Chelsea opinion: Chelsea – Champions League preview
The champions of the 2011/12 season are back on Europe’s biggest stage after missing out last season. It was right after that summer that they signed the talismanic Eden Hazard.
After 7 glorious years with the club, capped off by a dazzling display in the Europa League final in Baku last season, he’s moved to pastures anew in Madrid.
However, a talisman from that Champions League-winning side is now sitting in the dugout in Frank Lampard, who is managing a bunch of young Blues.
They’ve been drawn in Group H, which is the most open group in the competition. They will be joined by Ajax, who will be an example to this Chelsea side after their heroics from the previous term.
They will have to make a trip to the Mestalla, one of the most hostile grounds in Europe, to face Valencia. The La Liga side capped off last season with a Copa Del Rey trophy over the mighty Barcelona.
Their final opposition is last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up Lille, who lost their talisman in Nicholas Pepe but have used the funds to shore up other areas of the squad.
Chelsea will be suspect defensively as they’ve shown so far this season but they should have just enough quality in the attacking areas to put goals past any side and the home advantage will be key here.
They should make it out of the group and will be hoping for an easy draw later but this season is more about getting their younger players some much-needed European experience along with their manager.