Author: Paul Reece
2016/17 Premier League
Published: 13:40 10/10/2014
Chelsea have not won the Premier League title since 2010 under Carlo Ancelotti but could this be the the season that the trophy finally returns to Stamford Bridge? The Blues will face stiff competition from big spending Manchester City while Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United will all hope to be fighting for a top-four spot, at least, by the end of the season.
Before you bet on this year’s winner, and take advantage of Coral’s excellent £20 sign-up offer, we have looked at the Blues title credentials, to help you decide whether to back Mourinho’s men.
The Londoner’s finished third last season following the ‘Special’ One’s return to Stamford bridge after spells with Inter Milan and Real Madrid. The controversial Portuguese coach has won the league title in Portugal, Italy and Spain along with winning two Premier League titles during his first spell at Chelsea and one FA Cup and two League Cup victories.
Last season, however, he described his side as a little horse in comparison to Liverpool and Manchester City as the three sides battled for top spot. The Blues finished four points behind City and two behind Liverpool, ending Mourinho’s first season back in England without a trophy after crashing out of the FA Cup and League Cup in the fifth round. The Blues headed into last October fifth in the table with three wins from their opening six games, losing 1-0 to Everton.
Chelsea were strong at the back last year, as you would expect from a Mourinho side, but lacked the firepower up front with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o netting just 19 goals between them all season. The trio have been shown the door this year with Ba moving to Turkish side Besiktas, Eto’o joining Premier League rivals Everton and Torres signing for AC Milan on loan.
Diego Costa has single handedly replaced the trio, enjoying a truly remarkable debut season in England following his £32 million move from Atletico Madrid while Loic Remy and Didier Drogba have also arrived to provide cover for the 25-year-old, who could prove to be a priceless signing.
Cesc Fabregas’ arrival, meanwhile, filled the gap left following Frank Lampard’s summer exit and the Spanish international have returned to the Premier League with ease following a mixed spell with Barcelona. The Spanish duo has taken the club to the next level this season with Costa’s goals and Cesc’s assists proving to be invaluable. And with Liverpool struggling following the loss of Luis Suarez and having to compete with the added challenge of the Champions League this season, Chelsea’s main challenge will probably come from City. Arsenal are still not quite at the same level of the duo while Spurs have made stuttering start under Mauricio Pochettino and Manchester United may not be in a position to challenge for the title until next year - leaving Chelsea the big favourites in a two horse race.