Started by FastGoal, Aug 07, 2018, 08:37 AM

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The Manager: Maurizio Sarri
Former banker Sarri is something of a late bloomer on the managerial scene. Having spent the majority of his managerial career around the lower reaches of the Italian league, it has only been in recent years that he has really come to prominence. Promotion success with Empoli led to his appointment as Napoli boss, where he recorded an impressive 66% win rate in nearly three years at the helm.

The Squad:
An unusually quiet summer for the Blues in the transfer market, with the main task being to replace the outgoing manager Antonio Conté.
The one major signing they have made does look to be a significant one though. Jorginho was an essential cog in the Napoli midfield under Sarri, and one of the new coach's first acts was to sign his former player. With N'Golo Kante already in situ, there won't be a more energetic, ball winning duo in any midfield in the league, which together with a solid back line and keeper should make Chelsea a tough not to crack.
Whilst there is still time left in the transfer window, we are surprised the club have not yet snapped up a new centre forward to feed off the chances created by the likes of Willian and Eden Hazard. Alvaro Morata seems ill-suited to the demands of this league, whilst Olivier Giroud is proven but aging.

Star Man: Eden Hazard
Undoubtedly the most naturally gifted player in this Chelsea squad, the Belgium captain as the ability in his twinkle toed feet to open up any defence in the World. Sarri's system ought to suit the playmaker, and if the new manager can squeeze a little more out of him, Chelsea could be in for a productive season. The main question would concern Hazard's motivation. With a predicted move to Real Madrid over the summer seemingly failing to go through, will his focus be affected?

We would expect Chelsea to be considerably more entertaining to watch under the buccaneering Sarri than the often safety first approach of Conté, and wouldn't be surprised should they be involved in a real thriller or two. What they really needed for our money though was a forward to guarantee 20 plus goals. Having failed to address that issue, we fancy they may well come up just short.

Premier League Prediction: 5th

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