After finishing third in the Premier League last season, Chelsea will hope to mount a serious title bid in the upcoming campaign.
Original article published 4 August 2022
Thomas Tuchel's side began 2021/22 well and were top in December following a run of just one defeat in 14 matches. However, they failed to keep pace with Manchester City and Liverpool in the second half of the season and ended 19 points off the pace.
In early spring they appeared certainties to finish third, but defeats to Brentford, Arsenal and Everton gave their top-four rivals hope of catching them, before they ended the season with two wins and two draws to finish three points clear of Tottenham.
The Blues are rated at 14/1 to finish top of the pile this time around and secure their sixth Premier League crown and first since 2017/18.
England Premier League 2022/23
|When||5th August 2022 - 28th May 2023|
|How to watch|
Selected matches broadcast on Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime
|Odds||Manchester City 4/7, Liverpool 2/1, Tottenham 14/1, Chelsea 16/1, Manchester United 33/1|
Last summer, the return of Romelu Lukaku to Stamford Bridge was seen as a statement of intent and several pundits were tipping Chelsea to seriously compete for the title. However, after a bright start, the Belgium international fell out with Tuchel and he's now gone back to Inter on loan.
Their transfer business this summer has been eye-catching with England star Raheem Sterling joining from Manchester City and centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly coming in from Napoli.
The Senegal international's arrival makes up for losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen and Chelsea's squad looks good enough overall to at least match last season's achievements.
They also demonstrated their quality in the domestic cups last term, getting to both finals before losing on penalties to Liverpool twice and they made the quarter-finals of the Champions League when they were unluckily knocked out by eventual winners Real Madrid.
The target this season will be to enjoy similarly deep runs in both cups and in Europe while proving they can compete again at the top of the table.
Chelsea are 11/4 to finish in the top two, 8/11 to finish in the top four, and 2/9 to be in the top six come the end of the season.
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The Londoners go to Everton on the opening weekend, with the Goodison Park clash scheduled for a 17:30 kick-off on Saturday 6th August.
It will be another reunion with club legend Frank Lampard, who guided the Toffees to a 1-0 win in the fixture last season when Richarlison, a Tottenham recruit this summer, was the match-winner.
Chelsea are 8/11 to win their first game of the season on Merseyside, Everton are 15/4 for victory and the draw is 14/5.
Following the Everton clash, Chelsea host expected top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a big London derby on Sunday 14th August before a trip to Leeds and a home game against Leicester City in the first month.
They entertain Liverpool on Sunday 18th September and their last game before the World Cup is against Newcastle at St James' Park on Saturday 12th November.
The domestic action resumes on Boxing Day when Chelsea welcome Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge, while Tuchel's side are at home to Manchester City on Monday 2nd January in what could be a key game in the title race.
The return game at the Etihad is scheduled to be their penultimate match of the season in May, a week before the campaign ends with a home clash against Newcastle on Sunday 28th May.
Tuchel is one of the Premier League's most respected bosses, having impressed while in charge of previous clubs Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain.
The German, who took over at Chelsea in January 2021, was a central defender as a player but his career was cut short when he had to retire in 1998 at the age of just 24 due to a knee injury.
Tuchel has a win percentage of 61.29 per cent at Chelsea and likes to set his side up with three at the back, making use of attacking wing-backs.
He can be tactically flexible, but usually wants his team to dominate possession and favours a high-pressing approach.
Eddie Beach (Southampton)
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)
Omari Hutchinson (Arsenal)
Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire)
Carney Chukwuemeka (Aston Villa)
Marc Cucurella (Brighton)
Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid) Free
Andreas Christensen (Released)
Danny Drinkwater (Released)
Charly Musonda (Released)
Jake Clarke-Salter (QPR)
Lucas Bergstrom (Peterborough) Loan
Romelu Lukaku (Inter) Loan
Nathan Baxter (Hull) Loan
Ethan Wady (Woking) Loan
Ian Maatsen (Burnley) Loan
Tino Anjorin (Huddersfield) Loan
Henry Lawrence (MK Dons) Loan
Gabriel Slolina (Chicago Fire) Loan
Levi Colwill (Brighton) Loan
Malang Sarr (Monaco) Loan
|Potential top scorer|
With a squad packed full of quality there are key men all over the pitch from first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, wing-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell and midfielders Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.
It will be interesting to see how Sterling adapts to his new surroundings and if he replicates his best form he will be vital in terms of goals and assists in the final third, while Mason Mount is expected to continue his impressive development after he weighed in with an important 13 goals in all competitions last season.
The experienced N'Golo Kante, if he stays fit, is also still a key cog in the midfield, while Kai Havertz will want to force his way into the starting line-up on a more regular basis.
As you would expect, a plethora of Chelsea players will be starring on the international stage in November and December.
Mendy and new signing Koulibaly will both be part of Senegal's squad for Qatar, while James, Sterling, Chilwell and Mount will likely be among Gareth Southgate's England party for the winter tournament.
Kante remains a key player for France, Havertz and Timo Werner should make the Germany squad and Christian Pulisic is one of USA's main men.