As the Blues head off for Japan to play in this year’s FIFA Club World Cup, I take a look into our chances (which have us as favorites). Undoubtedly, we are the favorites to take the trophy and bring it home. Our toughest opponent we could face is Corinthians, who also have a direct spot in the semi-final. Their coach, Tite, is the Brazilian League’s longest reigning coach and led them to Copa Libertadores success with the 4-2-4-0 formation. With 2 clubs already eliminated in the Quarter-Final stage, we have our first match against Monterrey, who are the strongest club the CONCACAF has ever sent to the competition. Last year, Monterrey were in the competition and fell out in the first round.
Reasons for why we’ll win :
1. Recent form and defensive stability.
2. Easier opposition than CL
3. Rafa Benitez and Fernando Torres
4. Strongest side there
1. Recent form and defensive stability : Our recent wins v Nordsjaelland and Sunderland have shown what Benitez can do. His changes to RDM’s system have started to show and prevail and it’s come just in time for the CWC. The win v Sunderland was one best performances since our downfall in the League began. The 3-1 victory was a sublime team effort, just like Nordsjaelland, and has shown that everyone in the team in sure of their role and how to perform it. Cech has been absolutely brilliant lately, a saved PK v Nordsjaelland and 2 goals conceding in our last 2 matches, a fantastic Johnson effort the only thing that kept him away from a masterful and well-deserved cleansheet. The Back Four has also done well under Benitez with a few great defensive performances bar the West Ham match, but they no longer are far away from one another and are communicating well. Rafa just might be the man who gets Cahill-Luiz working well. Cole and Ivanovic have also been tough to beat on the sides and certainly have pushed forward offensively more intelligently under Rafa.
2. Easier opposition than CL : No clubs in this competition are as strong as Shakthar, Juventus, United, City, etc. They just don’t have the squad depth and quality that’s present in our side and the rest of Europe’s elite. These clubs can be compared to the level of Nordsjaelland, Cluj and Galatasaray. These sides are all quality and the best in their region and leagues. Their version of the Champions League is a somewhat decent comparison to The Europa League. Monterrey have key players in Delgado and Suazo, but don’t have their current form and quality all around the pitch. Corinthians are somewhat similar to them with a slightly better deeper squad, but nothing as deep as ours or most clubs in the CL.
3. Rafa Benitez and Fernando Torres : Rafa Benitez and Fernando Torres have a lot going for them and their confidence is definitely the highest this season. Benitez secured his first wins as Chelsea manager in the UCL and EPL. His main striker has scored 4 goals in those games and certainly has his mind set straight with Rafa. Benitez loves this style of tournaments and certainly prospers with them (Liverpool CWC 2005). He loves playing this way, and the pressure is small because he won’t be awaited with “One Di Matteo” chants and boos cascading throughout the stadium when he walks out. He has promised trophies, and this is definitely one he is going to win and win big. Torres has his confidence at a high level with his recent form and Rafa/Mata clicking with him as well. This gives Fernando something he was missing with other managers, an emotional and close connection with them. Di Matteo was close, due to his pushing and forcing Torres to show his old self to the world. However, Rafa has Torres clicking like no one else and the recent appointment of the new fitness coach, who has known Torres since his days at Atletico Madrid’s youth academy has him excited, as well.
4. Strongest side in Japan : Like I mentioned earlier, we have the best squad in terms of quality and depth. No one can contend with us there and in terms of form, we’re pretty-well set in that category as well. We’re perfectly capable of making it all happen, and it will. Our squad available for Japan is as follows :
1 Petr CECH
22 Ross TURNBULL
2 Branislav IVANOVIC
3 Ashley COLE
4 DAVID LUIZ
19 Paulo FERREIRA
24 Gary CAHILL
26 John TERRY (OUT WITH INJURY)
28 Cesar AZPILICUETA
34 Ryan BERTRAND
6 Oriol ROMEU (OUT WITH INJURY)
8 Frank LAMPARD
12 John MIKEL Obi
17 Eden HAZARD
21 Marko MARIN
35 Lucas PIAZON
9 Fernando TORRES
10 Juan MATA
13 Victor MOSES
23 Daniel STURRIDGE
If this side isn’t going to win the CWC, I don’t know what side will.
I predict a 4-0 win in the semi-final and a 3-0 win in the final. Do you think we’ll win, as well? If not, why? If yes, what scoreline are you predicting?
Please rate our blog at http://shed.chelseafc.com/theshed/shed_fanblogs.shtml. We’re known as “Chelsea FC 360-Pride|1