Can Chelsea sweep all before them this season?
Chelsea midfield leader Nemanja Matic has weighed in on discussions about his side’s 2014/15 trophy hopes.
The Blues are in the reckoning for what would be English football’s first ever quadruple, and are 66/1 with Coral to win the lot, as they fight on four fronts for the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup trophies.
When speaking about Chelsea’s chances for a quartet of triumphs, Serbia international Matic said “I think it’s possible. We have a chance.”
“I don’t want to say that we’re going to but we’re going to try. We have quality. I am confident, I believe in my team, my team-mates, so everything is possible” added the 26-year-old.
It’s fitting that Matic, who has been majestic for the Blues boys since his switch last January, should be the one to discuss a quadruple.
Having once spent a portion of his early career with Chelsea, the Londoners had to fork out £21m to bring the talented anchorman back to the Bridge, but he has been worth every penny.
Worth his weight in gold, Matic seems to fit the mould of Jose Mourinho’s ideal midfielder. Tall, strong, fierce, aggressive and hard-working but also technically gifted.
The current league leaders stumbled in the absence of the Serbian away at Newcastle United, with his suspension highlighting just how vital he is to the team’s solidity and cohesion.
It is no coincidence that Mourinho’s men are back on form following his return, with Matic, arguably the Blues’ most important player from a team perspective, providing more than just a midfield shield.
‘The Special One’ may have moved to dispel talk of a clean swep, but his squad’s confidence in considering it is a fine sign.
If Chelsea can keep their strong spine of Matic, Thibaut Courtois, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa fit, then the immediate future is very bright indeed.
Their first chance of silverware success is the Capital One Cup, a competition Mourinho illustrated he takes seriously by starting a strong XI against Championship side Derby County in the recent quarter-final victory.
The Blues now await an exciting grudge match in the semis with Liverpool. Chelsea proved they can better Brendan Rodgers’ Reds earlier this campaign, and famously derailed their title challenge last term, and are odds-on at 5/6 to lift the trophy.
The silverware Mourinho seized in his first stint at Stamford Bridge was the FA Cup, a competition the Londoners have an excellent record in, so Chelsea are great value at 11/1 to win a terrific treble of domestic trophies. Currently steaming ahead in the Premier League race, three points clear of rivals Manchester City and unbeaten at home, the brilliant Blues look to be just warming up.
If there was an obvious chink in their armour last term, it was the lack of a prolific striker. With Costa and Loic Remy snatched in the summer, and Didier Drogba returning to the fold, that firepower seems to have made all the difference.
In the Champions League last 16, meanwhile, Mourinho’s men will enjoy a rematch with PSG, who they downed on away goals last season.
The Blues boss’ undoing in Europe last term was his side’s inability to break down Atletico Madrid but, with Eden Hazard flying-high and Fabregas in top form, Chelsea, 7/1 to be continental champions, should be a match for any team.