Guardiola talks up Chelsea's Champions League threat

Lampard And Terry

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has pointed to what he believes is Chelsea’s biggest threat as the Blues head into the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Chelsea have been drawn with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals whilst Bayern Munich face Real Madrid and the Spanish coach knows both the Blues opponents and the Bavarians’ all too well from his four years as manager of Barcelona.

Another thing he might remember from that period is Jose Mourinho with whom he faced in El Clasico battles during the former Real Madrid manager’s reign at the Bernabeu. However, Guardiola noted what he believes the Chelsea squad and manager share in common as their threat in the competition – experience.

"Chelsea have a manager with a lot of experience," the Bayern coach said.

"They are an English team with many qualities and experienced players like Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry and Frank Lampard."

Guardiola is not short of top-level experience either – he won the Champions League twice as manager of Barcelona before moving on to take charge of the current European champions but is he right that Chelsea’s experience in the competition and the seniority of their key players their greatest asset for the road ahead?

Mourinho’s experience, having also won the competition twice with two different clubs in FC Porto and Inter Milan certainly bodes well for the Blues’ chances and the likes of Petr Cech captain John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Samuel Eto’o are all over the age of 30 as well as Fernando Torres.

Of the team that won the Champions League title in 2011/12 at the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich in the final for which Terry was suspended, seven of the staring XI and two of the seven players on the bench are still at the club.

Didier Drogba, Juan Mata, Jose Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou are the notable absentees who have since departed from Stamford Bridge but the spine of the team remains much the same – in fact, what has been added since in even more quality in the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Nemanja Matic, Andre Schurrle Cesar Azpilicueta, and Mohamed Salah and all of those players are currently under the age of 25.

I would argue that Chelsea’s young players and fresh talent that has come to the Bridge since the European title win are just as dangerous, if not more so to the likes of Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich as the experience of their veterans in key positions – in fact it is likely to two combined that will make Chelsea a force to be reckoned with in the tie, especially under the leadership of Jose Mourinho.

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