Why Chelsea will be Crowned Champions

Here’s why Chelsea will win the English Premier League title this season.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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By Ivy Jiang

The English Premier League season is off to an exciting start. Teams such as Everton, Southampton, and Aston Villa have been surprising contenders, and many have predicted that with these new challengers, Liverpool won’t be able to defend their title. Among these prominent contenders, however, one team has been overlooked this season: Chelsea. Suffering only one loss, Chelsea leads the league in goals scored and has conceded the second-fewest number of goals, evidence that this team’s ability to spread its attack, maintain possession, and limit its opponent’s shots on target could crown them champions of the Premier League.

Chelsea’s main strength lies in its attack. Striker Timo Werner, an excellent finisher inside the penalty box, has been a valuable signing for the team, scoring 10 goals in all competitions this season. Furthermore, right midfielder Kai Havertz has shown his importance as a young talent who can control the pace of the game with his footwork and creativity, producing three assists this year. Though Chelsea’s offense was one of the best in the league last season, there was never an attacking three that manager and soccer legend Frank Lampard could consistently rely on to produce goals. Werner and Havertz have brought new elements of control and pace to the Chelsea attack, and their style of play allows Lampard to effectively mix and match players to produce the most optimal results.

Chelsea has seemingly added more to an already talented offense, but the team is also successfully addressing their main weakness: keeping possession.

It was all too common to see Chelsea last year lose the ball in the midfield. Excess dribbling on the wing would lead to frequent counterattacks from their opponents. Last season, Chelsea ranked in the top five in the number of times dispossessed. This year, however, they have the fewest. Much of this improvement is attributed to attacking midfielder Hakim Zieych. An excellent replacement for right-winger Willian (who signed with Arsenal during the offseason), Ziyech has a talent for accurate crosses that not only arrive at the strikers’ feet but also help scramble the opposing team’s defense. He is not a dribbler who seeks to move forward but rather a playmaker who wishes to get as many men in scoring position as possible. This enables Chelsea to keep more possession and move the ball around the last third of the field instead of dribbling forward in hopes of a shot on goal.

The make-or-break for Chelsea this season will be their defense. It has been four years since the retirement of Chelsea skipper and center-back John Terry, and there has not yet been one player on the roster who has taken any sort of leadership position. Now, the story is starting to change with the signing of Thiago Silva, a Brazilian international. His abilities to read the game, shut down defenders, and conduct play from the back are exactly what Chelsea desperately needs. Alongside Silva, Kurt Zouma’s speed and physicality make him a player even the best strikers will struggle to get past. Finally, Chelsea has seen dramatic improvement now that Edouard Mendy has replaced Kepa in goal. One of the most important qualities of Mendy’s game is his distribution. His passes are precise and he always has a look of calmness even as defenders close down on him. His shot-stopping is also world-class, and he has conceded only one goal in his last eight starts. He has boosted the confidence of the players on the field, and under his watch, Chelsea has become an unstoppable and united team.

Chelsea is not without its competition. Liverpool, despite suffering injuries to its defensive core, remains at second place in the Premier League, and Tottenham’s lethal counterattack duo of Harry Kane and Son Heung Min has scored 15 of their 19 goals. Also, the performance of Leicester City’s strikers and Danish national team goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has been a major contributor to their current first place position in the league. But if there is one thing Chelsea has shown in its most recent games, it is consistency. The team has never had a loss against a team that they should have beaten this season, nor have they suffered any blow-out losses. Furthermore, Chelsea has talented individuals in every position to fill the roles of injured starters, an important factor that has contributed to its lethal midfield, even without American left-winger Christian Pulisic. Chelsea is in prime position to take the championship due to the extensive progress made on both ends of the field and can reasonably achieve their first Premier League title since the 2016-17 season.