As the season draws ever-closer, we here at the Center Circle are going to start looking at what each of the top teams in the EPL are looking at this season. For the blue side of London and Chelsea, the season is going to be all about how Mourinho marks his return back to the Premier League. Chelsea may have more big names in their stable than anyone in the Premier League at this point and it is going to be a fun ride.
Luckily, for Chelsea, they may have the most accomplished back-line entering into the EPL season. John Terry may be on the back end, but Jamie Carragher proved last season that any defending core with a strong, veteran presence can succeed. Ivanovic is always the most underrated defender in England, Azpilicueta and Bertrand are promising youth prospects, and Luiz and Cahill both seem to be growing at Chelsea (although, because of that, Luiz is being pretty heavily courted by some major clubs).
With Cech between the sticks, the team with the third best defense in the EPL last season looks likely to have the best defense this season.
The midfield will be a rotating door of players that could be starting anywhere else, but the midfield seemed to be the main source of goals for Chelsea last season and it will probably continue through this year. With how poor Torres and Ba seemed to be in the Premier League, the second highest scoring team in the EPL last year depended massively on players like Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Ramires, and Lampard.
The striking core will be the most important piece for Chelsea this season. Ba and Torres will have to be scoring on a consistent basis in order to keep Lukaku and Schurrle from taking their spot. With Mourinho and his desire to make a splash, it is somewhat surprising that he has not been able to bring a marquee striker in this summer. Although there is some serious Rooney courtship, there is no guarantee that Chelsea will be able to get him over to Chelsea before the end of this window.
Mourinho will be hoping to sweep straight in and walk away with the title. He will also be hoping that his squad can claim a few scalps from his past employers in the Champions League. With such a big move and with the stink he made post-Madrid, if Chelsea does not fight to the end for the title or does not run away with the top spot then Mourinho will start losing a large piece of his aura. For me, the “Special One” will be the reason that Chelsea will falter.
Predicted best case scenario: Chelsea finishes second because they can’t find a striker to win the tight games.
Predicted worst case scenario: Chelsea finishes fourth because all the big names start to create serious drama and it costs the team in the end.