The question is, can Chelsea take that next step and achieve their ultimate ambition: Premier League title success at the end of the season? In this article, we’ll take a look and assess their chances.
Current Chelsea squad
- Petr Cech
- Thibaut Courtois
- Mark Schwarzer
- Branislav Ivanovic
- Luis Filipe
- Kurt Zouma
- Nathan Ake
- Gary Cahill
- John Terry
- Cesar Azpilicueta
- Andreas Christensen
- Cesc Fabregas
- Eden Hazard
- John Obi Mikel
- Marco van Ginkel
- Mohamed Salah
- Nemanja Matic
- Fernando Torres
- Didier Drogba
- Andre Schurrle
- Diego Costa
The first thing to note about this squad is simply its astonishing depth. There are three outstanding keepers at the club (plus a talented fourth in Jamal Blackman coming through the ranks) although it has been mooted that Petr Cech could be leaving after losing his place as first choice to the young Belgian ace Courtois.
In midfield, Chelsea are blessed with an abundance of talent with an immense array of talent at their disposal and the same can be said in attack where new star striker Diego Costa will be ably supported by Andre Schurrle and Didier Drogba, with rumours persisting that Fernando Torres may be on his way out of the club. If Chelsea do have a weakness, it could be defensively.
With Ashley Cole gone, Kalas and Bertrand out on loan, much will be expected of five key defenders Azpilicueta, Luis, Ivanovic, Terry and Cahill. While injury to one would not be too problematic given Ivanovic and Azpilicueta’s versatility, if a couple of them are out, then Chelsea could be significantly weakened defensively.
What is undeniable is that alongside Manchester City, this is without doubt one of the two strongest squads of players in the Premier League.
£30m from Barcelona represents arguably the best value deal of the summer for Jose Mourinho as they snap up arguably one the three best creative midfielders in world football. The ex-Arsenal man has the craft and vision to supply the ammunition that perhaps was lacking from central midfield areas over the last few years and Fabregas is always likely to weigh in with a fair few goals too.
He is an inspired signing and a perfect fit at Chelsea, offering the perfect replacement for the now-departed Frank Lampard.
Costa didn’t make much headway initially in La Liga, but when he was snapped up by Atletico Madrid, he developed into a player of World Class ability. That was shown last season where Costa’s goals led Atletico to La Liga success and a Champions League final place.
With Fernando Torres ignominious time at Chelsea seemingly coming to a close and Andre Schurrle more used as an impact player, Costa will be challenged with leading the line and scoring the goals to fire Chelsea to success, just as he did with Atletico last season.
Certainly one of the most skilled and creative players to grace the Premier League, the prospect of Hazard working his magic in wide areas feeding Costa and receiving balls from Fabregas is the stuff of Chelsea fans dreams. The Belgian enjoyed a superb first season in the Premier League last season but his form did tail off and he did have one or two spats with his current manager.
Now though, these issues seem settled and Hazard could be set for a stellar campaign, which is bad news for Premier League defenders.
Given Chelsea’s excellent summer in the transfer market, Jose Mourinho will be expecting an improvement on last season’s third place finish and without doubt, this squad is equipped to achieve precisely that.
Last season, Chelsea beat the teams that finished above them, Liverpool and Manchester City, both home and away yet too often dropped points against lesser opposition, including a home defeat to Sunderland, home draws with Norwich, WBA and West Ham and away defeats at Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Everton, Newcastle United and Stoke City.
This season, Chelsea have already beaten two newly-promoted sides; Burnley 3-1 on their travels before recording a 2-0 victory over Leicester City at Stamford Bridge. Given that this is likely to be another tight campaign, manager Jose Mourinho will be pleased at their performances in these opening games.
However, once again it may well be how teams perform against each other in the top four or five that defines the top spots and if Chelsea can take 16 points from their matches with Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool as they did last season, that should be more than enough for them to claim top spot.
Indeed, if they can produce better performances against lesser opposition in the Premier League, they may not quite so good a return from these games in order to take the title.
Top Chelsea bets
Having established that Chelsea are one of the top bets for this season’s Premier League, let’s take a look at some of the best bets available for Jose Mourinho’s men.
The first big news is that Chelsea’s fine start to the season have seen the bookies cut the odds on their title success markedly. While you could get Chelsea at 3 or even 4/1 before the start of the season, now Jose Mourinho’s men have been backed right in to 11/10 with Bet365 Sports.
Those odds are a little short, especially considering that the season is just two weeks old, so it may be better holding off on that bet until a few more games and the table has taken on a more accurate reflection of the strengths of all teams in the league.
If you aren’t a Bet365 customer, there’s still plenty of chance to get in the game. Sign up today to qualify for $100 in free sports bets from Bet365 Sports.
Alongside West Brom’s Saido Berahinho (66/1) and Spurs Erik Dier (unpriced, but likely to be in excess of 10,000/1) Diego Costa is the current Premier League leading goalscorer having notched a goal in each of his first two games for the club.
As such, the odds on Costa being the top scorer in the Premier League this season have also been slashed down to 7/2 with Bet365. This still represents a good deal as outside of Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool and Sergio Aguero of Manchester City (both of whom are more injury prone than Costa) he is the outstanding choice in this market.
Unbeaten the entire season?
And finally, if you fancy a really big outside bet then Bet365 are offering 100/1 on Chelsea going the entire 2014/2015 Premier League season unbeaten.
Those odds may seem generous but they are the lowest priced odds on the top four achieving that and if you like an outside chance bet, then this may well be a great option.