Champions League Quarter-Finals; Can Chelsea defy bookies’ Odds once more?
When the discussion is not about their team’s recent performances or the action of the beautiful game of football, fans can be seen from the stands in disbelief of how funny the old game could result into.
For the fans of Chelsea F.C, this season has been a roller-coaster of below-par performances much more of a case of the latter than the former as, despite the team’s efforts so far, the race for a top-six finish this season might seem to be slipping away.
Languishing in 10th place after 26 games, it seems as though any slightest hopes of Champions League football next season rest on the team’s performance in the current competition. Fans, along with Chelsea sponsors like Nike and new training wear sponsor Three (3), are still expecting the best from the Blues.
Excluding the Blues’ recent 3-1 thrashing of Leicester City at the King Power outfit, the turn of the year has seen Chelsea drawn four Premier League matches out of eleven (and win two). In the Champions League, however, Chelsea has been much of a different team with solid performances against the likes of AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund summing up the tournament so far.
Chelsea’s last straw for Europe
To be honest, for a team languishing in 10th position with 37 points, five points away from making the top six Premier League finish this season, these run of results in the Champions League would be cause for celebration; however, for a team that won the Champions two years ago, pundits would argue things aren’t looking good for the West London club. While the dreams of the Champions League glory still loom large, winning this won’t be easy.
However, for Chelsea to achieve this Champions League and book a place in the tournament next season, the Blues have to upset the odds against the likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Napoli, who have been in red-hot form so far this season. Chelsea has only recorded one win against Real Madrid in their four meetings (draw one), this ranking Potters’ side fourth behind Real Madrid in the Champions League betting stakes on sportsbooks.
A quick glance at the odds (on 18/03/2023) on bet365 champions league odds shows that Chelsea are 14/1 for the Champions League title, while their opponents in the next round, Real Madrid, are currently sitting at 7/1 to clinch the title. While sportsbooks are not prophets, how Chelsea have been tipped to end their UCL season is what is expected of the team owing to their recent performance. The difference, however, is they have won eight of their previous 11 Champions League quarter-final ties.
Building stellar bridge on multiple fronts
Every team is bound to face an uphill battle whenever the concentration is focused between European and domestic outings. Chelsea, on the other hand, are aware that success in Europe holds their only hope of Chelsea League football next season, and for this, the pressure will be heightened on the players.
Despite this mounting pressure, there are few supporters who believe N’Golo Kante’s return to training has come just in time for their quarter final against Real Madrid in April. There are even mentions that with the Frenchman, Chelsea can still challenge for a place in the Champions League.
Good to see N'Golo Kanté back in training 🤗 pic.twitter.com/piBM0Buusr
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 1, 2023
We winning the UCL and the prem soon…
— Swavey 🐑 (@idk_you999) March 1, 2023
— Chuks CFC!! (@tabs112ng) March 17, 2023
I cant wait for that Enzo and kante combo.
— Oloye pelumi ★ (@Antoniosinzu) March 1, 2023
Time to win the champions league
— Tonez (@Anthonybuzo) March 12, 2023
Our suffering is finally over pic.twitter.com/w7H11wax8n
— Muller owns Pessi. (@Tatenda25535341) March 2, 2023
Fully fit Ngolo Kante x Enzo Fernandez is gonna be unplayable. It's gonna be scary pic.twitter.com/7RQkSS72XI
— CFCDatro (@CFCDatro) March 6, 2023
Just a reminder that Ngolo Kante will be back for Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/lezSYiyRNa
— Frank Khalid OBE (@FrankKhalidUK) March 17, 2023
Real Madrid’s nightmare..the king of bernabeu … Camavinga’s godfather..General Ngolo kante.. ❤️❤️❤️🔥🔥🔥💯💯
— Best Fainas🇿🇼 (@fainas_best) March 17, 2023
Thats awesome, l would like t see kante, enzo and kovacic when we are playing with Madrid
— kibira Jonan (@KibiraJonan) March 17, 2023
Good news! Kante with Enzo in midfield should give us victory against Real Madrid
— Anthony Eri (@tonydollarcity) March 17, 2023
General Kante came back in time to lead us to #3. 🥶 pic.twitter.com/0NC5LIUnpr
— Elvis Tunde ➐ (@Tunnykvng) March 17, 2023
Chelsea fans I assure you the 3rd 🏆 is coming home.
Enzo 🐐. Kante 🐐. pic.twitter.com/KEyeGfWfkC
— kemboi (@Cfc_Kemboi) March 17, 2023
These dreams will things get tougher
Chelsea’s willingness to win and actually turning those hopes and dreams into reality are two very different things for the club at the moment. In fact, with Kante in training and they manage to put together a run of wins in the Premier League and make it past Real Madrid in Europe, things won’t get any easier from here.
Chelsea could find themselves with an even tougher match in the semi-finals in either Bayern Munich or Manchester City. No certainties in football is a well-known fact, but it’s clear that the Chelsea team’s route to the Champions League next season isn’t going to be an easy one.
By anyone’s standards the season so far has been one to forget; however, if the Blues can pull off a dramatic comeback before the final whistle in May then there’s still a chance that 2016 could be a year to remember at Chelsea FC. However, if you’re a betting fan, then it’s probably not a good idea to go against the odds just yet.