After the misery of Moscow and a season best remembered for the departure of Jose Mourinho and John Terry's tears, Chelsea have chosen to come out fighting as Roman Abramovich continues his crusade to make his club the best in Europe.
This may yet be problematic considering the other egos at the heart of the Chelsea midfield. Ballack and Lampard, the latter seeming likely to remain at the club at least for the 2008/9 season, have never gelled, each playing better football when the other is unavailable. Both are keen to be recognised as the key man. Throwing another man of similar expectations may be the first problem that Scolari has to solve. Few would doubt he will plan to do it his way.The retention of Ricardo Carvalho in central defence is another boon to Chelsea. The Portuguese defender was the Blues' best backline performer last term and seemed to have all but reunited with Mourinho at Inter Milan. The one man who could persuade Carvalho otherwise was Scolari and he seems set to resume his partnership with John Terry. With the addition of Jose Bosingwa as yet another right-back, Scolari can call on three of the four defenders he used at Euro 2008. He will hope they can deal with the crossed ball far better than they did during Portugal's exit at the hands of Germany. That said, Paulo Ferreira will not play left-back with Ashley Cole fit and Wayne Bridge remaining at the club after signing a new contract. The loss of Makelele may see Essien restored to midfield, rather than at full-back, though perhaps in a more defensive role than he would prefer. John Obi Mikel's development as the Makelele replacement will need to accelerate too.