Author: Tony MacDonald
2016/17 Premier League
Published: 12:04 14/09/2014
Favourites to win the Premier League before the season began, Chelsea have hardened in the Outright betting market after a promising start to the campaign.
The Blues maintained their 100% start to the season with a 4-2 victory over Swansea City on Saturday, a side which had also been quick out of the blocks. Chelsea now hold a 5 point advantage over current champions Manchester City and have a goal-difference advantage of 6 after the Citizens failed to win their second consecutive match.
Jose Mourinho's side are now odds-on in Premier League Outright betting at no bigger than 8/11, making 888Sport's new customer offer of 4/1 Chelsea to win the title well worth checking out if you don't yet have an account.
Chelsea were within four points of returning to Premier League glory last season in Mourinho's first term back in charge at Stamford Bridge and the Portuguese tactician quickly identified and addressed the weaker areas of the squad in the summer.
Already firmly established as a top performer in the Premier League from his time at Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas joined from Barcelona and has been providing quality service to his teammates. Fabregas is now the first player in Premier League history to bag assists in six consecutive games after picking up where he left off for the Gunners by setting up his teammates in the wins over Burnley, Leicester, Everton and Swansea.
The main beneficiary of the midfielder's eye for a killer pass has undoubtedly been Diego Costa. The marquee signing from Atletico Madrid has quickly dispelled the theory that he could be a one season wonder by setting a record of his own. Costa's hat-trick against Swansea makes him the first player to score 7 goals in his first 4 Premier League appearances, overtaking Manchester City's Sergio Aguero who previously held the record with 6 goals.
Despite a drop in form, Manchester City will still probably be Chelsea's main threat for the title. Their loss at home to Stoke was akin to Sunderland winning at Stamford Bridge last season, a result which nobody saw coming. They then threw away a lead against Arsenal in Saturday's early kick-off, but could be lifted by equalising in the final stages of the game.
The Champions League group stage begins this week, which will bring about the usual squad rotation and risk of injuries to the squads involved. But it's fair to say that Chelsea have at least two quality players capable of playing in each position which can't really be said of any other side, and that gives them a huge advantage over the chasing pack.