West London teams can defy the odds this season

All four clubs have had a challenging summer, but it could yet be a good season for the west London sides.

Chelsea have lost Eden Hazard and are under a transfer ban, Fulham have been dealing without the fall-out from relegation, Brentford have lost key players and QPR have completely revamped their squad.

A look at a list of new sportsbooks in the UK tells you that Chelsea are expected to again be behind Liverpool and champions Manchester City this season.

The likes of Kiwislots see Liverpool and City as the Premier League’s stand-out teams, which isn’t surprising given how outstanding they were last season. But Chelsea could be dark horses.

Lampard giving youth a chance

New boss Frank Lampard will look to give youth a chance, partly because of the transfer ban but also because the Chelsea legend is keen for the club to develop players.

That will mean chances for the likes of Kurt Zouma, Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi to establish themselves as first-team players. If they can do so, and if Christian Pulisic can soften the blow of Hazard’s departure, it could be a season to remember.

Fulham look to bounce back

Mitrovic chose to stay at Fulham

It was a disappointing start to the season for Fulham, who lost 1-0 at Barnsley. That was a reminder of how brutal life back in the Championship could be for the Whites. But their transfer business has been so shrewd, and Aleksandar Mitrovic staying is such a huge boost, they will surely prove to be one of the division’s heavyweights. Automatic promotion is the aim.

Bees still buzzing

Brentford have also bought well – again – and that should offset the loss of star striker Neal Maupay, who has joined Brighton. Romaine Sawyers leaving for West Brom is also a shame for the Bees, but they still have enough quality to challenge for promotion.

Resurgent Rangers

Hugill is off the mark at QPR

Of all the west London sides, QPR seemed to be facing the bleakest season. But they started the campaign with a brilliant 2-1 win at Stoke, with on-loan West Ham striker Jordan Hugill getting off the mark and Ebere Eze scoring a cracker. New manager Mark Warburton appears to have made a real impact and the early signs suggest his new-look team could defy the odds and fare far better than expected. The loss of Luke Freeman is a blow, but on-loan youngsters Matt Smith and Luke Amos look like real prospects capable of making a major impact during their time at Loftus Road.