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Are Chelsea strong enough to win 2014-15 Champions League?

José Mourinho said earlier this week that his new look Chelsea side are ready to compete for both the Premier League and UEFA Champions League in 2014-15.

His side finished third in the league last season, four points behind champions Manchester City, and were eliminated in the semi-finals of Europe's elite club competition, by Spanish La Liga champions Atlético Madrid.

Chelsea are currently 11.5 fourth favourites to win the Champions League with Betfair. A price you would expect to go down provided they make a good start in the Premier League. And further down if, or as we presume, once they make it out of the group stage in Europe.

This summer has seen a number of players come and go from Stamford Bridge already, still with time for Mourinho to add to his squad before the season starts.

Chelsea have spent nearly £75,000,000 on three new signings this summer - all from the top two clubs in Spain last season.

The most expensive of those being Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa from Atlético Madrid. Question marks have been raised in some corners after a poor World Cup that saw the 25-year old failed to hit the target once in his 126 minutes of action in his country of birth.

Costa is also coming off his first prolific season as a striker. A very impressive 27 goals in 35 La Liga matches helped fire Atlético Madrid to a surprise tenth league title. He also scored eight in nine Champions League matches. Continue that form at Stamford Bridge and Fernando Torres will soon be forgotten.

Chelsea stole a march on Arsenal at the start of this summer's World Cup when they signed their former captain Cesc Fàbregas from Barcelona. Apparently Arsène Wenger felt there was no room in his squad for the Spanish playmaker.

The Blues already have a number of creative midfielders in their team - Eden Hazard, Oscar an Willian. Add Fàbregas to that list and their striker will have no excuses for not putting the ball into the back of the net regularly.

Mourinho's side already had the best defence in the Premier League last season before he went out and purchased Filipe Luís. The Brazilian left-back is very much defence first compared to a number of fellow countrymen in that position.

Luís will be considered an upgrade on César Azpilicueta who is naturally a right-sided defender.

New faces also at Stamford Bridge this summer are goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defenders Kurt Zouma and Ryan Bertrand, midfielders Oriol Romeu, Josh McEachran, Victor Moses and Marko Marin, and striker Romelu Lukaku - all returning from loan spells last season.

Don't be surprised if any or many of these are loaned out or sold this summer though. However, in goalkeeper Courtois they already have one of the best in the world and he is more than ready to compete with Petr ?ech for that number one spot this season.

Kurt Zouma is highly-rated in France where he was signed and loaned back to Saint-Étienne in January. The 19-year old centre-back is potentially David Luiz's replacement as backup to John Terry and Gary Cahill with Tomáš Kalas being sent out on loan.

In midfield it's hard to see where any of loan returns will fit into the Chelsea team. One player who may break into the team this season though is Marco van Ginkel who was injured for the majority of last season. Potential to play alongside Nemanja Mati? in front of that back four.

Chelsea don't have too many strikers left on their books with the release of Samuel Eto'o and the sale of Demba Ba. Diego Costa looks set to be the starter with Fernando Torres still with the team. World Cup winner André Schürrle can also play up top if required. With these players around, Lukaku has strongly been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer.

Is this team ready to compete with Europe's elite? Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich all continue to look immense. But with Mourinho in charge, Chelsea certainly should not be overlooked…






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