With the new season almost upon us, we take a look at our main rivals for the Premier League title, starting with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
Chelsea. The one team that seemed to hold the Indian sign over Manchester City last season. They beat the blues three times from four meetings, which denied City a place in the FA Cup final, delayed the winning of the Premier League title and beat the blues in the Champions League final.
We have a bit of revenge to exact next season.
However, it won’t be easy against a resurgent side that squeezed past Leicester City into fourth place and made it to the Champions League final. It all looked unlikely when the blues beat them 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in January, but replacing manager Frank Lampard with Tuchel proved a master stroke for the London side and they are now being considered as serious title contenders.
They have now confirmed the re-signing Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan for a fee of around £98m, their first major signing of the summer and have been linked with a number of players throughout the last few months.
Rumoured City target Erling Haaland was on the radar, but with Dortmund reluctant to let another of their stars leave after Jadon Sancho made the switch to Old Trafford, they looked to have switched their attention to Lukaku.
Antoine Griezmann was another supposed target, and Eden Hazard’s name briefly made the rounds, with a rumoured return to Stamford Bridge. West Ham’s England star Declan Rice is high on Tuchel’s target list, but it will take a huge deal for the Hammers to part with their prized asset.
Lukaku will add strength and goals to Chelsea’s attack, but his reluctance to turn up for the ‘big games’ as was evident during his time at Old Trafford may come back to haunt him. However, his Inter form has been outstanding and he starred for Belgium at the Euros, so he definitely cannot be ignored.
Lukaku will lead the line after players such as Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic scored just 27 goals between them last season. And it has been rumoured that Tammy Abraham, who scored 12 goals last season, is on his way to Roma and Chelsea seem to be pinning their hopes on Lukaku’s goals.
In midfield, Mason Mount and Jorginho will be the driving force in midfield, with N’golo Kante and Thiago Silva providing strength in depth.
Ben Chilwell, James Reece, Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger make up a familiar back line, and the faithful will no doubt recall it was the latter’s ‘challenge’ in the Champions League final that forced Kevin de Bruyne to leave the field with a broken eye socket.
When Do City Face Chelsea?
City travel to Stamford Bridge for their final game in September, before the return game takes place at the Etihad Stadium on 15th January.
Prediction on Chelsea
Chelsea looked good towards the end of last season and could be a very strong contender for the title. Will they take City’s crown? It all depends on whether Lukaku fires and keeps firing, even in the big games. If he does, it is possible Chelsea will run City very close and are quite possibly the blues main threat to the title.