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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Time for Chelsea to Win Trophies

LONDON -- Chelsea's Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, has splashed out $120 million on new players. Now he wants to see some results for his money.

Armed with seven new players, the Blues go to Slovakia on Wednesday for a Champions League qualifying round game against MSK Zilina. Four days later, Chelsea meets Liverpool in the opening fixtures of the Premier League.

Anything other than a victory at Zilina in Wednesday's first leg will be viewed as failure for a team that has added the likes of Juan Sebastian Veron, Damien Duff, Geremi, Wayne Bridge, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson and goalkeeper Marco Ambrosio to a squad already loaded with talented players.

Among those already at Stamford Bridge is veteran French defender Marcel Desailly, who won the title with AC Milan in 1994 and signed a contract extension to stay with Chelsea until 2005.

"It has been too long since I took part in the Champions League," said Desailly, who turns 35 next month. "Now there is a lot of pressure on the squad and results are wanted straight away. But it will take time to get the squad together.

"All I know though is that we have the quality and the opportunity to do some great things. In the medium term, we will have results."

Romanian striker Adrian Mutu is also on the brink of joining the club from Italian club Parma, but it will be too late to play on Wednesday in the 6,311-seat Pod Dubnom stadium.

Because of the low capacity, MSK officials have arranged to have a big TV screen outside so that more fans can watch the game.

Chelsea edged Liverpool for the fourth Champions League spot last season, and its fans won't want any slip-ups at the first hurdle. The second legs are in two weeks, when Zilina travels to Stamford Bridge.

Lazio hosts Benfica in the eye-catching matchup of the round in front of 60,000 fans, and coach Roberto Mancini says he intends to field an attacking lineup at Rome's Olympic stadium.

Bernardo Corradi and Simone Inzaghi are expected to start with Claudio Lopez in support.

"We can't afford missing qualification to the next round of the competition," Inzaghi said. "This is the priority of our season. We are in good physical condition and confident of doing well. Benfica is a dangerous opponent with a great past."

Benfica, which won the title twice in the 1960s and is a five-time runner up, is looking for long overdue success in Europe's premier competition. Now guided by former Spanish national team coach Jose Antonio Camacho, the team gained a spot as runner-up to Porto.

But the club's cash has dried up due to poor financial management and a lack of success on the pitch.

In its last two appearances in the competition, it was thrashed 7-0 by Celta Vigo in 1999-2000 and was knocked out by Swedish minnow Halmstads the following season.

A new 65,000-seat Stadium of Light, which will host the final and other games in next year's European championships, has also drained resources and left little cash for team improvements. Camacho has despaired at his lack of spending money, which kept Benfica out of the summer transfer market.

Scottish champion Rangers hosts FC Copenhagen, while Celtic, which lost the title on goal difference to its big rival, visits MTK Budapest.

Bobby Robson's Newcastle has a tricky visit to Partizan Belgrade, and Olympique Marseille visits FK Vienna.

Former German World Cup star Lothar Matth?us, now in charge of Partizan, said his players must pay special attention to veteran Magpies striker Alan Shearer, the 33-year-old former England captain who scored 25 goals last season.

"He is still an extra class," Matth?us said. "Everyone knows how he plays."