Chelsea are 83/100 in bwin’s Premier League top 4 predictions to put a turbulent summer behind them and cement their place in the Champions League places at the end of the season.
The Premier League offered a tense battle for the top four last term and the 2019/20 campaign is expected to be even tighter.
An indifferent season from Chelsea ended in success as they reached the Carabao Cup final, claimed third place and rounded off in style by dismantling Arsenal in a 4-1 victory in the Europa League final.
There is plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Maurizio Sarri, who enjoyed a productive start to his Chelsea tenure as he broke the record for the longest unbeaten start to a Premier League managerial career.
His 12-match unbeaten run came to an end at Tottenham in a 3-1 defeat on November 24, before his ‘Sarri-ball’ tactics and reluctance to stray from his plans strained his relationship with the Chelsea fans.
Fans wanted the Italian gone despite a penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final, but he guided Chelsea to third place and a return to the Champions League before winning his first trophy as a manager with the Europa League in Baku.
However, it will be more difficult with the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid and with a transfer ban for the next two windows, signing a quality replacement is out of the question.
It may give youngsters like Callum Hudson-Odoi and new signing Christian Pulisic an extended stay in the starting line-up, but with Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United needing to revamp their squad, they should have enough quality to remain in the top four.
Arsenal to return to Europe’s elite
Unai Emery saw his first season peter out at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal narrowly missed out on return to the Champions League on two fronts.
A top-four finished looked in their hands before three defeats inside seven days at the tail-end of the season derailed their chances and had to settle for fifth place.
They had another chance in the Europa League final against Chelsea but they succumbed to a heavy loss to extend their exile from Europe’s elite club competition to a third season.
The Gunners’ home form would have seen them challenging for the title, but just one clean sheet on their travels was their downfall in the Premier League season and needs vast improvement – where seven wins from 19 matches saw them ranked eighth in the away table.
Aaron Ramsey will need replacing as he joins Juventus but the foundations are there for Emery to build upon and they are an appealing price of 11/10 to finish in the top four.
Tottenham are 13/20 to back up their fourth place last season with another top 4 finish while Manchester United are, like Chelsea, quoted at 83/100 as they attempt to recover from last term’s disappointing campaign.
Rodgers to lead Leicester to unlikely top-four success?
Wolves enjoyed great success against the ‘big six’ last season and marked their return to the Premier League by securing a Europa League qualifying berth in seventh.
Wanderers have the finances to make moves in the transfer window but the effects of European football – if they progress – could hinder them in the league and they are 16/1 to gatecrash the top four.
Everton are the same price for a top-four finish after a strong end to the season, however, the arrival of Brendan Rodgers could inject some life into Leicester.
He managed to win five of his 10 matches in charge at the end of the campaign, including a run of four in a row.
With the likes of Harry Maguire, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy already there, Rodgers has an attacking team to implement his ideas across during his first pre-season at the club and at 22/1, could be an outsider to provide another shock similar to their 2016 league title win.
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