Chance for Blues to show mettle

LONDON - Chelsea's first Champions League match of the season against Rosenborg tonight is about more than picking up crucial points. It's a chance for the Blues to get their faltering season on track.

LONDON - Chelsea's first Champions League match of the season against Rosenborg tonight is about more than picking up crucial points. It's a chance for the Blues to get their faltering season on track.

Chelsea's slow start to the Premier League season has left them in fifth place after six games ahead of their match against the Norwegian champions.

With key players injured or out of form, Chelsea - the 2005 and 2006 English champions - have looked far less formidable than in recent years despite the off-season acquisition of top players including Florent Malouda and Claudio Pizarro.

The continued investment of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich means coach Jose Mourinho is under pressure to improve on his side's Champions League performances.

Chelsea have never won Europe's top team title and lost in the semifinals to Liverpool in two of the past three years.

"We're so desperate to win it," Chelsea captain John Terry said.

"We're born winners here and that's going to keep us going."

Chelsea will have to improve drastically on early season form if it's to be a contender.

The Blues lost 2-0 at Aston Villa and drew 0-0 against visiting Blackburn Rovers in their past two Premier League games, with Saturday's scoreless draw meaning they have hit just seven goals in six matches. - Sapa-AP

X