EPL Season Preview: Chelsea

Updated August 9, 2016

Coach: Antonio Conte

2015/16 Finish: 10

2016/17 Preseason Ranking: 5

Sportify Rating: 1632

2015/16 Wagebill: £217M

Stadium Capacity: 41,663 at Stamford Bridge

Departures: Nathan Ake (Bournemouth, loan); Marco Amelia (released); Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem); Mitchell Beeney (Crawley, loan); Jeremy Boga (Granada, loan); Tomas Kalas (Fulham, loan); Alex Kiwomya (Crewe Alexandra, loan); Reece Mitchell (Chesterfield, free); Charly Musonda (Real Betis, loan); Tika Musonda (released); Nathan (Vitesse Arnhem, loan); Stipe Perica (Udinese); Baba Rahman (Schalke, loan); Mohamed Salah (Roma); John Swift (Reading, free); Kevin Wright (released)

Arrivals: Michy Batshuayi (Marseille); N’Golo Kante (Leicester)

The good: This team has won before

Chelsea FC Opportunities Created

In 2014-15, Chelsea marched to the EPL title; in 2015-16 almost the same squad (with few exceptions outside the typical 2014-15 starting XI) finished 10th in a disastrous campaign. Now Jose Mourinho is gone, and Antonio Conte is in along with Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante. Batshuayi comes in after a standout campaign with Marseille in which he was tied for fourth in Ligue 1 in both goals (17) and assists (9). After exploding on the world football scene last season as a beast in front of Leicester’s backline, Kante needs no introduction, but for more detail, see The Bad in the Leicester profile.

The bad: They were nowhere to be found last season

After a standout campaign in 2014-15 when he won EPL player of the season with 14 goals and nine assists, Eden Hazard managed a mere four goals and three assists while Cesc Fabregas collected seven assists after a league high 18 in the previous campaign. Beside star players disappearing for large portions of the season, the Chelsea defense was awful last season. They conceded 53 goals (13th in the league), more than they have in a PL season since 1996-97! Luckily for Chelsea fans, the team added the league’s standout DM from last season, as well as a coach known for stalwart defenses. In three seasons with Juventus, Conte’s teams conceded a total of 67 Serie A goals and the Italian national team conceded 0.8 goals per game under Conte’s tutelage.