The story of Chelsea Football Club's decline in 2011-12 has been quite like that of an all-conquering emperor who has at last met with catastrophe and is now being compelled to see the world from a completely different perspective.
Such has been the turnaround in fortunes of the Blues this season, at least in the Premier League.
Let me brief you on the fall of Chelsea.
They have definitely had no consistency in their results through their current Premier League campaign. The one place where some uniformity has been seen is the rate at which their ambitions have fallen.
Starting the season as one of the favorites for the league title, they recently slumped to yet another defeat, this time at the hands of a resurgent Everton. Astonishing it is that this is already the blue army's sixth league defeat of the season. And now bereft of a spot in the top four, their main target in the league is to secure Champions League qualification. Shocking, isn't it?
This was one thing that was taken for granted every year, considering the Blues are expected to be fighting for the championship every time round.
Finishing in the top two, and at worst third, is all Chelsea and its supporters have known ever since the Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich, splashed the cash to buy the club back in 2003. Fifth place, where they currently find themselves, is simply not good enough at a club where the bar is set so high.
It is no secret that the once-mighty Chelsea defense has had everything to do with this. Up front lately, the goals have dried up, and that hasn't helped the cause either. The two of those put together leave the West Londoners in a position that the current crop are not familiar with.
Now, when this same shoddy defense is pitted against one of the world's finest attacking trios, like Napoli's, then quite a few would expect the Blues to get absolutely pulverized, especially with their poor form of late.
What is also needless to say is that if they were to put a stop to the activities of this trio of Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik, Napoli would become rather beatable.
Well, this is football, and anything can happen.
Here I introduce to you the three danger men for the side from Naples, who are likely to be a constant source of distress for the Chelsea back line over the two legs of the tie. AVB, I hope you're making notes.
This man is one of European football's hottest properties and Napoli's star striker. Deployed as the lone man up front, Cavani is a goal machine.
The Uruguayan is a good finisher who possesses quick feet, a lot of strength, pace and above-average aerial ability. Other than that, his movement and positional sense is brilliant, and that makes him the perfect out-and-out striker.
He is the main source of goals for Napoli. The fact that he has 22 strikes in all competitions thus far illustrates his importance to the team.
John Terry, if fit, will share the responsibilities of shackling him with either David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic or Gary Cahill, and that will be a mammoth task. Terry's availability is extremely crucial for Chelsea.
The Argentine is all about speed. His quick feet and lightning pace, combined with his accurate crossing, make him a persistent threat through games.
Likely to feature on the flanks, Lavezzi needs no second invitation to take on defenders. He knows how to beat his man.
Give him space, and he is bound to exploit it.
Crucially, the chap has an eye for goal. Even if the star man Cavani isn't having a field day, you can back Lavezzi to save the day, as he doesn't hesitate before taking a few cracks at the goal.
Cech and the full-backs, you've been warned.
The man with the Mohawk loves running the show in the middle. He is a combative midfielder who has an eye for a defense-splitting pass. In the mould of Bastian Schweingsteiger, he is adept at spraying passes across the pitch and spreading play.
He is one of Cavani's chief providers and is very good on the ball.
No stranger to scoring, Hamsik bags a fair number of goals every season for Napoli. His vision and creative presence make him all the more vital to the side from Naples.
Chelsea will need someone to mark him out of the game two times over. Ramires has the legs for this task.
All three players are capable of conjuring up some magic, so it is very important that the Chelsea defense pulls its socks up.
Another mediocre display in Italy on Wednesday would allow Napoli to virtually seal the tie after the first leg itself. We all saw what happened to Arsenal last week. They got annihilated. Interestingly, they too were up against Italian opposition.
Jose Bosingwa, David Luiz and Gary Cahill must all raise their game if the Blues are to progress to the quarterfinals of Europe's elite competition.
A world-class team rises to the occasion. Can Chelsea do the same?