Chelsea held back in the group stages at times; they did not play attacking football due to the fear of being caught out at the opposite end. The Europa League is a treat for all who enjoy attacking football. To adjust to the style of the Europa League, one must play attacking football. Not all Europa League games are open; however, since most of the games are open though, Chelsea would benefit from playing free-flowing football.
Oscar starred for Chelsea in the Champions league group stages. He was a bright light for Chelsea in an otherwise gloomy campaign. Oscar’s game is perfectly suited to the open play in the Europa League. Rafa Benitez would be well served to play the Brazilian in the Europa League on a regular basis.
Away trips in the Europa League are sometimes more difficult than those in the Champions League as lesser known teams from lesser known leagues are part of the competition. Tough away trips to Russia and Ukraine for example have to be handled with care all the time due to the poor weather conditions in those nations. Chelsea’s first away trip is to the Czech Republic. The English side needs to handle this away leg with care.
The Europa League is less glamorous than the Champions League. However, this competition is special. In previous years, the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United have not played their best in the competition. Italian teams, such as Lazio, have been guilty of disrespecting the Europa League too. Chelsea must embrace the competition if they want to win it.
Champions League caliber sides are hidden in every corner of the Europa League. Chelsea must not underestimate the opposition. Teams such as Benfica and Bayer Leverkusen, two teams which qualified from the Champions League group stages last season, are present in the Europa League. Other giants include the likes of Lyon and Tottenham. Hence, the side from London should respect each and every team presented to them in the Europa League.
Finally, what do you think Chelsea needs to do to win the Europa League?