Having won the Premier League title with remarkable ease during manager Antonio Conte’s first season in the hot seat, Chelsea began this season in rather mixed form – including a very surprising home defeat to Burnley on the opening day.
We are now around three months into the 2017/18 Premier League though, meaning we have a better idea of how well placed they are to defend their title.
It was a strange summer for Chelsea, following that title win, with rumours swirling about Conte being unhappy – which were not helped by the failure to sign key transfer targets.
Having made striker Romelu Lukaku their chosen man to replace the out of favour Diego Costa, Chelsea then suffered the indignity of losing out to Manchester United in the race for his signature.
Despite this, the club was given a boost when Conte chose to extend his contract and the club secured the much-needed new striker on the eve of the season start by bringing in Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid.
Once the season started, Chelsea bounced back from that Burnley defeat with some morale boosting early victories – including wins against the likes of Tottenham and Everton.
Further encouragement for their title chances came from the fact that new striker Morata hit the ground running, with several goals in the first couple of months of the season – although this meant that he became a big miss to the team when he picked up an injury. His fitness is definitely key to Chelsea’s chances of maintaining pace with league leaders Manchester City, as he showed when he returned to the team and scored the vital winning goal in Chelsea’s last match before the recent international break – a 1-0 home win over rivals Manchester United.
This was a big win for the team and their overall form has been strong, barring a glitch in mid-September when they lost successive games to City and Crystal Palace, leaving them eight points off the top of the table at the moment.
Those who are tempted to write them off should remember that they had a bad spell in the first half of last season, which included heavy defeats to both Liverpool and Arsenal that seemed to be hugely damaging at the time; but Conte’s decision to adopt a 3-4-3 system wrong footed his opponents and saw Chelsea storm through the second half of the season.
Equally, current leaders Manchester City looked invincible early last season, only to falter during the winter months.
They are certainly still a very strong bet for the Premier League title, although nowadays people are more likely to place this bet via an app rather than the bookies’ on the high street.
Sports’ betting via app has made it more accessible to people, with a site like cherryrush.com increasing this further by collecting all the best apps, such as Gaming Club app, in one place, alongside reviews and ratings of each one.