Chelsea have the potential to challenge the big two this season

Chelsea have shown some promise in the early games under Frank Lampard but the bookmakers would have you believe the Blues are not capable of mounting a serious challenge for the Premier League title this season.

Liverpool and defending champions Manchester City are still regarded as the division’s two stand-out teams – and that’s with some justification given the quality of their attacking football.

The odds found at websites like Mighty Tips highlight that City and Liverpool are much fancied to battle it out in another two-horse race for the top prize.

While Chelsea are not among the favourites for the title, they are certainly favourites for this weekend’s game at Wolves despite the Midlands side establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with since coming up to the top flight.

But could Chelsea be decent dark horses for silverware this season – perhaps in the Champions League, which begins next week?

Attacking ability

There are certainly signs that they are building a team with serious attacking ability – and that’s despite the current shortage of attacking options and the summer departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.

After a difficult start, Tammy Abraham has been in superb form in recent matches, suggesting he is capable of justifying Lampard’s faith in him and being the goalscorer Chelsea need up front.

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With Willian and Pedro on their way back to fitness, new arrival Christian Pulisic finding his feet at Stamford Bridge and Callum Hudson-Odoi recovering from an Achilles injury, Chelsea have attacking players capable of giving any team problems.

Defence can improve

It’s at the other end of the pitch where Chelsea have looked vulnerable – but that might be about to change.

Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen have seemed vulnerable at the heart of the defence, but the imminent return of Antonio Rudiger could make all the difference. So too could the defensive midfield presence of N’Golo Kante, who has struggled with knee and ankle problems but is expected to be available after the international break.

January signings?

Lampard has of course been restricted by a transfer ban – but again Chelsea’s worries here might only be temporary.

Reports have suggested that the club are increasingly confident that their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport will be successful, paving the way for Lampard to make signings when the transfer window opens again in January.

If Lampard is able to bring in a striker to complement Abraham and perhaps get an experienced defender in to shore up that leaky defence, Chelsea could well upset the odds this season.