The rumour mill has been linking Kepa Arrizabalaga with a move away from Chelsea for some time now; reports that have intensified further after the Spaniard was once again dropped to the bench in favour of 38-year-old Willy Caballero ahead of the Blues’ Premier League fixture with Man United this evening.
It has been a wild year all-round for many teams including Chelsea. But now the end is in sight, what are the realistic expectations for this club from now until the end of the season?
The short answer is that a top four finish should be seen as the minimum. This wasn’t necessarily something required at the start of the season, but certainly is now, and the online bookmakers seem to be thinking the same.
With Tottenham (11/4), Arsenal (40/1) and Manchester United (8/1) all having far worse seasons than expected, the door has been left wide open and The Blues simply have to take advantage.
Bookmakers have Chelsea priced up at 4/7 to finish in the top four, so they clearly see this as something that is likely to happen.
The current third placed team Leicester are 1/10 on this market, so the bookmakers expect it to be easier for them, implying Leicester are more likely to finish 3rd and Chelsea finish 4th.
There is a list of available betting offers for new customers for those looking to get involved and place a bet on the final stages of the season. As per our interpretation, we call a bet on the Blues a ‘safe bet’ at this stage.
However, there is hope that Chelsea can turn the tables on The Foxes, who have stuttered a little in recent weeks. They have just one win from their last four games, the same as Chelsea. If The Blues had played better over the past few weeks, they would have been much closer.
We know Chelsea can play better and a big couple of games awaits. Home contests against Manchester United and Tottenham give the chance for Frank Lampard’s men to gain two confidence boosting wins.
Those would also keep their two opponents well behind in the race for 4th place and allow Chelsea to focus on the team above them, Leicester City, rather than looking over their shoulder at those behind.
The run-in is not easy for Chelsea by any stretch of the imagination, with a whole host of games against either those at the top or those desperate for points at the bottom.
With confidence back in the dressing room though, there is definitely a chance that this team can overtake Leicester towards the end of the season and claim 3rd place in the standings.
As far as expectations from the beginning of the season go, this would be an over-achievement for Frank Lampard in his first season in charge.
Questions were asked when he was appointed as to whether he needed a little more experience before taking the job. It is pressure moments like the one we are in right now that will determine whether he will be classed as a success or not this season.
If he does come through this well and Chelsea grab 3rd place, the future under Lampard could well be bright. However, a failure to capitalise on poor seasons from many rivals and finishing behind Leicester would be no more than an average start to his career.
The feeling is that this is a big moment in the season, but even if it doesn’t go to plan, the top four should still be the minimum target from this position.
Chelsea are interested in signing West Ham defender Issa Diop, according to reports. The Blues remain in the hunt for a top four finish this season but will need to make reinforcements at the end of the season if they want to challenge for major silverware in the future. Frank Lampard is working with a talented young side at the moment but he will need to make reinforcements to the squad if he wants to transform it into one of the best in the league and in Europe.
Diop has been one of the Hammers best players for a while
The 23-year-old Diop joined the Hammers from Toulouse during the summer of 2018 and has been one of the club’s best players ever since. The club last struggled last season under the guidance of Manuel Pellegrini but the 23-year-old was one of its most consistent performers. One could even argue that he is too good to be playing for the East Londoners who are very inconsistent.
With a big physique, one of Diop’s strengths is that he is often able to out-muscle opposition attackers. He has good tackling and interception skills and could add good depth to Chelsea’s defensive options, which include Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma. Tomori and Zouma started the season as Chelsea’s first choice defensive partnership. Christensen is linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge whilst Rudiger has spent a large portion of the season out injured.
Whilst Tomori is developing into a fine talent, he is still inexperienced and Zouma tends to blow hot and cold in terms of his performances. Adding Diop to the Chelsea roster would be a smart move by Lampard and the player may even be available for a bargain fee next summer if West Ham do end up getting relegated.
Chelsea Football Club, it’s a team shrouded in pride and historical greats. The Blues have played some truly breathtaking football over the years, and they continue to do so under Frank Lampard today. They have entertained fans at Stamford Bridge week in and week out this season, and if you fancy a wager on them – use the gentpromocode and see what could be in store for you.
Chelsea F.C. really has enjoyed some mega success stories, both domestically and internationally. Yet to enjoy the success that they evidently have, they have needed to attract some superstars to the club in the past. This reality piqued our interest, and Chelsea’s all time greats are detailed right here.
