Gap Closed But Chelsea Still Favorites

A bad first season in the Premier League for Radamel Falcao meant little to Jose Mourinho. Chelsea’s Premier League winning campaign eased pressure off their manager’s shoulders giving him full freedom and trust in the new season’s signings, the transfers at Stamford Bridge have moved fairly slower than other competitors. Falcao, dubbed as a flop by Manchester United, was a hit in both Portugal and Spain before making a record-breaking move to the Ligue 1. Despite that, injuries managed to limit his tally under Manchester United’s Louis Van Gaal to only four goals.

According the Chelsea’s boss, the Blues have performed the necessary analysis and conducted proper tests to guarantee that Falcao’s previous problems are not recurring. With Diego Costa struggling to find fitness ahead of the Premier League start, the pressure piles on the shoulders of the new signing even though he’s not expected to be a starter throughout the whole season. Is he enough for Chelsea to ensure a title defending campaign?

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If Mourinho does indeed get the best out of both Falcao and Costa, he will have the scariest attack in the Premier League. During their prime time, both players gave Atletico Madrid tens of extra points. This is why it’s important for Mourinho to manage the duo quite well. At full fitness, they are lethal but injuries are Chelsea’s biggest threat. All of their opponents strengthened their squads. Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and even Liverpool seem to have fixed a few problems in their starting XIs. Despite that, Chelsea is still the team to beat. They are the league champions but competing with four other clubs is not easy at all.

The Blues led the Premier League table for a record 274 days last season, surpassing the 262-day mark set by Manchester United back in 1993-1994. Their starting XI is better than any of their rivals’ yet the gap has been closed. Chelsea are known to have an over-reliance on a few key players, particularly in the defense. After Filipe Luis’ return to Atletico Madrid, the club remains with little cover at the back, they tried to sign Everton’s Stones but until now their bids have been rejected. The Blues should improve their offer for the youngster and snatch him as soon as possible. Any delay could cost the club a few points. The player is fairly young and needs time to adapt to Mourinho’s philosophy, signing him is essential.

The Blues are expected to challenge on all fronts including the Champions League. The club have only won the competition once under Italian coach Roberto Di Matteo but Jose Mourinho seems determined to lift this trophy once and for all with the English side after failure at Real Madrid. However, this could distract them from their focus on the Premier League where their rivals are determined to overtake them. Both Manchester City and United are sparing no expense on new signings this summer. The Citizens signed Raheem Sterling and are flirting with Wolfsburg’s Kevin De Bruyne. The Red Devils recruited Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Deepay among a few others.

Chelsea’s loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield is a wake-up call. Arrogance could cost them yet another title this season despite them having the right players to win the Premier League again. The title race for the world’s most popular league seems tighter than ever and Chelsea could have made a big mistake by directly strengthening a rival: Petr Cech became the sixth Chelsea player to directly move to Arsenal. He is a proven winner, having won 13 titles for the Blues in his 11-year stay there and a guarantee between the posts. This season is nothing like the previous one and the Premier League is Chelsea’s to lose.

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One thought on “Gap Closed But Chelsea Still Favorites

  1. Atletico won the league when they sold Falcao and built around Costa, and Falcao has yet to win a league title bar Portuguese league.
    As for Chelsea, while their first XI is fearsome and have quite a few solid bench options, their squad in reality is quite thin. They run a high risk strategy where they keep a tight 16-player unit, but 1-2 key injuries can put them way off. They are 1 Cesc or Hazard injury away from losing almost all creativity. Oscar and Willian are sidemen, they can’t take a game by the scruff of the neck nor influence results over a season the way the previous 2 can.
    The signs are there: Mourinho always falls off in his 3rd seasons, and it will almost surely happen again this time around.
    Conclusion: Arsenal can go for the league and are on almost equal grounds to Chelsea, City too depending on Aguero fitness/incoming transfers.

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