The Premier League title race is heating up with three teams all having a chance of winning come May. While there are still plenty of games to play, and with the Africa Cup of Nations and January transfer window set to play a huge part in the campaign, right now it is in Chelsea’s hands to win it.
The Blues have been solid under Thomas Tuchel and although Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City won the title last season, Chelsea are top of the league and ahead in the odds on the Premier League winner — whilst Liverpool is growing in confidence with each passing win. The pressure will continue to mount on Tuchel’s side, and it will be interesting to see if they can cope or not. Let’s take a look at his side’s strengths and how they can give Chelsea an edge in the title race.
Solid at the back
While we don’t think anyone will come close to matching Chelsea’s impenetrable backline of 2005 under José Mourinho, where the Blues shipped just 15 league goals all season, this current crop of players still knows how to keep a clean sheet. Edouard Mendy has been solid all season and was unlucky to not win the Yashin Trophy earlier this month. In front of him is a blend of experience and youthful exuberance, with serial winner Thiago Silva a commanding presence despite being in the autumn of his career. At 37, his future at Stamford Bridge is still uncertain with his contract expiring at the end of the season, but if the Blues are to pick up more silverware this season, they can rely on someone who has won a number of league titles to boost their credibility amongst the Premier League predictions when it comes to winning.
A big reason both Chelsea and City have an advantage over Liverpool is their strength in depth. You can argue they have the best set of fullbacks in the Premier League on current form, and even with Ben Chilwell injured, Marcos Alonso is a solid deputy. You only have to look at the sides they put out for the cup competitions to see there is quality littered in every position, giving Tuchel plenty of options for reinforcements from the bench. Even when players head off to the Africa Cup of Nations at the turn of the year, there are enough options to reshuffle and a plethora of reserves hungry to step in and take the place of the regular starters, particularly £72 million-man Kepa Arrizabalaga, who lost the number one shirt whilst Frank Lampard was in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Been there, done that
If there’s one thing this side under Tuchel boast is experience. Having won the Champions League last season, the Blues are familiar with picking up silverware on a regular basis — add to that their Super Cup exploits and there is a squad that has seen it all and performed in the big moments. Although the FA Cup loss under Lampard still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of some Chelsea fans, the bulk of that squad also picked up a Europa League back in Baku and some even played under Antonio Conte during the league title win of 2017. While City may have had more success domestically, this is certainly a side that can compete for a title and doesn’t look likely to let go now they’re in the driving seat any time soon.