1. Didier Drogba
With over 100 goals for Chelsea and almost single handedly winning the Champions League final for them in 2012, Drogba is an absolute legend at the club. Many hail his ability in ‘clutch’ matches as something almost superhuman, and both Sir Alex Ferguson and Gianfranco Zola have acknowledged this in the past.
2. John Terry
Some people refer to the ‘infamous John Terry’ these days due to his behavior off the pitch, but on the pitch he was undeniably a Chelsea great. In fact, his peers had previously voted Terry as player of the year in his first season. It was only fitting that he went on to captain the Chelsea squad a few years later, and he was undoubtedly a favorite of Jose Mourinho at the time. Terry was also a critical part of the Champions League squad during their 2012 triumph.
3. Gianfranco Zola
Zola was a bit of an Italian magician during his glory days at Chelsea, and he certainly drove Sir Alex Ferguson around the bend a few times! He really was a skillful player who had the ability to create chances out of nowhere, and he did it with that typical bit of Italian wizardry. He scored over 70 goals during his time at Chelsea, and he lifted a total of 2 FA Cup trophies above his head.
4. Frank Lampard
Current Chelsea manager Frank Lampard just could not be left out from this list! Lampard has been an admirable Chelsea leader in his time, and his thunderbolt long-range shots used to strike fear into Chelsea opposition. The fact that he is Chelsea’s third top-scorer of all-time when he was actually a midfield player says it all really. He was never afraid to take a pop at goal, which led to Lampard scoring over 170 goals for Chelsea on his way to lifting the Premier League title a respectable 3 times.
These four legends have already gone down in history at the club, and Lampard is now making a commendable go at leading the Blues as their manager. He has proven to be moderately successful so far, but as we all know – the Chelsea fans demand trophies and they are thirsty after their recent drought! He’s got a lot to live up to after the success of Mourinho at the club, but Frankie might just be able to pull it off.
Chelsea are having an excellent season so far and look nailed on for a top-four finish – but what will their team look like in five years?
We come up with our best guess.
Goalkeeper: Nathan Baxter
The ball-playing goalkeeper has excellent distribution; he shone at Yeovil last season and is now thriving at Ross County. He signed a five-year contract in 2018 and is clearly well-thought-of.
Right-back: Reece James
Having starred at Wigan last season, James brings athleticism, remarkable maturity and unique technical quality to the Latics.
It may not be long before James takes the right-back spot off Cesar Azpilicueta…
Centre-backs: Kurt Zouma and Jake Clarke-Salter
Short-term, Chelsea may look next summer for a low-risk, experienced defender to shore things up.
Long-term, we may see a pairing of the powerful Kurt Zouma and Jake Clarke-Salter, who can play but also has a passionate desire to defend.
Left-back: Ben Chilwell
Chilwell is thriving this season at Leicester; he is showing incredible pace and stamina whilst adding maturity to his game.
Once Chelsea’s transfer ban is lifted, they may have the wherewithal to offer the impressive left-back a bigger salary than Leicester can.
Holding midfielder: Lisandro Martinez
Jorginho may not be a first-teamer at Chelsea when he is 32; a long-term replacement could be Lisandro Martinez.
The Ajax midfielder possesses many of Jorginho’s qualities but is perhaps stronger and more aggressive off the ball.
All-action midfielder: Ethan Ampadu
Ampadu looks the perfect long-term replacement for N’Golo Kante, showing his maturity for the Welsh national team.
The midfielder does a lot of covering work, he is clever in his challenges and has plenty of energy; the 19-year-old can progress the ball after winning it, too.
Advanced playmaker: Mason Mount
After proving himself on loan at Vitesse and Derby, Mount has earnt his chance in the Premier League this term.
As well as his creativity, Mount has scored four Premier League goals so far and is always in the thick of the action. He’s been outstanding under Lampard at two different clubs.
Right-winger: Jadon Sancho
The tricky winger is among the most exciting players in world football and, having been sold by Man City to Dortmund in 2017, may favour a return to England.
It’s a bit of an outside shot but Sancho can be backed at 20/1 with some bookmakers to move to Chelsea.
Left-winger: Christian Pulisic
Pulisic may be competing with Callum Hudson-Odoi for that left-sided spot for a long time.
