The second coming of the Special one failed to deliver trophies last season at Chelsea but with a year’s experience and a squad shuffle that would have impressed the British PM Chelsea are one of your Humble Handicapper’s top soccer tips for next season.
It was up mixed bag of a season last year in the EPL for Chelsea as they ended their campaign without a trophy for the first time since the 2010-11 season. However a season end tally of 82 points (in third place), was the best since the 2009-10 season. That sort of performance would have been tutted at by their Russian oligarch owner had they had any other manager at the helm. But, Jose is the sort of special manager that gets a little time down at Stanford Bridge. However, as the 2014-15 EPL season looms the pressure is officially on. But your Humble Handicapper always says “no pressure no diamonds”.
Enough with the Metaphors…WHERE’S THE EPL CHELSEA FUTURES MONEY MIKE?
Chelsea are already looking a dark horse / front runner bet for the EPL. The bookies have them at a slight favourite at best soccer odds of 19/10, closely followed by Man City at 9/4 and Man Utd at 11/2. Arsenal, that top four stalwart make up the four at 7/1 but last season's runners up (who finished ahead of Chelsea don’t forget) Liverpool are 10/1.
You can also pick up league winner odds “without both of the Manchesters” and in those soccer odds Chelsea are clear favourites ta 8/13.
What’s So Good about Chelsea?
Well, they have signed 27 year old midfielder Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona on a five-year deal for an “undisclosed fee”. Also for a mystery fee is the 19-year-old Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic from Hajduk Split. Chelsea have also added to their ranks Diego Costa after reaching agreement with Atletico Madrid (beating a £21m deal from Liverpool, (which should also tell you how well the player reckons Chelsea will do compared to Liverpool)).
And Out With the Old
Out goes 27-year-old Brazilian David Luiz, who has made 143 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea, will join the French champions Paris St-Germain on a five-year contract. Ashley Cole and Samuel Eto are both released as their contracts have come to an end. The 33 year old Cole is off to Roma while Eto’s new home is still TBC following his Cameroon adventure in the world cup.
If the odds on Chelsea winning the 2014-15 English Premiere League title next season outright are too slight for your tastes, you might like to consider that Chelsea scored 71 goals last season (30 behind Liverpool and 31 behind Man City) but only conceded 27, the fewest of any EPL side last season. Therefore it’s a sane bet to have them to be the side who conceded the fewest goals next season at 6/4, and if you fancy it you could also have a punt on them outscoring everyone else at 5/2.
If you fancy a spite bet, and plenty of people do go for Jose Mourinho being the first manager out the door at soccer odds of 33/1. It’s a big fat return but he is a bit special.
A more sensible sports pick, especially when you consider Jose’s history with the competition and the fact that the clubs owner loves the Champions League, is Chelsea at 12/1 (a tidy return) to win it. A safer bet – but with tighter odds is Chelsea winning the FA Cup, they’re joint favourites at 6/1 with Man City.
Chelsea get their campaign away against Burnley, Leicester and Everton so why not stick a few quid down on a soccer pick with them being top on the 2nd September (after three games) at 11/5 (although both Man City and Man Utd are worth a wee punt at 5/2 and 37/13 respectively).
If you want a safe as houses bet – go for Chelsea finishing in the top four, available at best soccer odds of 1/16, or if you want to live a little bit more dangerously go for a top two finish at 4/7.
Prediction: Glory days are coming back to Chelsea.