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On paper, Chelsea have been given a very easy group, as the Blues have been drawn with Sevilla, Krasnodar and Rennes in the UEFA Champions League Group E.
This is a much easier group compared to last season’s competition, when Chelsea had to face Ajax, Valencia and Lille.
However, club legend and performance advisor Petr Cech, has warned that Chelsea shouldn’t write off the teams in the group.
Cech said, according to the official Chelsea website: “I believe that we have to respect everybody in the group. On paper, given the history of our football club, we will obviously be favourites with Sevilla but at the same time, it’s a tricky position and you need to confirm it on the pitch.”
Speaking particularly on Krasnodar, Cech said about the Russian side: “They started this process some years ago and you can see that their ambition was to grow and to progress and to get into European football. When you look at the team, it’s a new team in the Champions League. It’s their first time in the Champions League group stage, but they are familiar with the European campaign from the Europa League and, as well, it’s a very experienced team, because if you look at the age of the players, there’s a balance.
“They have a very young goalkeeper and they have one young defender, but then you have players around 25 and a lot of players in their early 30s which gives you a lot of experience.”
Analysing his former club Rennes, Cech said of the French club: “It’s a special moment for me, because I spent two great years there as a player. I played there in Arsenal colours last year on the way to the Europa League final. We progressed, so it was a happy return, and now I’m going back there with Chelsea in a completely different position, not as a player anymore but it will be a great opportunity for me to go back there and be present at the unique event of playing in the Champions League, because it’s the first time in their club’s history and it’s been a long time coming.
“The club had always been ambitious and wanted to close the gap between the top teams, like Paris and Lyon before, in the hierarchy of teams in France. They’ve finally achieved that, and I’m sure they’re looking forward to it, and they play us, a great European team with a lot of history, success and tradition.
“Then they have Sevilla they have to be happy with the draw, and we recently bought Edouard [Mendy] from them so we were in touch and in contact in a completely different way when you buy players, but now let’s see. I’m looking forward to it and it’ll be a great experience.”