Following on from being crowned Premier League champions last season, Chelsea have had one of their worst campaigns in over 20 years. Starting off the season with the notorious Jose Mourinho, it is tough to believe any football fan would have predicted the four-time Premier League champions would be in 10th position at this point of the season.
However, this is now a reality and, after the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December, the Londoners have already missed out on Champions League qualification and look unlikely to qualify for the Europa League.
Roman Abramovich’s side are on a poor run of form, winning only two of their last eight games, and haven’t won back-to-back league fixtures since the end of February, when they narrowly beat Southampton 2-1 before edging past Norwich by the same score-line.
Italian head coach Antonio Conte was appointed at Stamford Bridge in April, which will be a huge relief for Chelsea supporters who look to put this abysmal season behind them. Conte will begin the role after his nation’s European Championship campaign finishes this summer.
The 46-year-old guided Italy to the Euros after an unbeaten qualifying campaign, which saw the Azzurri win seven of their 10 games, claiming top spot in Group H.
Like Mourinho, Conte has experience of winning top flight league trophies, winning a Serie A title in each of the three seasons he spent at Juventus. During his time at the Old Lady he also went on to win Coach of the Year award in 2013 at the Globe Soccer Awards, after winning both the Italian Super Cup and the league title in the same season.
However, the appointment of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, pits two of the best managers in the world against each other in what is set to be a tough rivalry for the league title. Guardiola is currently the head coach of Bayern Munich and has won 10 major trophies as a manager, including two Champions League trophies with Barcelona.
Fans voiced their opinions of Conte’s appointment on Twitter, with many backing the Italian to do well in the English top flight. But some fans are sceptical whether his tactics and style will suit the Premier League. Manchester City are 6/4 in the odds to be crowned champions next season while Chelsea can be backed at 5/1 with Bet365 Premier League odds.
Conte a good match for Chelsea, on the face of it. Will have to transfer his style to suit the PL, but has bags of relevant experience.
— Dan Levene (@danlevene) April 4, 2016
Chelsea are looking to turn their miserable form around in the final five games of their season.
In May, Guus Hiddink’s men have home ties against the top two sides, Leicester and Tottenham, who are battling away for the title Chelsea which currently hold, with the other games being made up by tricky away trips to Sunderland and Liverpool.