The 2021/22 Premier League is already shaping up to be one of the most stacked and competitive editions of the tournament in some time, with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all back to full strength and acquiring some of the world’s most prestigious talents.
However, life in the Premier League can be tough for those chasing the pack, and so far this season, no side has looked quite as assured as Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. Here’s why Chelsea are the team to beat for this season’s Premier League title, and are our picks to back.
The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle
Chelsea were one of the biggest spenders in the summer transfer window before Thomas Tuchel’s arrival, with the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Eduoard Mendy, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz contributing to over £220 million in spending.
Chelsea are perhaps the most demanding club in world football currently in terms of what their owner and board expect, and with the level of spending raising that bar even higher than before. The pressure eventually told for then-manager Frank Lampard, who lost his job in January 2021 with the side down in 9th place in the table.
Thomas Tuchel, fresh off of a sacking of his own at PSG, did a stellar job when he arrived at Stamford Bridge, managing to claw a top four position and even claim Chelsea’s second ever UEFA Champions League title against Manchester City.
The only issue that Chelsea had to tackle over the course of the season was up front, with midfielder Jorginho being the side’s highest goal scorer with just seven goals in the league. In answer to this, the Blues went big with a club-record £97.5 million acquisition of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan, almost instantly turning the team into odds-on favourites for the title in most Premier League betting markets.
Lukaku finished as the Serie A’s Golden Boot winner last campaign as Inter Milan became the first team to dethrone Juventus since 2011, and he has already bagged three goals in his first four appearances at the time of writing. The Belgian forward is a huge difference maker for Chelsea, and could well prove to the final missing piece of the puzzle for Tuchel in his first full campaign in England.
Gaps Emerging With Rivals
The competition Chelsea face in the Premier League is certainly imperious to look at. The Premier League is a famously competitive league to begin with, with even the lowest ranked sides boasting some seriously talented players and being able to beat any of the big teams in the division.
On top of that, whilst most divisions in Europe might have two or three sides that can mount a serious title push, the top division in England has six big traditional teams with a level of spending unmatched around the continent. Chelsea’s immediate rivals for this season’s Premier League look like they’re shaping up to be Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool.
And whilst these sides all look imperious, especially when compared to their previous campaign, there are certain gaps in these rivals that could potentially be exploited by Chelsea this season.
Liverpool have had a summer transfer window where the only addition they made was the acquisition of Ibrahim Konate in defence, Manchester City were unable to buy the number nine centre-forward Pep Guardiola was desperate for in their pursuits of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane, and Manchester United still have a combination of issues underneath the surface such as a lack of winning pedigree under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the double-pivot issues with Scott McTominany, Fred and Nemanja Matic, and the overall reliance on winning games by the barest of margins thanks to their star quality.