Predictions For Chelsea’s 2015-2016 Season

Updated: July 31, 2015

Coming off of a title-winning 2014-2015 in which they also secured the Capital One Cup trophy, it would be hard not to make the prediction that José Mourinho’s Chelsea will repeat their dominant performance in the 2015-2016 season. With just one month remaining in the summer transfer window, and with the Blues yet to spend heavily, it’s natural to assume a confidence in the adequacy of the players we currently have.

In recent weeks, Mourinho has calmly asserted his belief in the team’s solidity. “You are speaking with the manager of the best team in England – we have no fragilities,” he told the press following a 4-2 loss to New York Red Bulls in the International Champions Cup. I agree with the Portuguese except when it pertains to defense. Filipe Luis, purchased ahead of last season from Atletico Madrid, has returned to the La Liga third-place finishers. Last week, the Chelsea manager admitted he intends to sign another defender or two, if possible. Having already made two concrete bids for promising young Everton and England defender John Stones, and reportedly chasing Augsburg’s Baba Rahman and Galatasaray’s Alex Telles, Chelsea is focused on building a team for the future. All three targets are under 22, and pursuing them highlights Mourinho’s ambition to build a team that will challenge for years to come.

While Chelsea are focused on purchasing youth for the long-term plan, it’s who José Mourinho has chosen to sell since rejoining the Blues that has really been notable. Fan favorites Juan Mata and David Luiz each left for considerable sums. Belgian starlets Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku were both shown the door. Most members of the old guard, including Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech, have left the club in search of new adventures. The oldest players on the current Chelsea squad – and the only two over 30 years of age – are Branislav Ivanovic (31) and John Terry (34). Considering the fact that both will likely be moving onto greener pastures in the next few seasons, Chelsea are only targeting players that they really need.

When Chelsea won the 2014-2015 Premier League with three matches to spare, people were reminded just how well the Blues had played throughout the season. Their closest rivals, Manchester City, trailed by eight points come season’s end, and their swoop for former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling illustrates the Cityzens readiness to supplement an already lethal attack. Arsenal and Manchester United, who placed third and fourth last season, finished 12 and 17 points off the mark, respectively. United’s flurry of activity in the transfer market suggests they’re well aware of how much is needed to bridge the gap between themselves and last year’s title winners, while Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger insists that expensive purchases are not necessary for the North Londoners.

Chelsea’s real strength lies in depth. In Nemanja Matic, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fàbregas and Thibaut Courtois, they have the best tackler, the most-fouled and most successful dribbler, the league leader in assists and keeper with the fewest goals conceded. Not a bad spine to have. Having stated that both Victor Moses and Bertrand Traore will not be going out on loan, Mourinho is illustrating a true commitment to his current players. And while many are doubting the Colombian’s ability to legitimately contribute, Mourinho has heralded Radamel Falcao’s loan deal as great business. That he should come third in the striker pecking order, behind Diego Costa and Loïc Remy, says quite a lot about the versatility of this Chelsea team.

After last year’s disappointing elimination from the Champions League quarterfinals by Paris Saint-Germain, José’s men will be keen to impress. Despite never actually losing a match in the entire 2014-2015 Champions League campaign, failure to progress past the Parisian club has surely left a sour taste in the Chelsea players’ mouths.

Overall, Chelsea will look to improve upon last year’s efforts. For some, that means winning all possible silverware, while for others it could simply mean fending off challenges by other Premier League title contenders. I, for one, predict they’ll repeat as champions of England and I also anticipate them reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League. Either way, it’s surely an exciting season to come! 

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