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February 25, 2020, GMT+0000, 0:46 am
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2019/20 English Premier League Preview – Chelsea: Transfer News, Odds and Prediction

Of all the teams in the top six, Chelsea have undergone the most changes this summer. A new manager has arrived and their top player has departed. They also have a transfer ban to cope with, so can they possibly quaiify for the Champions League? The odds on them finishing in the top four are 1/1 (2.0) at Paddy Power.

2018/19 Season

Chelsea won the Europa League and finished third in the Premier League. Throw in a runners-up position in the Carabao Cup and it was a pretty good season. Not good enough for Maurizio Sarri to keep his job though as he became the latest manager to leave Stamford Bridge.

Transfer Activity

When you lose your best player but receive a massive transfer fee, the next step is to spend a fortune on his replacement. That’s not the case for Chelsea this season as they are serving a transfer ban. They were able to complete the signing of Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid for ¬£40m. He’s not quite going to produce the goals that Eden Hazard used to score for Chelsea. He played 51 games on loan for Chelsea last season without scoring. That makes it 87 games in the past two seasons wihout a goal.

Not being able to sign new players this summer will mean several of the loanees will return to Stamford Bridge. These include Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount who should play key roles in the new season.

Problem Areas

Eden Hazard scored 44 goals for Chelsea in the past three seasons, including 16 last term. The next highest league scorer in 2018/19 was Pedro with eight goals. The past two seasons have seen Chelsea score 125 league goals and they need more than that to be challenging for the title.

Away form is a bit of a problem for Chelsea with 13 defeats in the last two seasons. They had a negative goal difference on their travels last season. Only nine teams scored less away league goals than Chelsea last season.

Frank Lampard may be a hero at Stamford Bridge but that doesn’t automatically deliver results. Lampard has had one season in charge of a club and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares at Stamford Bridge this season, especially if they go through a bad patch.

Form against the Top Six

It’s Jekyll and Hyde time when looking at how Chelsea fared against the rest of the top six. Home form saw them win three and draw two against the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal. Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal all lose league games at Stamford Bridge last season.

It’s a totally different story on their travels though. Chelsea earned a draw at Old Trafford but lost the other four games. Two goals were scored and 14 conceded. It gets worse because Chelsea didn’t win any of their away games against sides that finished in the top ten with only three points earned. That has to be improved on this season.

Early Season Fixtures

11 August: Manchester United (away)

18 August: Leicester City (home)

24 August: Norwich City (away)

31 August: Sheffield United (home)

Frank Lampard would have preferred an easier start than a game at Old Trafford. They are 13/5 (3.6) at BetVictor to win that match. A home game against Leicester City isn’t easy either and the Foxes beat them at Stamford Bridge last season. Two games against Premier League new boys is much better so a steady start to the season is likely. If there is a poor start then the current 14/1 (15.0) at Betfair on Lampard being the next Premier League manager to leave their club will start shrinking.

Prediction

It looks like being a season in transition for Chelsea as life begins with Lampard but without Hazard. Hence the odds of 28/1 (29.0) at SkyBet on them winning the 2019/20 Premier League. They still have a strong squad and have plenty of young players who could make an impact this season. Abraham, Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi have to be given their chance this season and Lampard is likely to do that. Players such as Pedro and Willian need good seasons and more goals.

The problems could start if their congested season leads to injury problems. That would stretch their squad even further. It’s going to be a struggle to finish in the top four with other teams around them strengthening their squads. A top six finish and a good cup run is their likely season. Black Type will give you odds of 1/3 (1.33) on Chelsea finishing in the top six this coming season.

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