Friday, March 16, 2007

The Road To Athens - QF Preview Part 4


Chelsea has been a dominating club ever since the Russian Revolution where endless flowing of money kept attracting the big stars to the extent that their B-team is just as strong as many premiership clubs' own A-team.

Chelsea's successful has somewhat hit a damper as they find themselves in an unfamiliar 2nd spot behind ManUtd. Chelsea is 3rd on the Win Percentage, coming in at 68.97%. A slight improvement on the numbers after catching up on their game in hand with a slender victory over ManCity. While Goal Ratio of 1.76 (4th) may not be as good as ManUtd's, Chelsea's Leaking Ration is a respectable 0.66 (joint 2nd with ManUtd).

Despite all the fire power in the club, Mourinho is struggling on a few counts. Misfiring stars like Shevchenko and Ballack makes it hard for the manager to justify his spending. Just as bad are the stars that were bought but never use as a result of overcrowding. John Terry is also causing a minor scare for his dragging of feet with regards to signing a new contract. Heck, even Mourihno's own future is suspect when it is known that the gaffer is fast losing favour in the eyes of Abramovich.

Still, with a excellent form of 10 consecutive unbeaten games, it is hard not to see Chelsea cruise by this round with relative ease.

JayWalk's Seeding: 1st


Earlier I said that the Italians are having a horrid season in the ECL, the Spaniards are worse with big guns like Real Madrid and Barcelona facing a shock early exit from the tournament. Instead, we have dark horse Valencia occupying 1 of the 8 places in this next round.

Valencia weighs in with unimpressive numbers with a Win Percentage of 53.85% (6th) and Goal Ratio of 1.42 (7th) and Leaking Ratio of 0.92 (7th). However, in their defence, the Spanish Liga this season has been a very tight one for there is no one team that totally dominated the division like Inter Milan or Glagow Celtic or the ManUtd-Chelsea duo.

As for recent forms, Valencia is pretty average with a 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. However,one point to note is that they have not won their last 4 away games. Certainly a piece of important intelligence heading back to Stamford Bridge.

JayWalk's Seeding: 7th

JayWalk Thoughts - Chelsea vs Valencia?

I think Valencia will not stand a change against the onslaught of Chelsea. Chelsea will be kicking off this round as the home team in the first leg and it could all be over within that 90 minutes, given Valencia's relatively poor away form. I foresee Chelsea going in for the kill early and whack them a few more goals in order to comfortably cruise through the 2nd leg.

Part and parcel of building up towards the end of the season as the Blues are still in the running for the FA Cup as well as the EPL league title. There are still 9 games to go in the EPL and with the recent shaving of points gap from ManUtd's 9 to 6, I would be surprised if Chelsea aims for 15 Apr 2007, when the ManUtd and a win there may just decide the eventual league winner.

Coming back, it is a case of David vs Goliath in a clean room. No rock there for David to deliver that fatal blow. Valencia to be crushed.


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