Armed with a mega-talented squad and one of the best managers in the world, the reigning champions are favored to repeat as league champions in 2015/16. We break down the soccer odds for Chelsea inside.
When we look over the futures list at sites like 5Dimes, we see Chelsea topping the board. The holders are listed at +160 to repeat as Premier League champions, putting them just above the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Winning the league title is hard enough to do once, but repeating is a different story altogether, but you can see why soccer odds makers are liking the Blues' chances. If anything, they look even stronger heading into the new season.
Chelsea: 2014/15 Recap
It was a very successful season for Jose Mourinho and his troops. Not only did Chelsea win the league title, but the Blues also won the Capital One Cup (over Tottenham in the final) to double up on the trophies.
Whereas the 2013/14 Premier League campaign came down to the final matchday, last season wasn't nearly as exciting, as Chelsea was able wrap up the title with relative easy after their closest competitors faltered. The Blues' measured consistency in league play helped them win the title by eight points.
It was a true team effort across the board for Chelsea. Thibaut Courtois was stellar in goal throughout, and the defensive line, led by John Terry and Gary Cahill in the heart of it all, was integral to the Blues' success; as a team, Chelsea allowed just 32 goals over 36 matches last season. Further up the pitch, Eden Hazard was instrumental and created more chances than anyone else in the Premier League, while the likes of Oscar, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa all made big impacts too.
Chelsea: 2015/16 Look-Ahead
Big personnel changes happen every season in the Premier League, and this past summer was no different. So, what kind of moves did Chelsea make ahead of the 2015/16 campaign?
Let's start with the departed. Petr Cech, who found himself as the second choice goalkeeper behind Courtois, was allowed to leave and was signed by Arsenal. It's a move that immediately strengthens one of Chelsea's biggest competitors, regardless of how good Courtois has been for the Blues, so it's a big move no matter how you spin it. The other big departure was the legendary Didier Drogba, who has reportedly reached a deal to join Montreal in the MLS.
Given how strong the squad already was, Mourinho and company didn't feel the need to make huge splashes in the transfer market, although they were a couple moves of note. Chelsea brought Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco (he previously was on loan at Manchester United last season), and Asmir Begovic was signed from Stoke City as insurance now that Cech isn't around any longer. That's really all.
That may be a little concerning to some Chelsea doubters, considering other top-flight contenders in England made some huge splashes in teh market, but it's more testament to how solid the Blues are across the board that they didn't really need to shake anything up. What they've been doing has been working, so why fix what isn't broken? They've still got arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, a sturdy as can be defense, and a staggering amount of quality and depth in both the midfield and attack.
Throw in a genius of a manager and seemingly unlimited funds at their diposal should additions need to be made, and you can see why odds makers have pinned the Blues as the favorites and you should too, specially when placing your soccer picks.
In short, if any team is equipped to repeat as Premier League champions, it's going to be this Chelsea outfit.