There were few who expected Chelsea to go from a side sitting comfortably in the middle of the table in the English Premier League to winning the Champions League at the end of last season.
With additions over the summer transfer window, and more time working under head coach Thomas Tuchel, the Blues look in good shape to try and defend their European crown this term.
No Underestimating Tuchel’s Impact
Having taken over last season from his predecessor Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge, with a side playing catch-up in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League, Tuchel had an immediate impact at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea, who are currently +320 in the football betting to reach the Champions League final this season, saw their results improve drastically in the Premier League before going on to win the European Cup. This season the Blues are fourth-favorites in the football betting tips to win the Champions League with odds of +650 and for good reason. The squad have bought into Tuchel’s philosophy at The Bridge, and now the club looks capable of challenging for silverware on multiple fronts.
Before arriving in west London, Tuchel had just fallen short in his dream of winning the Champions League at Paris Saint-Germain. The German tactician watched on as his side lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the 2020 final in Lisbon before he saw his time with the Ligue 1 giants come to an end. Tuchel didn’t have to wait long before he finally got his hands on the biggest prize in the European club game, as his Chelsea side beat Pep Guardiola’s star-studded Manchester City side in the final a year later.
Blues Even Stronger This Season
As the Blues look to defend the European title this season, the Londoners look well-placed to challenge at the business end of the tournament. The arrival of center-forward Romelu Lukaku over the summer has already seen Chelsea grow into more of a threat in the final third of the field. The Belgian international hit the ground running with goals in the Premier League, and found the back of the net in Chelsea’s opening game of the Champions League campaign in a 1-0 home win over Zenit St Petersburg.
Midfielder Saul Niguez was another high-profile arrival at the end of the summer window, and the Atletico Madrid playmaker looks like he’ll be a quality addition to the Chelsea squad despite a questionable debut against Aston Villa. Saul was a key figure in helping Atleti win the La Liga title in Spain last season, and knows what it takes to perform consistently over a long season.
With Saul and Lukaku now on the roster, and with the players enjoying their first full-preseason under Tuchel, it’s easy to see why many are backing the Blues to challenge for the Champions League title once again this season.