Many have tipped Chelsea to pipe Manchester City to the Premier League crown this time round.
Having narrowly failed to win it last time – missing out by four points, after loses against Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland towards the back-end of the season – Jose Mourinho went about transforming his squad this summer.
While they may no longer appear to be ‘little horses’, I still find it difficult to believe they will be capable of keeping up with Manchester City.
Aguero, Dzeko, Negredo
Need I say more? Sergio Aguero scored 28 goals in all competitions last term, Edin Dzeko wasn’t too far behind with 26 goals, while Alvaro Negredo managed 23 goals.
Baring in mind it was only Negredo’s first season in the Premier League, he should improve next season.
Steven Jovetic is another option capable of adding more than 20 goals each season. Sure, he didn’t make much of an impact last season, but he was injured for most of the campaign. Just look at his goalscoring stats at Fiorentina.
He consistently provided a goal every two game in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. Just think what he would be capable of with the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva, Samir Nasri or Jesus Navas (I could go on forever) behind him.
How can Chelsea possibly compete with that? They struggled for goals last season and while they might have added a striker of a similar calibre to those at the Etihad, one good striker cannot complete against four.
Chelsea’s striker curse
Barring Didier Drogba, Chelsea strikers over the Abramovich era sucked – the big name strikers in particular, or maybe it’s just more noticeable when a ridiculous amount of money is spent.
The first name that comes to mind is obviously the £50million Fernando Torres, but before that came the £30million Andriy Shevchenko. Those are the two strikers that Chelsea have splashed over £30million on, with Diego Costa becoming the third.
Between the two of them they have, as of now, managed just 54 goals in 220 appearances for the Blues; clearly not £80million well spent.
Of course, Diego Costa was a beast for Atletico Madrid last season, but the Premier League is a completely different environment.
Last season was also the first in which Costa has scored more than 10 goals, so there is always the chance that it was just a one off.
Mourinho accepted last season that his squad were young and lacked the experience needed to win the Premier League.
This season he has brought in Cesc Fabregas and brought Drogba back to the Bridge, but allowed club legends, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, to depart, while it is also looking increasingly likely that Petr Cech and John Obi Mikel will follow.
Although experience has been added to the side, a whole lot has been allowed to leave as well. Should Cech and Mikel go, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Dider Drogba will the the only players left who have previously won the Premier League.
The Chelsea squad is full of world class talent, but the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and co. are still extremely young, and at times inconsistent. I can’t see that changing just yet.
Maybe I have been a little harsh. I wouldn’t rule Chelsea out – they’re capable of lifting the trophy come May, but I can’t quite see past Manchester City again this season.
Will Chelsea win the Premier League this season? Leave a comment below.