EPL Preview: Chelsea May Struggle to Keep Pace with Top 6


Aug 7, 2023

After finishing the lowest in the Premier League table since 1994, Chelsea and their supporters are eager to kick off the 2023-24 soccer season. With a new manager, plenty of fresh faces, and a clean slate to boot, hope is abundant in North London for the Blues. We take a balanced look at Chelsea this season and select a breakout player and X-factor before revealing our best bet.

EPL Previews: Liverpool | Manchester City |  Manchester United | Tottenham

Chelsea Preview: Why You Should Be Bullish

Newly-appointed manager Mauricio Pocchetino is known for doing a lot with a little. This Chelsea squad is not much to write home about compared to previous seasons, yet Poch brought Tottenham its best soccer in years with little backing from ownership. Although Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has invested heavily in the team, it will take some managerial chops to get this season off to a good start, and we believe Poch is more than capable.

Chelsea Preview: Why You Should Be Bearish

New everything. The club has brought in nine new players with 14 left over the summer, leaving the team with little experience playing with one another. It could start rocky, and seeing the Blues in a decent hole to start the year would not be surprising. If things aren’t looking better by the holidays, it could be a hole that is too deep for them to dig themselves out of, no matter how well they play following the New Year.

Chelsea Prediction: Breakout Player: Mykhailo Mudryk

Costing £88.5m despite scoring just nine goals, the criticism for Mykhailo Mudryk last season came quickly. After going scoreless for 657 minutes of Premier League action across 12 appearances, critics promptly claimed him as one of the worst signings the previous year. But under new management and a handful of months of experience under his belt, we think Mudryk could live up to the price tag and find footing within the new system. Don’t be surprised if he bags at least ten goals in 2023-24.

Chelsea Prediction: X-Factor: Reece James

James unlocks so much for this Chelsea side as one of the most impactful players on his team in the Premier League. They look entirely different when he is on the pitch than when he is absent. A significant key to Chelsea’s success this season will be his health. With no European competition leaving the team with fewer matches each week, it may help him focus more on staying healthy and avoiding injury. If he can play in 30 matches for the Blues this season, the floor for the club’s season outcome becomes much higher.

Chelsea Best Bet: 2023-24 Premier League Bottom Half Odds: +900

We are going the opposite direction with a fade of this team’s end-of-season result. You can find Chelsea to finish in the league’s bottom half at +900. They already did it a season ago, and we see it as a genuine possibility this season. There are far too many moving parts, inexperienced names, and new philosophies to be employed for this to go smoothly until after New Year’s. Fade Chelsea is likely the worst big-six club this season.

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Thumbnail photo via Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

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