Hudson-Odoi’s pace is an obvious threat and the 19-year-old has potential but for now, Lampard appears to favour the all-round quality of Pulisic.
Striker: Tammy Abraham
Abraham has starred since coming into this Chelsea team; he has used his athleticism to great effect and scored 10 goals in 13 Premier League appearances.
Abraham is amongst the frontrunners for this year’s PFA Young Player of the Year award after his lightning-fast start to life in the Premier League. You can get odds of around 11/4 for Abraham lifting the title along with no risk free bet offers from Freebets.uk.
It would certainly represent a big statement for Abraham. He’s competing for the award against his fellow Blues teammate Mason Mount. The midfielder is a little behind Abraham in the betting odds but a small dip in form could change that. Abraham, meanwhile, is even as low as 5/1 to become finish this season as the Premier League top goalscorer.
With 10 goals already, Abraham has proven a lot of people wrong. He’s a potential world-class star in the making.
Danny Drinkwater could potentially be sent back to Chelsea from Burnley during the January transfer window, according to a report which was published by The Sun. The 29-year-old’s career has undergone a downward spiral since his arrival at Stamford Bridge back in 2017 from Leicester City.
Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has revealed that he is keen to learn from Tottenham Hotspur and England star Harry Kane. Abraham and Kane were selected as teammates for England’s most recent squad. Both players went on to find the back of the net during their country’s 7-0 mauling of Montenegro last Thursday. Kane netted a hattrick while Abraham managed to bag his first national team goal during the 84th minute.
Let’s face it, most people thought that Frank Lampard would not succeed as manager of Chelsea when he was appointed to lead the club last summer. Those who doubted the club legend were justified in doing so. He, after all, had to navigate the club through a very difficult period amidst the two window transfer ban and inability to bring in a direct replacement for Eden Hazard, who almost single-handedly guided the club to a top four finish last season.
Taking away the blue-tinted glasses and the benefit of hindsight, let’s image that—in the height of the summer—I had been asked what the gist of the articles would be come early November. I would be lying if I would have said with anything approaching certainty that they would be positive, never mind glowing. On the back of the sale of Chelsea’s best player and the transfer ban (even though they hardly came as a surprise), combined with the appointment of a very wet-behind-the-ears manager, the future was not necessarily looking rosy.
The 2018/19 season was a tough year for Chelsea that was best written off as “character building”. It started off well, with Chelsea winning their first five games and not losing a match until they played Tottenham Hotspur away on 24th November. This 3-1 defeat was the first of 8 losses in the Premier League, but this was still fewer than all but two teams in the league. Finishing third overall in the Premier League, and therefore securing a place in the Champions League, was a good consolation.
Reaching the EFL Cup final was another high of the season, with many thinking that Chelsea could go all the way, only to be bitterly disappointed when they were beaten 3-4 in a penalty shootout against Manchester City. A second UEFA Europa League win, beating London rivals Arsenal, was one of the highlights of the year—one that Chelsea hoped to build on for 2019/20.
One of the biggest changes over the summer break was that former Chelsea player, Frank Lampard, was appointed as the team’s manager. Lampard spent 13 years of his career playing for Chelsea between 2001 and 2014, and had been managing Derby County since 2018. This didn’t get off to a great start, though; the team’s first competitive game ended in a 4-0 loss to Manchester United, the biggest first-game defeat for a Chelsea Manager since 1978.
Lampard’s second game also ended in a loss in the UEFA Super Cup, drawing 2-2 against Liverpool and then losing 5-4 in a penalty shootout. It wasn’t until 24th August, when Chelsea played Norwich City away, that Lampard led the team to their first victory together. It was then a whole month before they secured their first home win, this time in an EFL Cup game against Grimsby Town, a League Two side.
Finding Their Feet
Despite a less-than-perfect start to the season, Chelsea have begun to show progress. Their attacking has improved significantly and, despite defeat, they looked impressive against Liverpool, who under Jurgen Klopp, are one of the most formidable attacking teams in the Premier League right now.
Chelsea are where (or thereabouts) they were likely to be at this point in the season. There is still a lot that can change; but looking at their performance so far, fans looking to place wagers on Chelsea, using bookmakers like Oddschecker, will likely want to look at factors like the abnormally-high number of goals they have conceded so far this season.
