Can Chelsea salvage their season?
Chelsea have not met their high standards this season, but Rafael Benitez's side are still in the running for two major trophies
The season for Chelsea is fast becoming a one to forget having performed below their usually high standard.
The club has been knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage and a Premier League title challenge was over before February. Adding the failures of the Capital One Cup, Club World Cup, European Super Cup and Community Shield it it is safe to say that the current season has provided a lot of heartache for the Chelsea fans .
This could be attributed to many things but chief among them is the managerial uncertainty at the club. No manager has been given enough time to build a team since Jose Mourinho left the hot seat in 2007.
However, there have been some signs in recent matches that the Blues are playing good attractive football again. So what can the European champions salvage from this season?
The Premier League
The Premier League is almost certainly heading towards Manchester United with a fifteen-point lead at the top of the table. Chelsea are aiming to achieve a top-four place as an absolute minimum so that they are able to compete in next year’s Champions League. The club currently lies in the third place and should be able to maintain the position until the end of the season.
They have the easiest fixture list among their competitors and also have an experienced squad that knows how to perform at the end of the season when the pressure is really on.
However, they have to play in three competitions meaning fatigue will inevitably come into play. Having already played more games than Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton you can see the players struggling with the demands of a heavy fixture list.
The UEFA Europa League
Chelsea are in this competition after they came third in their Champions League group. They have since advanced to the quarterfinal stages of the competition after a hard-fought win over Steaua Bucharest.
The experience of winning last season’s Champions League could give the team the confidence to win the trophy.
Winning the Europa Cup will give Chelsea the unique achievement of winning all domestic and European titles on offer to a Premier League team. This is surely enough to motivate the players to give it their all.
Other quarter finalists include: Lazio, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United so even if they beat Rubin Kazan they will inevitably have to face strong opposition if they want to win the Europa League.
The Club has tasted great success in the competition in recent years and faces a replay with Manchester United at Stanford Bridge. They have a great record of winning this cup and the players will feel that they have a right to win this trophy.
But Manchester City and Manchester United are standing in their way of the final, success in this competition is far from likely. However, if they can knock both sides of Manchester out, they will face a comparatively easy task in the final.
Before the season started it looked like a bonanza of trophies could be heading to West London. It has since been a disappointment but there is still a very real chance of claiming two trophies and salvaging some positives from a campaign marred with controversy.
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