Chelsea's Ramires (sitting) celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London May 8, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE )
Chelsea faces a huge challenge on Wednesday when it takes on Benfica in the Europa League Championship. However, there are many reasons to believe that this team can pull off the victory. Here is why Chelsea will win.
Champions League Win
A year ago, Chelsea pulled up the unthinkable when it took down Barcelona in the semifinals and won the Champions league against Bayern Munich. This is not the same team that won a year ago, but this Chelsea side has the experience from last season's win and the knowledge that it can pull off the feat once more.
Chelsea has had a trying season. After jumping out to a lead in the premier league, the team went seven matches without a win. In that span, the Blues also saw their hopes of defending the Champions league title go to waste. Coach Roberto Di Matteo lost his job and was promptly replaced by Rafa Benitez. The latter manager has instilled confidence in the new squad and has led them to a top four finish in the Premier league. Chelsea has lost just four times in 18 premier league games since January and has not lost in its last seven games of English competition. This team has the confidence knowing that a victory in the Europa League would provide relief in a tough year.
They Have Beaten Benfica Before
Chelsea took down Benfica a year ago on the way to its Champions league final. The Portuguese side is heading to its first European final in 23 years, so experience is clearly a factor in this matchup.
The Europa League final takes place on May 15.