Small squad standing in Chelsea’s way in Champions League

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Chelsea’s potentially small squad of seasoned Champions League stars may be their only weak link as they look to win the tournament for the first time this season.

Alongside being dominant in the Premier League where they are five points clear at the top after winning eight of their opening ten games, Chelsea have also made light work of the Champions League.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men have already sealed their qualification from Group F after just four of their six games following their 4-1 victory over Spartak Moscow at Stamford Bridge.

This feat means that Chelsea have made the knockout stages of the competition for the eighth season in succession and are 9/2 to win the Champions League.

It should not be too difficult for Chelsea to gain one point from their remaining two games to guarantee they progress as group winners, but keeping all of their squad fit and healthy may prove a trickier job for Ancelotti.

Throughout their league and European campaign so far Ancelotti has only really relied upon the same players to get the job done and a few injuries could leave their team weak if they make it through to the latter stages of the Champions League.

Jose Bosingwa, Paulo Ferreira, Yuri Zhirkov, Ramires, Yossi Benayoun and Saloman Kalou are the only real outfield players that Ancelotti can call on off the bench with experience at the highest level.

They have so far got by without Frank Lampard and Benayoun for a reasonably long period, but one or two more injuries could put added strain on their squad.

They do have the likes of young talents Josh McEachran, Gael Kakuta and Daniel Sturridge to turn to if a game seems won at half time or to start against weaker opposition, but it would be dangerous to throw them in at the deep end for a trip to the Nou Camp or Bernabeu.

Barcelona are the 5/2 favourites to win the Champions League. See the full Champions League winners betting odds market.

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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.