Much improved Chelsea could be Champions League dark horses

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea look much improved under Thomas Tuchel and offer potential value for those looking to bet on the Premier League and Champions League.

The new Blues boss has presided over a turnaround of fortunes after inheriting a team that had previously lost five of eight games and slipped down to mid-table. 

That means the odds on Chelsea securing a top-four finish have narrowed – as can be seen by the information on websites such as

The scramble for that top-four place is as competitive as it has ever been, with even defending champions Liverpool sweating over whether they will be able to finish in those spots.

Several clubs will feel they’re in with a realistic chance, but such is Chelsea’s improvement under Tuchel they have to be regarded as one of the favourites to secure a place in next season’s premier European competition.

But the real value could come in backing Chelsea to win this season’s Champions League.

Long odds are currently on offer on them doing so – and they face a tough task against Atletico Madrid in the next round.

However, Tuchel has extensive top-level experience and no-one should rule out a resurgent Chelsea regaining the trophy they famously won in 2012. 

Solid in defence

To compete with the very best, you need a great defence. And the transformation Tuchel has brought about in this area means Chelsea are a very different proposition now.

Although things had improved under ex-boss Frank Lampard this season, Chelsea still looked vulnerable at the back – and the likes of Atletico would surely have feasted on that.

But these days the Blues are much more solid. Tuchel has settled on a back three, recalling Antonio Rudiger and even Marcos Alonso, who was frozen out by Lampard, and the effect has been dramatic.

A run of clean sheets early in Tuchel’s reign was exactly what the German would have wanted – and it suggests Chelsea are capable of going up against the very best teams out there. 

Attacking threat

At the other end of the pitch, Chelsea also look like a force to be reckoned with.

Timo Werner has continued to struggle in front of goal but his all-round performances have been encouraging – and have justified Tuchel’s confidence that his fellow German will eventually find the net on a regular basis.

Tammy Abraham has impressed in recent weeks and the experienced Olivier Giroud remains a great option to call upon up front. Plus Callum Hudson-Odoi has been a revelation at wing-back. 

If the likes of Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech can find some form following their fitness issues, Chelsea really will be firing on all cylinders during the remainder of the season and are well worth backing for European glory.