When former PSG coach Thomas Tuchel replaced Chelsea legend Frank Lampard in January, he arrived at Stamford Bridge safe in the knowledge that his predecessor had safely navigated the Blues through the group stage and into the Round of 16.
Chelsea have been in excellent form since Tuchel’s arrival and remain unbeaten, and this week completed a very good 3-0 aggregate win over La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid to qualify for the last eight of the Champions League.
Chelsea won the Champions League for the first time back in 2012 under Roberto Di Matteo. Can Thomas Tuchel lead them to their second this season? NZ casino games think he can.
However, as much as Tuchel’s men are in good form and full of confidence, there are still some very good teams left in the competition, some of whom have far more Champions League experience than Tuchel’s young charges.
Tuchel’s former club PSG have been in good form under his replacement Mauricio Pochettino, and they will be buoyed by the way they swept aside Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona side as they look to secure their first ever Champions League title.
And it’s not just PSG who are looking to secure a first Champions League title. Pep Guardiola is looking to deliver a first for Manchester City. Their form this season has been imperious, and with the Premier League title all but confirmed, they will be focusing their efforts on the Champions League. They breezed past Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Round of 16, and right now, not many would bet against them despite their lack of Champions League pedigree.
Real Madrid are the most successful club in the competition’s history, having won it a record thirteen times. And three of those triumphs have come in recent times under Zinedine Zidane, and despite their inconsistent form at times this season, they too have reached the last eight of this season’s competition, confidently and comfortably dumping Atalanta out in the last round. Given their undoubted pedigree, they will also be confident of progressing further.
Most people’s favourites though will be reigning champions Bayern Munich who comfortably swept aside Lazio in the last round, and have progressed this far without getting out of first gear. With the outstanding Robert Lewandowski among the goals as usual, Bayern will be confident of reaching a second successive final.
And although Liverpool, Porto and Borussia Dortmund are perhaps the least fancied sides of those left in the competition, it would be dangerous to write any of them off.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic is hungry for more Champions League glory, and in Tuchel – who led PSG to last season’s final – he saw a man who he believed could help him achieve it. Chelsea have been in fine form since his arrival; if this continues, they will have a real chance.