Chelsea will look to advance to the UEFA Champions League semifinals tonight after hosting Benfica in the second leg of their tie. The Blues' 1-0 win in Portugal gives them a solid foundation and are favorites to move on to the semifinals, where they will meet Barcelona after they beat AC Milan 3-1 yesterday to advance.
There are far too many opinions out there that have already written Chelsea into a showdown with Barca. After all, it is something many footballing fans outside of the two clubs would like to see, hoping for a repeat of the epic match between the two sides in the semis three years ago.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves too far.
Chelsea still have a formidable task at home to take care of today. Though they have the upper hand on Benfica, the Portuguese will not go down easily. You can expect a fight from them to the very end.
However, with that perspective in mind, there has rarely been a time over the past few months when a European game has not felt like a struggle going into it. This honestly is the first since Chelsea dismantled Genk 5-0 last year. So why not embrace the optimism they currently have going for them and finally expect win rather than hope for it.
Here are four reasons Chelsea will advance past Benfica today.