Chelsea FC: Why This Is the Year for Champions League Glory
Chelsea will win the Champions League this season. You all know it. Really, deep down inside, everyone knows it.
Andre Villas Boas and his army of blue will show the rest of Europe, including Barcelona, how it is done in the first few months of 2012, and Chelsea will be lifting the Champions League trophy in Munich.
Andre Villas-Boas has got the Midas touch when it comes to management, and so far he has not failed to deliver.
He has not exactly hit the ground running with Chelsea, but the best is yet to come from the Portuguese managerial whizz-kid. After working miracles at Académica to steer them safe of relegation, AVB took on a different challenge with Porto, and delivered once again.
Porto not only won the Primeira Liga, he did so unbeaten, only the second team ever to do so. Also on his impressive resume so far is a Europa League victory with Porto.
The Champions League is the one trophy owner Roman Abramovich is desperate to win, and finally he has got the man who can deliver it.
By the time Christmas arrives AVB will have settled into the English club, and will have made his stamp on the squad. Expect things to get a whole lot better from then on in, just in time for the knockout phase.
5. Last Chance Saloon
John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. They are not getting any younger, and it is likely that their days as first choice players are coming to an end at Chelsea. With Villas Boas likely to attack transfer markets in the summer, and new and youthful looking Chelsea is likely to appear next year.
These old timers know it, and this is their last chance to be written into the history books at Champions League winners. They want it desperately.
The chance to put the one elusive trophy in the cabinet for a club that has served them so well over the years, these guys will be determined to overcome the heartbreak of 2008 and end their days at Chelsea as Champions of Europe.
4. Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres is an incredible player who has played on the biggest stage and won, for Chelsea he is invaluable.
Although he still hasn't fully found his feet at Chelsea, we are starting to see a few glimpses of the Torres we all remember from Athletico Madrid and Liverpool. Once Torres reaches his best again, Chelsea will be unstoppable.
I can't wait.
3. Tactical Genius
One huge advantage that Chelsea have is the tactical know-how of new manager Andre Villas-Boas. The intense study of major opponents and his ability to out-shine any team in a one-off match is only beaten by his former tutor Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho showed with Inter that anything is possible with Inter when they took the title a couple of years back, and now it will be his one-time understudy who provides surprise winners in 2012.
If there is any doubt about the knowledge of Villas-Boas, check out this scouting document from his days under Mourinho.
Chelsea now have a great blend of youth and experience, and that will serve them well as the competition progresses.
More experienced players in the squad, like John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba can help guide youngsters as they develop themselves in the Champions League.
Add into that experience the flair and exciting talents of Juan Mata, David Luiz and Dan Sturridge among others and you have a recipe for success. Chelsea will take advantage of this balance of experience and youth in their squad and come out as top dogs this year.
1. No More Premier League
As both Manchester clubs battle it out for the league title, Chelsea will find themselves in third place obscurity in the second half of the season.
Being safely in third place unable to really challenge the Manchester teams, Chelsea will have a strong focus on the Champions League. In previous seasons this has not been possible for Chelsea, who have seen themselves as at least challengers for the title.
This year, out of contention for the domestic title, Chelsea will triumph in Europe.