Performance in September has been an improvement on earlier in the season. The latest match against Liverpool saw Chelsea lose again, but the 2-1 defeat was a show of force by the blues. Their attacking form is on the up, and the changes Frank Lampard has been making are beginning to bring a return.
The initial poor performance in the Champions League can still be turned around, but the odds are stacked against them, and with Ajax and Valencia in their group, this won’t be a simple task.
A new manager starting with poor performances is not uncommon and does not always point to inherent problems that will remain for their tenure. Instead, it is often a sign that the new manager is making changes to the structure and style of the team that will take a few games to bed in. This certainly seems to be the case with Frank Lampard at Chelsea. The catastrophic opening day loss to Manchester United is far behind them now, and the team is on the up.
Whilst no one expects Chelsea to be able to take on the dominance of Liverpool and Manchester City this year, a 2019/20 season packed with solid performances will be a way for Lampard to lay down some solid foundations for a title-challenging campaign in a few years. Sitting 5th at this stage of the season, with a new manager that has a long history at the club and improving performance, is a position many teams would love to find themselves in.
Chelsea will undergo many changes once their transfer ban ends. As things stand, they do not have a side which is capable of challenging for major silverware. Once the transfer ban ends, they will aim to build a side which can challenge the best and we will see a lot of departures and new signings.
Chelsea are currently doing well. However, they will need to offload and bring in new players next summer if they want to become a side which is worthy of challenging for the League title next season. One area of the Blues first-team which needs reinforcement if the left-back position. Both Marcos Alonso and Davide Zappacosta do not look like they can help the club to win titles.
Willy Caballero will almost certainly be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season. Kepa Arrizabalaga looks set to remain as Blues first-choice keeper for the foreseeable future but Frank Lampard’s side will likely have to look into bringing in a new shot-stopper to provide cover for their goalkeeping position. The following are some players whom they can consider.
Chelsea youngster Reece James is wanted by Leeds United during the January transfer window, according to a report published by The Sun.
Mason Mount started for the Three Lions, marking his first full game for England. Tammy Abraham also made his first competitive appearance as England lost to the Czech Republic 2-1 on Friday. Another Chelsea player, Fikayo Tomori, was an unused substitute.
Christian Pulisic may push for a loan move in January if he fails to get regular game time at Chelsea, according to a report which was published by The Sun.
Popular football analyst Chris Sutton has indicated that Chelsea manager Frank Lampard would not have signed Christian Pulisic had be been managing the club in January. The American joined the Blues during the January transfer window for £58 million from Borussia Dortmund. He was immediately loaned back to the Bundesliga outfit for the second half of last season before being integrated into the Chelsea first-team permanently during the summer.
Chelsea are doing fine so far under Frank Lampard in light of the two-window transfer ban. The Blues are not expected to content for any major silverware this season. Lampard is, however, doing a fine job managing the club and has managed to unearth three future stars in Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has advised his team-mate Christian Pulisic to remain positive. The American arrived at Stamford Bridge during the summer from Borussia Dortmund and has had a less than ideal start to life with the West London club. Pulisic has so far played four times in the Premier League for the Blues and has only notched one assist. He has so far been unable to adapt to the Premier League. It is still early though and as was seen by his spell in Germany, the 21-year-old has plenty of potential so it would be dangerous to write him off immediately.
Tammy Abraham has firmly established himself as the Chelsea first-choice striker this season with some dazzling displays. The youngster has proven that he is capable of developing into a world-class talent and also drawn comparisons to the likes of Didier Drogba and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney.
Tammy Abraham is currently doing a fine job leading the line for Chelsea in the Premier League. The Englishman has established himself as a star talent in England’s top-flight. At the rate that he is currently going, he should even be able to make the England squad for the European Championships next year as cover for Harry Kane.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has reportedly reached an agreement with Chelsea over signing a new deal and will now be set to remain at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2024.
Frank Lampard’s managerial debut in the UCL went south as Chelsea lost at home to Valencia.
Chelsea are currently on a two-window transfer embargo for reportedly breaking regulations set by FIFA. The Blues broke FIFA regulations on the signing of foreign players under 18 years old.
Real Madrid are interested in signing Chelsea defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante, according to a report which was published by The Sun. The Frenchman was linked with a move to Los Blancos during the summer transfer window but ended up remaining at the Bridge.