Improving Chelsea the English team to back to win Champions League

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Salomon Kalou’s inexplicable handball may have cost Chelsea two points at the Mestalla, but there are some big reasons as to why they may be overpriced in the Champions League odds to win the competition for the first time this season.

Chelsea’s odds are 10/1 to win the Champions League and an away point with Valencia, arguably their toughest opposition in Group E, is not a nightmare result.

Winning home games and avoiding defeat away is the paramount formula to smooth progression through the Champions League and Chelsea should make light work of topping the group after the six games, which can be backed at 1/5.

It should be remembered that Barcelona failed to win a recent away game with Valencia in La Liga, which goes to show what a difficult ground the Mestalla could be to visit this season.

Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves was the man of the match to show just how well Chelsea performed, while the displays of Frank Lampard and David Luiz in particular were pleasing on the eye.

After starting three of the last four games on the bench, there were doubts as to whether Lampard still featured in Villas-Boas’ plans, but he quashed any doubts with a fine performance, capped by a trademark goal.

Meanwhile, Luiz’ defending has been labelled suspect since he joined from Benfica, but he enjoyed a solid night alongside John Terry, with Valencia hardly looking like scoring from open play all evening.

Chelsea will only continue to get stronger as the season wears on, with the players getting more and more accustomed to the style of football being demanded by Villas-Boas.

Also, with Lampard, Luiz and Fernando Torres finding some form of late, there is every reason to suggest that Villas-Boas will add to the silverware he collected at Porto last season, perhaps with a first Champions League victory.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.