English Premier League: Chelsea FC 2017/18 Preview
After having endured a nightmare 2014/15 season, Antonio Conte led Chelsea came back strongly last season to once again be crowned as the Champions of England. Their season was similar to Leicester city’s winning campaign as they had very few injuries to deal with and more importantly, they didn’t have European Competition.This season, however, will be very different. After being quiet in the initial part of the transfer window, they have made some signings bringing in Centre back Antonio Rüdiger as the replacement for departing legend John Terry and Kurt Zouma who left for Stoke City on loan. The signing of Defensive midfielder Tiemoune Bakayako from AS Monaco led to the departure of Nemanja Matic. The biggest signing, however, has been Alvaro Morata as Chelsea were left without a world class striker after Diego Costa’s Chelsea future was in a big doubt.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Willy Caballero, Eduardo

Caballero signed for Chelsea from Manchester City on a free transfer and will play backup to Courtois after Asmir Begovic signed for AFC Bournemouth in search of more game time

Defenders: Antonio Rüdiger, Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, César Azpilicueta, David Luiz

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Antonio Conte is most likely to continue with his 3 at the back formation and has enough options for the same. The problem, however, lies with his wingback options as he doesn’t have the backup for his hard-working duo of Alonso and Moses. Chelsea will have to strengthen their defense further to have a competitive season ahead keeping European football in mind.

Midfielders: Cesc Fabregas, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Pedro, Tiemoune Bakayako, Kennedy, Charley Musonda, Willian

N’Golo Kante was at the heart of Chelsea’s defensive midfield in the title winning campaign and the same will be expected of him this season. He’ll be paired with new recruit Tiemoune Bakayako.Even though Eden Hazard will miss the start of the season due to injury, Chelsea has a lot of options in attacking midfield. Antonio Conte has expressed his desire to push Fabregas into the No.10 role. Talented more youngest Charley Musonda will also be among the options as his performance was quite impressive in pre season. Jeremy Boga’s performance may well earn him a few appearances for the first team.

Forwards: Alvaro Morata, Michy Batshuayi, Diego Costa

Diego Costa’s off field issues have put his Chelsea future in disarray. However, the signing of Alvaro Morata after missing out on Lukaku seems to have settled Chelsea’s striking options with Michy Batshuayi also having performed quite well during pre season.

Manager profile

Always wanting more than 100% of his players, Antonio Conte will be hungry as ever for more success as was his case at Juventus winning 3 league titles on a trot. His focus will be on the Champions League which Chelsea missed out on last season. After missing out on a few important signings, Chelsea has recently made some new recruits. However, Conte’s search for wingback options still remains.

Probable starting Xl: Courtois; Luiz, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Alonso, Kante, Bakayako, Moses; Willian, Morata, Pedro

Willian is likely to lose his place once Hazard returns from injury and will compete with Pedro on the right wing

Players to watch out

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Alvaro Morata will be expected to perform well in place of Diego Costa and his comparison with Lukaku may be very interesting for fans as Lukaku was surprisingly signed by Manchester United after being expected to join Chelsea.

League Position 

Chelsea still do not possess that depth in squad as other Premier League rivals and with Champions League to deal with, top 4 and a good performance in the Champions League will be the priority
News Reporter

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