In their last three matches, Chelsea has lost twice and required a 116th minute winner to progress through to the Carling Cup quarterfinals. Their losses to Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal were, to say the least, disheartening for fans. On Tuesday, they get a chance to redeem themselves against Racing Genk.
Following their numerous errors against Arsenal, Chelsea's defense has come under serious scrutiny, both in their basic strategy and in the performances of the individual players along the back line. Jose Bosingwa, in particular, has been unbelievably poor over his last two matches and doesn't appear to have much business playing for a team with ambitions as high as Chelsea's. John Terry has also struggled, while Ashley Cole no longer looks like the best left back in the world.
There is hope for a resurgence for the Blues, thanks to the similar woes of their opponent. When Racing Genk came to Stamford Bridge on the last matchday of the UEFA Champions League, their makeshift defense - shoddily constructed due to injuries - was decimated by Chelsea in an easy 5-0 victory. Over the weekend, that same Genk team allowed four goals to Club Brugge in a dramatic 5-4 win. It was exciting, especially given the fact that Brugge are a very good team, but it isn't encouraging ahead of a match against Chelsea.
Andre Villas-Boas will likely make some changes to his side after they struggled so much at the back against Arsenal. Expect David Luiz and Raul Meireles to come into the side, perhaps for Bosingwa and John Obi Mikel, with Branislav Ivanovic moving to right back.
The spotlight will, like the first matchup between these two teams, shine on Genk winger/forward Kevin de Bruyne. He's been linked to a transfer to Chelsea for quite some time and didn't bring his best at his first audition. While he showed off his fantastic skills as a crosser of the ball, he wasn't able to create much in the way of clear-cut scoring opportunities for himself or others. He scored a hat-trick in that aforementioned slugfest with Brugge, so his form couldn't be any better at the moment.
Chelsea should be able to bag another three points on the road to Genk on Tuesday, but between de Bruyne's form and the way Chelsea has performed lately, some other result doesn't seem completely out of the question.
Genk vs. Chelsea kicks off at 3:45 pm ET, 7:45 pm GMT and 8:45 pm local time. We'll have live coverage of this match and other Champions League action in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday, Matchday 4 StoryStream. For more on the Blues, check out Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History. For more on the entire world of football, check out SB Nation Soccer.