This coming week could be a pivotal week for Chelsea Football Club, not because of the game against Werder Bremen looming tomorrow night in the Champions League - qualification is almost assured despite whatever happens in Germany then Levski follow at home, its all about what happens after and between now and next Wednesday night at about 10pm.
The game of the season takes place at Old Trafford on Sunday when the Champions take on the League leaders and then three days after, the Champions are away to Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok.
What is more important to you? As I said Champions League qualification is assured and all of the squad must leave Germany unscathed to ready themselves for the match on Sunday.
For me it is an exciting time rather than a time to dread. All that I wish result wise is not to lose at Old Trafford and not to lose at the Reebok either. Chelsea must remain on the coat-tails of Man Ure for as long as possible and like the last two season's where Arsenal, Man Ure were waiting for Chelsea to slip up (which Chelsea didn't) we must help ourselves at Old Trafford to help Man Ure slip up. And at Old Trafford we have a League record to be proud of, despite losing there 1-0 last season.
Firstly though is the tough encounter against the Germans to take care of. Barcelona struggled when they played they earlier in the group stages and got a away with a 1-1 draw after a Messi last-gasp equaliser. If Chelsea equal or better that result then Chelsea finish as group winners - an achievement in itself.
The squad left Cobham at 8.30am this morning. There was no Lampard (suspended), no Carvalho (injured), no Kalou (injured) and no Wayne Bridge (due to become a Dad).
Ballack travelled along with new goalkeeper Magnus Hedman (who was outstanding for the Reserves on Monday night). Although Hedman travelled he is ineligible for the Champions League until January. Nuno Morais and Diarra who both played for the Reserves on Monday also made the plane.
In full, the squad that travelled:
Cudicini, Hilario, Hedman, Geremi, Ferreira, Terry, Boulharouz, A Cole, Morais, Essien, Makelele, Diarra, Ballack, Mikel, Shevchenko, Wright-Phillips, Robben, Drogba and J Cole.
There has been a lot of talk amongst Chelsea fans on what type on team Jose will field and will Jose go to Bremen 'to win?' Judging on the look of the squad that has travelled Jose can't do much else than send out his strongest line-up and see what happens.