Chelsea have time to improve ahead of Champions League last 16

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Chelsea may be struggling for their best form at present, but they have plenty of time to bounce back to their best if they want to win the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team have won just one of their last six games in all competitions, which includes a Champions League defeat against Marseille.

However, this reverse did not prevent them finishing on top of Group F, which means in theory they should be handed an easier draw in the last 16 of the tournament.

Chelsea’s betting odds to win the Champions League are 9/2 and with the second round not starting until February, there is every chance they would have rediscovered their best by this stage.

It will be hoped that Didier Drogba begins to find the target with regularity again after being struck by malaria, while Frank Lampard should be back scoring goals after a groin problem that has kept him out since August.

Furthermore, central defensive first-choice pairing Alex and John Terry are likely to have overcome their own injury troubles and the January transfer window is still to pass where Ancelotti may take the chance to add more depth to his squad.

The standout draw that Chelsea will want in the second round is a clash with FC Copenhagen, as they are arguably the weakest team left in the competition.

But there is a strong possibility that they will be drawn against Italian opposition, where they may want to avoid current Serie A table-toppers AC Milan and last season’s Champions League winners Inter.

Meanwhile, it may be fate if they are drawn against former manager Claudio Ranieri, who is now in charge at Roma.

The other potential teams they could play in the second round are Valencia and Lyon.

A £10 bet on Roma winning the Champions League could see a payout of £200. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.

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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.