Premier League season preview: Chelsea - predicted finish 2nd

Chelsea look a real force this season. Photo: PA

Predicted finish: 2nd

Transfers so far:Ins: Diego Costa (Atlético Madrid, £32m), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona, £27m), Filipe Luis (Atlético Madrid, £15.8m), Mario Pasalic (Hajduk Split, £2.4m), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray)

Outs: David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain, £40m), Demba Ba (Besiktas, £4.7m), Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland, Undisclosed), Ashley Cole (Roma), Sam Hutchinson (Sheffield Wednesday), Frank Lampard (New York City), Tomas Kalas (Cologne, Loan), Wallace (Vitesse Arnhem, Loan), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Loan), Bertrand Traore (Vitesse, Loan), Cristián Cuevas (Club Universidad de Chile, Loan), Mario Pasalic (Elche, Loan) Samuel Eto'o, Henrique Hilario, Milan Lalkovic, Adam Nditi, Daniel Pappoe, Jhon Pírez, Mark Schwarzer (All released), Romelu Lukaku (Everton, £28m), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton, Loan), Oriol Romeu (Stuttgart, Loan)

New signings - the verdict:

Only four points separated third place Chelsea from Premier League champions Man City, and Mourinho's transfer dealings this summer were always likely to entail careful strengthening rather than transforming his entire senior squad.

The generous £50m raised from David Luiz's sale has been wisely reinvested to purchase one of Europe's most sought after strikers, and former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who has already proven himself in England. The arrival of Filipe Luis as Ashley Cole's replacement also seems like a clever piece of business from Mourinho.

Diego Costa
Can Diego Costa replicate his Atletico Madrid form? Credit: PA

Ones to watch:

Diego Costa – Costa must hit the ground running immediately following his big money move from Atletico, and Jose Mourinho's persistent whining about Chelsea's lack of firepower last term.

The arrival of Blues legend Didier Drogba will only help him settle at Stamford Bridge, where Fernando Torres continues to make any other striker on board seem like a gift from above.

Mourinho
Can he win the title again? Credit: PA

The manager:

There can be no excuses for Jose Mourinho this season. The self-proclaimed Special One was pretty close to securing Premier League glory in his first year back in charge, but ultimately ended the campaign without a trophy and complaining about his lacklustre squad.

History suggests Mourinho excels with teams 12 months after taking over, when his methods begin to bear fruit. Chelsea will again be favourites to lift the title, alongside Man City.

Your predictions:

00uqozpi_normal

@itvfootball First because we made all the right transfers and have the best squad in the premier league

Cuntpvhq_normal

@itvfootball 1st because we have quality players in every position and we have spent money on a world class striker which is what we needed

Jpp9d2uk_normal

@itvfootball they should win like they should every season... But they won't. Best squad in the league. Doesn't get used well.

Tens11mf_normal

@itvfootball 1 or 2 because now we got a much more well balanced team in terms of midfield and attackers, with Costa and Fabregas joining

Mdljvttu_normal

@itvfootball Top 3 but some very good signings by other teams this year and should be another great season with surprises all around.