It’s been a difficult start for Chelsea under Frank Lampard and that has been reflected in the odds typically being offered on them winning the Premier League this season.
Most of the new casino sites in the UK see Liverpool and defending champions Manchester City as still the stand-out teams in the division – and with good reason.
But there is also good reason to feel optimistic about Chelsea’s future prospects despite recent results.
Performances have been good
The 4-0 defeat at Manchester United was a freak result. Chelsea made an excellent start to the game and were dominant for large periods at Old Trafford. Their defensive shortcomings ultimately cost the Blues, but the scoreline hugely flattered United, who were second best for most of the first half.
Chelsea then showed their ability by going toe to toe with Liverpool in the Super Cup, eventually prevailing on penalties, and even in the disappointing draw at home to Leicester there were spells in the game when Lampard’s side looked excellent.
So although they are still waiting for their first league win under the new manager, there have been signs that Chelsea will click into gear sooner rather than later.
Mount is the real deal
Former Blues boss Jose Mourinho was among those who criticised Mason Mount’s performance against United and Lampard’s decision to select him. The manager stuck to his guns by again picking the youngster against Leicester and was repaid with Mount’s first goal for the club and a performance which suggested that the midfielder is very much the real deal.
Players to return
The good news for Chelsea is that Mount is not the only exciting youngster knocking on the door. The return of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek from their Achilles tendon ruptures will be a huge boost for fans who are desperate to see the duo establish themselves as first-team regulars.
And there’s another promising young player on the scene in Reece James, who is working his way back from an ankle injury and could well oust Cesar Azpilicueta from the side.
The return of the more seasoned Antonio Rudiger will also improve a Chelsea side whose defensive shortcomings have been exposed in games in which some of their attacking play has been first class. Rudiger’s presence at the back could well make all the difference.
So it’s far from doom and gloom at Chelsea. And if their young prospects can make their mark and justify Lampard’s faith in them, the Blues could be dark horses this season after all.