With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they are at ahead of the final nine weeks of the season as Chelsea are up next.
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Focusing on Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, they have been in the top four hunt all season long with their young squad having a three-point lead over fifth-place Man United. An attacking, free-scoring team, Chelsea are fun to watch but defensively they need to improve if they’re going to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season.
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Let’s take a closer look at all things Chelsea when it comes to the season restart.
Outlook: This has been a topsy-turvy season for Chelsea but overall it has been better than anybody expected. Frank Lampard has done well in his first season as a Premier League manager and the development of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James has been very positive. But with such a young team (in part due to their transfer ban which is now over) there have been inconsistencies and Chelsea had struggled midseason and into the second half of the campaign. With a clutch of clubs breathing down their neck, fourth-place Chelsea have to improve defensively if they’re going to finish in the top four. If they can finish in the top four and reach the FA Cup final, plus put up a good fight in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg at Bayern Munich, that will have been a very good season for Lampard’s youngsters.
Tactical analysis: Early in the season Chelsea were scoring goals for fun and Abraham in particular was a goalscoring machine. His goals have dried up and Chelsea need players to finish off the chances they create. The way Lampard has them set up means they will create lots of chances and give up plenty of chances to opponents. Chelsea have created 361 chances this season, which is the second-most in the Premier League, behind only Man City (421). That is staggering. Tottenham and Burnley have conceded 40 goals each this season, but Chelsea have let in 39 for the third-worst goals against in the top 10 of the league. Quite simply, they dominate games in each box but have to become more ruthless. If they keep creating this amount of chances and Abraham is fit and refreshed, they will score two or three every game. That said, the experience trio of Willian, Pedro and Olivier Giroud proved before the suspension they can step in and help get Chelsea over the line. They may need to play more often at the business end of the season to get the job done.
Possible XI (4-3-3)
—– Kepa —–
— James — Azpilicueta — Rudiger — Alonso —
— Jorginho — Kante — Kovacic —
— Willian — Abraham — Pulisic —
Home: Man City, Watford, Norwich, Wolves
Away: Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Ham, Sheffield United, Liverpool
Predicted finish: On paper, Lampard’s side have a lot of easy games with Watford, Norwich, Aston Villa and West Ham all still to play. Those four teams are embroiled in the relegation battle but is now a good time to play them? Probably not. Despite Chelsea having the likes of Christian Pulisic and Abraham now fully fit, it remains to be seen if N’Golo Kante will return to action given his safety concerns about playing. If Kante doesn’t return to the Chelsea midfield, it will have a huge impact on them finishing in the top four. The suspension will have given this young Chelsea side time to rest and if they emulate their play at the start of the season they will finish in the top four. That said, teams now seem to have figured them out defensively and if I had to bet now, I’d say Man United will finish above them and in fourth place.