3 Keys to Champions League Victory for Chelsea FC
However, as they head back into Champions League play, the Blues will need more than to simply avoid defeat. After a slightly disappointing opening draw with Schalke, Chelsea need a win against Sporting Lisbon this week in order to put themselves into a good position in the group.
Of all of the Premier League clubs that are in this season's Champions League, Jose Mourinho's men probably have the best chance of winning the competition, especially based on this season's form so far.
With that being said, after the uncertain start, they will need to do some specific things in order to get there.
Here are three keys to Chelsea winning the Champions League.
Getting the Best out of the Whole Squad
When a team is undefeated, obviously everyone is playing well enough, but so far there has been one standout performer for Chelsea.
That is, new striker Diego Costa.
After just six matches, the Spain striker has scored eight goals and been instrumental in a handful of others.
However, Costa has had a few injury worries. Jose Mourinho recently admitted that he has hardly been training, per BBC Sport, and the Blues will need their other attacking players to step up and score some goals if Costa is forced to sit out a few matches.
Even if he doesn't miss time, it will be tough for him to play every game if Chelsea make it deeper into the competition.
Having said that, Chelsea are far from a one-man team. The depth in this squad is excellent. Mourinho shouldn't have too much trouble finding someone to turn to for inspiration in any given situation.
In fact, if they progress to the knockout rounds, it could be players coming off the bench who make all the difference.
Get Some Clean Sheets
Despite the team being undefeated, the weekend's win against Villa was only Chelsea's second clean sheet of the season.
This has not hurt them so far, as they have mostly managed to outscore their opponents. However, the Champions League is a different ballgame. It's usually more defensive, and every goal matters much more—especially in the knockout rounds.
If Chelsea are going to go all the way in this competition, they need to start notching up some clean sheets, and show themselves as the Jose Mourinho team that they are.
Win Those Away Games
There are some tough places to play in Europe, and Chelsea will face Sporting away from home after opening against FC Schalke 04 at Stamford Bridge.
They avoided defeat at home, and if they can get a win in Portugal, they will be in a very strong position with just two matches played. As we get further in the competition, however, the pressure to win away will not ease off. In fact, it will increase dramatically.
The additions of players such as Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas in the summer, as well as the extra year of experience for the squad as a whole, mean that this is a well-traveled team that should be able to pick up points away.
If Chelsea can take care of these three key areas, and keep winning in the way that they have, they should be a force to be reckoned with as the competition progresses.
(Editor's note: This slide initially stated Chelsea played their opening match in Germany. That match took place at Stamford Bridge.)