Thursday, August 27, 2009

UEFA Champions League 2009-10: Chelsea in Group D

In Group D of Champions League 2009-10 the four clubs are:

Chelsea, FC Porto, Atletico Madrid, APOEL

Among the ‘Big Four’ of English Premier League, Chelsea is perhaps the only side who did not lose much of its strength in the Summer transfer window. Other three of the ‘Big Four’ lost some of their star players in the Summer transfer window, and thus, losing their strength, at least on pen and paper. On the other hand, the Blues have not lost any big player in the Summer yet. Influential defender and Captain John Terry was tempted by big spending Manchester City, but it was later on ensured by the club that the England international, who was handed a pay rise in the Summer, would not move to Eastland. Moreover, under the new coach Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea seems to look fresh and is expected to perform well.

Chelsea had an excellent start to the season winning the Community Shield 2009 with a victory in the tie-breaker over Manchester Untied. Chelsea is one of the two traditional Big Four clubs in premier league who is still undefeated in the league so far this season. They comfortably won their all three premier league games so far and the Blues look pretty much confident under Ancelotti.

The good news about Chelsea fans is that some of their underperformed players have found their form back and are playing pretty well in the current season. Specially, Portuguese midfielder Deco seems to have found his form back for the first time since his move to the Stamford Bridge last season. Deco went out of favor of Guus Hiddink and hardly got chance in the starting line up of the club last season. Two other Portuguese players: Ricardo Carvalho and José Bosingwa have also been pretty much impressive so far this season.

The biggest strength of Chelsea mainly lies in their midfield and attack. In the midfield, they have two world class playmakers in Frank Lampard and Michael Essien. There are some other quality players in the Chelsea midfield including Michael Ballack, John Obi Mikel and Florent Malouda. Overall, Chelsea midfield seems very strong. Their defense is also very strong with Terry and Carvalho pairing up at the middle of their defense. Ashley Cole, Bosingwa, Juliano Belletti, Alex and Branislav Ivanović are all there in the Chelsea’s defense line up.

Striking duo Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka have been impressive so far, and since they were brought together in the regular line up by Hiddink last season, they starting making their presence felt. Drogba has been handed a new deal. Moreover, another thing is that Anelka would not leave any stone unturned to keep his place in the France national team ahead of next year’s world cup. Moreover, he was the highest scorer of Premier league last season which could be a motivating factor for the veteran striker.

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