LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 18: Luis Antonio Valencia of Manchester United tackles Nemanja Matic of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on April 18, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

It is astonishing to think that Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has been in charge for less than a year now. Since his appointment, he has captured the hearts and imagination of Blues fans, winning the Champions League and Super Cup within his first nine months at Stamford Bridge

Despite winning the showpiece event with a reduced capacity crowd at the start of June in Portugal, Chelsea’s second European Cup will taste all the sweeter knowing they pipped English rivals Manchester City to the crown despite looking less favorable in the Champions League odds. 

After an amazing summer of celebration, Tuchel has called on his financial war chest to recruit a new center forward in Romeu Lukaku and the future certainly looks bright at the bridge. However, the side can’t get complacent and with a tough group stage ahead of them they will need to remain consistent to capture consecutive European Cups. Read on, as we analyze what Chelsea need to do to retain their status as European Champions.

Maximum home points

With some countries still feeling the effects of limitations inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, England will be one of the nations in which home supporters can pack out stadia to its full capacity and this gives Chelsea a massive advantage in the Champions League betting tips, should the Stamford Bridge faithful turn up in full voice. Facing a tough group which includes Juventus, Zenit and Malmö, the Blues will do well to optimize the home crowd and win as many games as possible in an attempt to wrap up the group stages before their final matchday. The last thing Tuchel will want is having to field a full-strength side rather than rotate as his side approach their hectic Christmas schedule. 

Tactical flexibility 

One of Tuchel’s biggest strengths is his ability to win the proverbial chess match of football tactics in order to crack the big games. Although on paper, City boasted a superior side to Chelsea, many believe their manager Pep Guardiola overthought the occasion, choosing to not deploy a conventional holding midfielder for the first time in 60 games, and it ended up costing his team dearly. The Blues have the strength in depth and versatility to play three at the back as well as a 4-3-3 depending on the opposition and this kind of rigidity defensively, combined with their firepower up top, will stand them in good stead to compete on all fronts domestically and embark on a European run in the hopes of defending their title. 

Game management 

A big factor in Chelsea’s success last season was their ability to see out the big games from winning positions. Everyone knows how difficult of an environment it can be coming up against the likes of Atlético Madrid with their dark arts, or trying to sustain a lead against City when they apply insurmountable pressure. 

The performances of individuals like Reece James and N’Golo Kanté need to be replicated this season if Chelsea are indeed going to progress into the later stages of the competition — with the inclusion of Romelu Lukaku adding a significant number of goals when opportunities looked bereft at times last season. If Tuchel’s side can continue to win games despite the odds, and get favorable draws as the tournament progresses, we could see a third Champions League trophy on the Stamford Bridge mantlepiece sooner than expected.