Chelsea open their 2014-2015 EPL season against newly promoted Burnley, in what should be a straightforward match for Jose Mourinho and the Blues to win, thus kicking off their title pursuit as the top EPL favourites in the best possible way.
Chelsea top favourites
Last season: Third place finish
71 Goals for & 27 Goals Against
Chelsea enter the new EPL season firmly installed as the team to beat in the title hunt, matched at +188 soccer odds to win outright. That favourable nod comes after some big moves in the summer transfer market by Jose Mourinho to repair most of the glaring flaws of last season’s Blues that finished third in the league. Snapping up Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Luis Felipe from La Liga, luring Didier Drogba back into a Blues shirt and convincing Andre Schurrle to remain a Blue, amongst several others.
Fabregas and Diego Costa should address two issues immediately – bolster the midfield and improve attack, respectively. Last season, the absence of a deadly strike and overall scoring were the biggest issues, so impotent was Chelsea’s attack at times most of the pressure fell on the shoulders of defence. Fortunately, on the defence side of the ball they were exceptional, boasting the tightest backline in the league. If all those additions up front come together as he envisions, the title is really theirs for the taking with the iron spine of defence already in place. Well, Mourinho didn’t sit on his laurels there either. Ironing out his backline further with the acquisition of Luis Felipe, and adding young keeper Thibaut Courtois to give more depth to his already enviable roster that includes one of the world’s best goalkeepers in Petr Cech. Is it really any wonder sports bettors are backing Chelsea on their soccer picks?
Burnley might have something to prove
Burnley arrive in top-flight action this season on the back of a runner-up finish in Championship League action. Overall, they totted up a 26-15-5 record in second tier action, which included scoring 72 goals and conceding 37.
Burnley fans excited about the move into top-flight this season haven’t much time to embrace their enthusiasm when their side’s credentials are set to be tested right out of the gates by one of the top teams in England. Home advantage is a moot point when tasked with proving a point against a side that leaked so few points over the course of the season. Indeed, Burnley’s induction into England’s top flight is in danger of becoming one-way traffic.
Early soccer betting markets would agree, listing Chelsea as the huge favourites at -250 to win outright while matching Burnley at +700. Heck, even the draw is set high, at +350 soccer odds across sportsbooks.
Soccer Betting Verdict
Last season, Jose Mourinho, in his special way, whinged incessantly about his club being in transition; how he lacked the requisite pieces; and how his incomplete Blues couldn’t possibly win the title, even as they sat atop the table in March. Had he pulled off the feat then with what little he had, he would have really underscored his moniker as the “Special One.” As it were, coming so close with last season’s Blues only proved there was some merit to his whinging.
This season he has no excuses on which he could prop up yet another season without silverware. He’s been busy in the transfer window, adding lots of lovely pieces to his Blues that they’ve emerged as the top favourites to win it all. So take Chelsea at -250 on your soccer picks to win their opening match against Burnley on the road. Mourinho should be crowing in week 1 as he enjoys the view from the top of the table.
Soccer Free Picks: Chelsea to win outright at -250