Five reasons why Chelsea are Premier League favourites
Chelsea opinion: Chelsea look set to dominate the Premier League after several seasons of indifferent form
With the new season fast approaching, fans and pundits have begun speculating as to who might win the Premier League this season.
With an array of managerial and squad changes taking place throughout the summer it appears that this season could be the most hotly-contested title race we have seen for a while.
Here, I will outline why I believe that Chelsea will win the Premier League for the first time since 2010.
1. Jose Mourinho's return
The return of 'The Special One' is a move that has brought excitement and belief to the Chelsea fans this season. His track record is unrivalled, and he has already done it twice at the club.
Of course his arrival was met with slight trepidation - some will fear that he may be unable to live up to his past exploits. However, he arrives with the blessing and support of fans and players alike, as well as a point to prove to his former employers Real Madrid.
Despite being deemed a failure, a mellower Mourinho did secure a La Liga title to his time with the Spanish giants, finishing second in both other seasons. He will be primed and ready to secure a third Premier League medal to his collection.
2. The Three Amigos
Last season saw the emergence of the attacking trio known as 'The Three Amigos', comprised of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard. Whether last season’s system will remain is yet to be seen, as Mourinho is usually a fan of having two wingers, but either way these men are adaptable and should be capable of fitting the system.
Their creativity, vision and knack for scoring goals will make them a vital component of Mourinho's side. Having had a season to adapt to the Premier League expect to see Hazard and Oscar perform even better this time out.
3. Lampard and Cole's new contracts
The presence of England stalwarts Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole will be crucial for Chelsea next season. Not only will their experience and winning mentality be useful in such a young squad, but they continue to turn in consistently exceptional performances: Lampard was the club's top goal scorer in the Premier League, amassing fifteen goals on the way to surpassing Bobby Tambling's club record 202 goals for Chelsea.
Cole, meanwhile, was as reliable, energetic and tenacious as ever at left-back, comfortable keeping out the promising Ryan Bertrand. These two club legends will need to be on top form again next season if Chelsea have any chance of winning the title.
4. Returning loan stars
Last season saw the emergence of several Chelsea starlets on loan at other clubs, with Romelu Lukaku the most prominent. Lukaku could be the answer to Chelsea's striking issue after a fruitful spell with West Brom, whilst fellow Belgian Kevin De Bruyne returns after a magnificent spell in Germany.
However, both the aforementioned duo have been told they are part of Jose Mourinho's plans. Nathaniel Chalobah impressed with Gianfranco Zola's Watford, whilst Josh McEachran showed returning signs of his early promise at Middlesbrough. The players could be integrated into the side this season to add a fresh impetus and undoubted ability.
Let's not deny it, Chelsea are rich. Filthy rich. Even in spite of the impending Financial Fair Play rules, Chelsea have the ability to bring in world-class players, regardless of the price.
The arrival of a couple of genuinely world-class players - ideally a striker, a centre-back and perhaps a defensive midfielder - combined with the emergence of young players could be the perfect combination to create a strong, title-winning side.
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