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Are Chelsea banker material for the 2015/16 Premier League?


Reigning champions Chelsea are favourites to retain their Premier League crown after dominating last season

We’re fast approaching the start of the new football season, with Chelsea favourites to claim a consecutive Premier League title.

Chelsea 8/5 with Coral
Man City 11/4 with bet365
Arsenal 5/1 with Ladbrokes
Man United 11/2 with Ladbrokes

The Blues were head and shoulders above the competition last term and Coral in combination with their free bet offer currently have a best price of 8/5 that Chelsea once again land the honours, although BetVictor are as short as 5/4 about the champions.

Can Chelsea enjoy another flyer?
They won the Premier League by eight points last season which is a pretty sizeable margin. The key for Jose Mourinho’s men was that flying start which saw the Blues win eleven and draw three of their opening fourteen matches before losing 2-1 at Newcastle.

Mourinho will be focused on a similarly fast opener to this season’s campaign, although there are clashes away to Manchester City and at home to Arsenal in those first six games this time around.

Eden Hazard likely to scoop several awards again next season

Will the Chelsea squad be any stronger?
It’s not looking likely at this stage but do you bother to mend a bike that’s not broken? Radamel Falcao has arrived on a season-long loan although it didn’t cause the sort of shockwaves that greeted the Colombian’s arrival at Old Trafford twelve months ago.

It’s probable that Eden Hazard will continue to improve and become one of the world’s best, while Diego Costa is likely to enjoy more game time if he can avoid injury / suspension.

The starting XI will be very similar to last season, with Kurt Zouma and Felipe Luis hoping to get more game time in defence, with Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic likely to operate behind an attacking trident of Hazard, Oscar and Willian.

What about Chelsea’s title rivals?
There are three teams that can realistically challenge Chelsea next season.

Manchester City are 11/4 with bet365 and they are reshaping their squad over the summer, with Edin Dzeko rumoured to be the latest forward leaving the club. Wilfried Bony can play a big role in the coming campaign as understudy to Sergio Aguero, while Raheem Sterling is odds-on to arrive.

Arsenal finished the season strongly including that FA Cup win, with Alexis Sanchez getting a rest after the Copa America although Petr Cech between the sticks can only be a positive. A fit Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott could give the Gunners a shout.

Manchester United have made the eye-catching signing of Memphis Depay and they are also about to sign Morgan Schneiderlin. A return to the Champions League means a juggling act for Louis van Gaal but a title assault is the big focus next season too.

The Verdict
Chelsea will be a popular accumulator selection next season although there are three viable title contenders in the form of City, Arsenal and United. That winning margin last season was largely down to a fast start, with United particularly slow off the mark thanks to a new manager and plenty of squad reshaping.

Perhaps Arsenal offer the best value at odds of 5/1. There was an eight-game winning run towards the end of the campaign which illustrated their ability to produce the goods consistently and they have arguably the best attacking options out of every team.

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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