In a summer where most of the transfer activity has been departures the last thing Chelsea fans wanted was a lengthy injury list.
But, just as the Blues celebrated the long awaited return of Michael Essien, Ancelotti lost three of his best players in what turned out to be an eventful week.
Last Monday it was announced Petr Cech will miss the start of the season after tearing a calf muscle. Things got worse when Alex was ruled for a month with a muscle injury and to cap it all – star striker Didier Drogba will miss the big kick off after surgery on a groin problem. The Premier League odds still make the Blues favourites, but they will have to dig deep early on.
Alex’s absence could be covered by Carvalho and Terry, although the formers very public courting of Real Madrid isn’t exactly encouraging. Ivanovic is also adequate cover, so while the defenders absence is frustrating, it isn’t the end of the world.
Up front Nicolas Anelka will probably plough a lone furrow with support from the likes of Malouda, and Lampard. The Frenchman is used to playing on his own up top and while we will miss the presence and influence of Drogba, Anelka is more than competent.
However, it is in goal where there is the biggest concern and it could impact the side’s football betting odds.
Given Chelsea’s struggles during Cech’s absence last season the negative impact on the side following his latest injury should not be understated.
Big questions remain about Hilario’s capabilities, while Ross Turnbull’s horrendous gaffe in the recent friendly defeat to Ajax hardly inspires confidence.
But it looks like Chelsea will have to make do and to be honest I would be surprised if any decent stopper would want to make the move with Cech out for such a relatively short space of time.
Chelsea fans can only hope either Turnbull of Hilario up their game and cancel out the silly mistakes that we have seen of late.
The one positive is that if things do go wrong early the players have plenty of time to make up for it during the remainder of the season.