Are Chelsea The Biggest Challengers To Manchester City For The Title?

Chelsea FC boss Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is set to embark on his first full season at Chelsea since taking over from Frank Lampard last January. The German has set the bar high at the club, winning the Champions League back in May. He will now be hoping to put a stronger challenge to the team his side beat in that final, Manchester City, for the Premier League title.

The Blues had to settle for fourth place in the 2020/21 campaign with 67 points. That’s a position they would have grabbed with both hands at the halfway point as it looked as though they would struggle for a top four finish. With a full pre-season, Tuchel has had the chance to prepare his players for the challenge ahead in the Premier League. His Chelsea squad has the personnel to win the title, but it has now been four years since the Blues won the league.

Chelsea prevailed in 19 of their 38 matches last season and that is a total they must improve on if they are to get the better of City and their other rivals. They drew 10 of their matches so Tuchel will want to convert as many of those draws into wins, something which will make a huge difference. Chelsea are rated as having one of the best squads in the Premier League after some significant investment over the past year. However, they aren’t fancied as favourites as Betway have them at odds of 5/1 to win the league behind Manchester City, as of 10th August. The addition of Jack Grealish to an already stacked squad has only strengthened their case for defending their title.

Defending Title Never Easy

As Chelsea have found in the last three times they have won the Premier League, defending the title is never easy. Only one team in the last 10 years has been able to retain their title, that was Manchester City in 2019.

City boss Pep Guardiola will have to keep his players motivated to deliver again in the league. One of their priorities will be the Champions League as that is the trophy the club are desperate to win over any other.

In their two league matches against Chelsea last season, honours were shared. City defeated the Blues at Stamford Bridge, while later in the campaign, Tuchel’s men picked up an excellent 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

The two sides played each other four times in total last year. Chelsea were successful in both of the other two cup meetings. They beat City 1-0 at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final, while the biggest victory of them all came in Porto in their 1-0 win in the UEFA Champions League final. Those results will give Tuchel a lot of confidence.

Liverpool and Manchester United Will Have Other Ideas

Liverpool and Manchester United will have something to say to those who feel it is a two-horse race for the title between City and Chelsea. The 2019/20 champions were hit by injuries last season and the loss of Virgil van Dijk for the majority of the campaign really hurt their chances of retaining their crown.

Jurgen Klopp should have a squad that is fit and healthy ahead of the new season. The stand-out signing Liverpool have made is Ibrahima Konate who is a defender that is highly regarded. He is expected to compete for a starting spot straight away on Merseyside. They paid £36 million for his services from RB Leipzig.

In order to get back into the title race, City’s local rivals Manchester United have also invested this summer as they spent £73 on England international Jadon Sancho from Dortmund, who is set to give them some additional attacking spark.

United finished second in the league last season but were 12 points behind their local rivals at the end of the 38 games. They drew more games than any other team in the top half of the table. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping they can get off to a better start than they did 12 months ago.

It should be a fascinating season ahead and one that is, at the very least, expected, to be much closer at the business end of the campaign.