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Chelsea: Premier League 2013/14 season preview

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Jose Mourinho is back and is ready to bring glory back to Chelsea.

Here's how the west London side's summer has panned out thus far.

Transfers in - Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen, £18m), Marko Van Ginkel (Vitesse Arnhem, £9m), Cristian Cuevas (O'Higgins, £3m), Mark Schwazer (Fulham, Free)

Transfers Out - Jeffery Bruma (PSV, £2.5m), Thibaut Courtois (Athletico Madrid, Loan), Patrick Van Aanholt (Vitesse Arnhem, Loan), Cristian Cuevas (Vitesse Arnhem, Loan), Oriol Romeu (Valencia, Loan), Ross Turnbull (Doncaster, Free), Florent Malouda (Trabzonspor, Free), Yossi Benayoun (Released)

Last season summary - BPL Finish - 3rd, BPL Top Scorer- Frank Lampard (15), FA Cup- SF, League Cup- SF, Champions League- Group Stage, Europa League- Winners, Disciplinary Record -  51 Yellows, 3 Reds

Last season Chelsea sprung out of the gates winning their first set of games impressively under Champions League winning manager Roberto Di Matteo. 

However, a premature exit from this season's UCL saw the Italian replaced controversially by former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, who came to be known as "The Interim One." 

This was followed by a turbulent drop in form which saw them lose the club world championship and drop below Tottenham in the league. 

Despite this there were highlights, particularly when the three amigos; Oscar, Hazard and Juan Mata were played. 

At times they and in particular Mata carried Chelsea through their poor run of form assisting most of the misfiring Fernando Torres' 22 goals in all competitions. 

When the season came to an end most fans warmed to their interim manager's rotational tactics which saw their squad handle the club-record 69 matches, and were sad to see him go, with the Spaniard leaving on a high qualifying for the Champions League in third and winning the Europa League too.

What to expect this summer - This summer you can expect the Blues to be in the market for a deep-lying midfielder, with John Obi Mikel set to leave and Frank Lampard no longer able to play every game Chelsea need to strengthen in this area to give the aforementioned three amigos more freedom to get forward. 

Also they may be in the market for a new centre forward with Torres once again having a poor season, however, Abramovich is likely to be reluctant to spend big on a replacement for his £50m man.

What to expect this season - This season you can expect to see Chelsea mount a genuine title challenge whilst maintaining a decent run in all of the cup competitions due to their large squad. 

This challenge will be built on the sound defensive "win-first" tactics possessed by newly reappointed "Special One" Mourinho. 

Also Mourinho's name alone will be enough to intimidate most if Chelsea's opponent. 

The Mourinho factor alone however, will not be enough to win Chelsea the title and some defensive frailties may peep through to leave them just short of title.

Plan A - Shut up shop and don't concede before, and destroy opposition defences with their pace on the counter-attack

Plan B - Use the width provided by new arrival Andre Schurrle and return loanee Kevin de Bruyne, when the three amigos can't get through solid defences like those of the Manchester clubs

Strengths - Mental toughness, Chelsea have reached 18 semi-finals in 10 years proving that in one-off games they can come back to claim victory

Weaknesses - With the recent injury troubles of John Terry, all of Chelsea's remaining centre backs have been known to be prone to a wobble which could be a problem given Mourinho's defensive tactics. 

Also they do not have a world-class centre-forward to put away the chances - the three amigos create with Torres still looking a shadow of his former self and Demba Ba not really the man they need to fire them to the trophies they will be looking to get.

Lessons from last season - Stay off the front pages. Last season alone at Chelsea Jon Obi Mikel made a false racism accusation against referee Mark Clattenburg, Eden Hazard kicked a ballboy, and fans boos drowned out the tannoy system at Rafa Benitez's first game. 

These all coincided with poor form. This season if Chelsea can go about their business more quietly then maybe they will be able to go the full distance.

Key man - Petr Cech. The goalkeeper has been one of the few constants in the Abromovich era, and this season unless the Blues strengthen in defence he will have to be on top form to earn his team vital points in their pursuit of the title.

Did you know- The last time any club played more than 69 games in a season was Arsenal in the 1979-80 season

Frank Lampard only made one assist last season in the league, his lowest ever haul.

Petr Cech saved 76.6% of the shots he faced last season, the best in the Premier League.

Chelsea got 11 penalties last season, only four teams have got more in Premier League history.

Verdict - 2nd. Chelsea are definite title contenders, however, their weaknesses at the back are likely to mean they drop vital points despite the return of "The Special One".

 

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Topics:
Petr Cech
Premier League
Football
Chelsea

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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