Champions League chances now more realistic for Chelsea
Many saw a draw as the best Chelsea could hope for last night, as they played away to a Benfica side unbeaten in their past ten European home games, but following a 1-0 victory in Portugal, the Blues have been trimmed to 19/2 to win the Champions League.
Chelsea had not won away in Europe all season, making their success in Lisbon seem all the more remarkable, and with Roberto Di Matteo desperate to make an impression in the Champions League to bolster his chances of landing the managerial role full-time, it may be worth backing the Blues at that 19/2 to land the trophy.
Although the Stamford Bridge outfit have never won Europe’s elite competition, it is the one tournament that owner Roman Abramovich desperately wants to prosper in, and so Champions League success would almost certainly guarantee Di Matteo the job on a permanent basis.
There is indeed a renewed sense of belief and more liberation evident in Chelsea’s play since the departure of Andre Villas-Boas, and whilst the Portuguese coach struggled to allow his players to express themselves, particularly in the Champions League, Di Matteo’s finest results so far have come in Europe.
They were 10/1 shots for tournament glory before overhauling Benfica’s impressive home record last night, and whilst that price has been cut only shortly, it is an indication that people are beginning to take Chelsea’s European ambitions more seriously.
Players such as Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba are reaching the twilight years of their careers, and with these three Blues legends needing little inspiration in their bid to claim what would be maiden Champions League titles, it could pay dividends to take advantage of the 19/2 odds on Chelsea to win the competition.