba in attack.

Summer signing Ramires with partner Lampard and midfield colossus Michael Essien in what could prove to be one of the most effective cores in the Champions League this season, and the Ghanaian’s return to full fitness will feel like a new signing for the Italian tactician.

SUCCESSES

Before Roman Abramovich’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea had only lifted the English league title on one occasion, in the 1954-55 season. Since the Russian billionaire took the helm, the Blues have lifted the Premier League title a further three times.

Winners of the FA Cup on six occasions, Chelsea have also enjoyed success on the European stage - having lifted the Cup Winners’ Cup twice, and the Super Cup once. They also finished as Champions League runners-up in the 2007-08 season, losing on penalties to Manchester United.


 
STADIUM

Built in 1876, Stamford Bridge holds a capacity of over 41,000 and has seen substantial redevelopment, particularly since the 1990s.

The ground houses hotels, offices and residential buildings, along with the club shop, and is the smallest of the ‘big four’ stadiums (Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal).

HERO OF THE FANS

This is shared between John Terry and Frank Lampard. As club captain, and one of the few English graduates from the club’s academy, Terry is held in widespread regard from the Chelsea fans, a devotion highlighted by their support during his infamous troubled personal life, which saw him stripped of the England captaincy.

Lampard was signed from West Ham in 2001, and has been a revelation at the club, consistently scoring around 20 goals a season for the club, ensuring his place among the club’s greatest ever servants.

GOAL.COM PREDICTION

Despite having never lifted the trophy before, Chelsea are the Premier League’s best chance of securing the Champions League, along with Manchester United.

In terms of silverware, this is the trophy which Chelsea want the most, and, placed in a group alongside Olympique Marseille, Spartak Moscow and MSK Zilna, last season’s Premier League winners should expect to progress to the knockout with relative ease.


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