SAFE BET

Inside Sport - - ON THE PUNT -

Love or hate him, it can’t be de­nied that Jose Mour­inho knows what he’s do­ing. His first sea­son back at Stam­ford Bridge was tran­si­tional, mov­ing on and mov­ing out the ex­pen­sive tal­ent he had (Mata, Luiz, Lam­pard, Cole) for the ex­pen­sive tal­ent he ac­tu­ally wanted. Chelsea now looks more like the ar­che­typal Mour­inho team: ro­bust, flinty and built for the long haul. A ma­jor el­e­ment of the plan was re­assem­bling Atletico Madrid out at Stam­ford Bridge: striker Diego Costa, goalie Thibaut Cour­tois and full­back Filipe Luis were key play­ers on what was per­haps the best team in Europe last sea­son, and Mou added another dash of Spain in bring­ing Cesc Fabre­gas back to Eng­land. Chelsea’s mid­field is be­yond loaded, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the con­tin­ued emer­gence of the likes of An­dre Schur­rle (above leˆ), who was su­perb in Ger­many’s World Cup-win­ning cam­paign.

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