This won't come as a major shock to anyone following the draw, but according to Infostrada's Euro Club Index (ECI), Chelsea have the easiest route to the knockout rounds of any club. The ECI rates clubs on a points system based on their domestic and European results, adjusting for the relative strength of each league, and gives more points to stronger teams. Chelsea, for example, are currently considered the 6th best side in Europe, on 3489 points.
According to Infostrada, their average opponent in the Champions League draw has 2747 points, which is just about the easiest draw it was possible to get. No team, in fact, has it any easier. It was also a very lucky draw, which CHelsea coming very close to minimising the strength of their opponents from Pots 2, 3 and 4 in landing Schalke, Basel and Steaua Bucharest.
This isn't a guarantee of victory by any means -- as new signing Samuel Eto'o says, "It doesn't matter what teams you are drawn against, big or small, you have to give them the correct level of respect to achieve the right results." But it does make life a little easier. Unlike last year, there'll be no excuses for failing to make the knockout rounds.