The boys in blue are back! Having the won the Premier League last time out, Antonio Conte’s side were the epitome of consistency against sides lower in the table. This season will see a few changes to Chelsea’s starting 11 though, with interesting signings still being made.
Manager: Antonio Conte
Squad: Courtois; Rudiger, Luiz, Azpilicueta; Alonso, Bakayoko, Kante, Moses; Hazard, Morata, Willian.
Strengths: Antonio Conte. The revolutionary. The man who brought 3-4-3 back into fashion in England. The man who taught David Luiz how to defend. Chelsea wrapped up the title last season mostly because the rest of the league took too long to work out how to counter their formation (world-class talent aside).
Weaknesses: Antonio Conte. The man who dumped his star striker in a text. Until that moment, Chelsea didn’t have a care in the world. All they needed was a few signings to beef up their squad for a Champions League campaign as well. Now, even if they manage to sign Morata as expected, Chelsea will barely have a squad big enough to challenge for the title again.
Opportunities: Champions League. It’s been too long since Chelsea made a serious play for Europe’s top crown. But with the inclusion of Rudiger for the error-strewn Cahill, the energetic Bakayoko and the pace of Morata up front, Chelsea could challenge some of Europe’s biggest sides for the crown. As long as they keep up in the league of course.
Threats: Strength in depth. While some good players have come in, they have replaced players of equal talent going out. Bakayoko in, Matic (apparently) out; Morata in, Costa out. It will be interesting to see whether Conte keeps his 3-4-3 formation, especially considering there aren’t many players who play the wide midfielder role as well as Alonso and Moses.
Chelsea have a vibrant, energetic squad and a progressive manager. Can they go one better and challenge in the Champions League? Not yet – their squad is good, but there isn’t enough strength in depth to challenge on two fronts, particularly in the key positions in a 3-4-3. Then again, let’s not write off some more Conte magic!
Despite not winning the cup, a win over Spurs always makes a Chelsea fan happy. Let’s have a look at last season’s win in the FA Cup.
Can Chelsea get revenge on Arsenal for their FA Cup defeat last year? Check out our preview of Arsenal’s season.