Despite winning potentially their hardest Group F game away in Spartak Moscow without perhaps their two most influential players, Carlo Ancelotti insists Chelsea should not take it for granted that they have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Chelsea’s 2-0 win in Moscow maintained their 100 per cent start to Group F after playing each of the other teams once and victory over the same opposition back at Stamford Bridge next will ensure their passage to the latter stages of the tournament.
Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba are expected to be fit for that game, but Chelsea have proved that they have strength in depth without them.
Nicolas Anelka has proved his worth in attack with four goals in the three games and Chelsea have now become even heavier favourites at 1/33 to win Group F.
Meanwhile, with two teams to progress from each group, Chelsea have built up a six-point cushion over third-place Marseille and only one team, Shakhtar Donetsk, in the past three seasons have accrued nine points in the group stages and been eliminated.
However, if Ancelotti does decide to keep naming his big guns in the competition, then there is a strong chance that they can achieve a rare feat in the Champions League.
Not since Barcelona in 2003 has a team managed to win all six of their group games, but this seems more than possible for Chelsea this season.
Doing so would also lay down a significant marker that this could be Chelsea’s year to finally win the Champions League after being leading candidates for the past seven seasons.
Chelsea are 9/2 to win the Champions League and with a particularly formidable record at home, they would fancy their chances against any of the other fancied contenders.
Barcelona are the current favourites at 9/4 to win the Champions League, with Real Madrid also 9/2. See the full Champions League winners market.