Reason: Well the new season is here and who doesn't like to speculate on the good and the bad which may happen? There will naturally be highs and lows to look forward too, high drama and low spills. With the euphoria of the Champions League victory having passed, there has to be a higher degree of focus back on the Premier League campaign. That will be the focus of this prediction article as we try and look ahead to the next league season. How will Chelsea fare? Will the new signings transform the blues into a genuine title contender? Will they need more time?
Prediction One: Chelsea do not get off to a flying start and after about nine games into the season will already be looking up at the Manchester Clubs. In that period there will be matches against Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester United. Why will it be a marathon and not a sprint for Chelsea? Because Chelsea don't exactly exude confidence heading into the new season. This is not to say that they are going to struggle for the entire season, but from a personal stand-point it doesn't really look as if Di Matteo knows what his best side is yet. The puzzle of fitting the players into their best position and completing that transition to tika-taka from the yawn-fest football they produced last season will take time. So because of this rebuilding mode Chelsea are going to struggle to find their rhythm early on against established and settled sides that their rivals take into the new season.
Prediction Two: Roberto Di Matteo will fill the back pages of the press with speculation that he is about to get the sack. He was only given a two year deal anyway, so not a big extended contract to buy him out, should Roman Abramovich get restless mid-way through the season. This will naturally start happening around December, and rumours of a new manager will be rife ahead of the January transfer window. This won't be because Chelsea are doing badly ironically enough, it will be because they aren't doing well enough. You know those gritty matches are going to be creeping in around this time of the season, and style sometimes get passed up for substance and winning dirty. Add that to the slow start to the season then the claws will be out for Di Matteo, warranted or not. Prime candidate on the rumour mill will be Pep Guardiola.
Prediction Three: If it doesn't happen before, then Chelsea will get a striker in the January transfer window. Probably on the last day just to keep us all in suspense. They will be realising the missed opportunities of the summer transfer window by this point. Neymar, Hulk, Cavani or whoever, that's not the point. Not trying to knock Fernando Torres at all, but the Blues will need some genuine scoring power to support him. The Blues will try and muddle through with what they have, even though they are lacking on the right had side of attack, but it won't be enough to match the fire-power of either Manchester side in the title race. The only solution will be get someone then to help their push towards the end of the season.
Prediction Four: Chelsea will put on a surge early in the new year. Come around the end of January or early February, Chelsea will start getting things together. There really should be a settled side by this stage of the proceedings (especially if they add more goalscoring power) and with some tightening of things up at the back by playing a settled centre half pairing, the Blues will start making a heady charge to put themselves into the title race. There should be a good couple of months of solid form from Chelsea at this point in time and they will start putting the pressure on the teams around them.
Prediction Five: The finish to the season is where Chelsea really showed a lot of mettle last season. They fought tooth and nail together to get what they could out of the season. Will they have that in the tank this season with the new players and the new system trying to be installed? It is unlikely to be honest and while the Blues will secure a top four finish, they will still need another season of growth before they really and realistically start challenging for the league title again.