Premier League Guide: 10 Things to Expect from Chelsea Next Season
Coming off their successes of last season, Chelsea fans will have certain expectations for their club next season.
The London club has already made some important moves that will affect what their fans should expect. They have settled on a full-time manager and have made some big moves in the transfer market with possibly more to follow.
The club has the potential to win six trophies next season, seven if you count the Community Shield, so a lot of eyes will be on them.
Here are 10 things to expect from Chelsea next season.
Roberto Di Matteo will continue his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation and certainly has the pieces to make it work. Fernando Torres will be leading the line, while Eden Hazard is likely to line up behind him and the duo in midfield will be a mixture of creativity and sturdiness.
This formation will provide the team with a great platform, and solidity both defensively and offensively.
Chelsea's defensive efforts were a big reason why they won the Champions League and the FA Cup. It was in the league where the club had its most problems, which led to their eventual sixth-placed finish.
While Robert Di Matteo will not put the exact same emphasis on defense that he did at the end of last season, his formation and a whole preseason with the players will give them a solid foundation.
They did not fare well with the high-line that Andre Villas-Boas chose to use last year but they will have no such tactic with Di Matteo.
Gary Cahill will have had a full preseason with his teammates and the club will likely find a solid right-back to either start in front of or compete with Branislav Ivanovic. Inter's Maicon is one of the players linked to the club.
Overall, the club will have some good depth in defense and quality throughout.
Frank Lampard Plays Deep
In this 4-2-3-1 setup, Chelsea fans can expect Lampard to play as one of the two deeper midfielders. He may get the occasional game behind the forwards, but that position will be Eden Hazard's to lose with Juan Mata probably next in line.
Lampard played the position a few times last season and did reasonably well. He could still bomb forward on occasion, which would leave the other midfielder as the holding player and give the squad a 4-3-3 look at times, but it is likely that Robert Di Matteo will want him to be a bit more disciplined with such runs.
Fluid Attacking Play
Contrary to what fans were treated to during Robert Di Matteo's first few months in charge, Chelsea will not be a defensive team next year. Di Matteo was reacting to his situation at the time and ended up with two trophies thanks to his efforts.
The Italian manager had West Bromwich playing some pretty good attacking football before being sacked during the previous season and will certainly look to implement that again with this squad.
Not that we want to run this point into the ground but preseason will have an effect here as well. With new additions Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and possibly Hulk, Chelsea will have a lot of attacking talent which will certainly produce a creative style of play.
Better Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres will still be under a lot of pressure next season, but it is only a matter of time before he returns to his old self. That time is next season.
Things could have gone better in Euro 2012, yet he still came away with three goals and a Golden Boot Award that will have given him a boost in confidence. The fact that he will be the main man in the forward line with no Didier Drogba breathing down his neck also helps.
He will still have to be careful with players like Daniel Sturridge and potentially Hulk for competition, but he will be charged with leading the line.
His understanding with Juan Mata will only get better and now he has two more creative providers in Eden Hazard and Marko Marin. All of these players will attract attention and alleviate some pressure from the Spaniard allowing him to do what he does best and score goals.
With the emphasis on attack and the number of quality players that Chelsea have going forward, they will score a great amount of goals in all competitions next season.
Some players will certainly be more provider than scorer and vice-versa, but the end result will be the same regardless: lots of goals.
Expect the team to improve upon its 65 goal Premier League haul of last season, which was less than the amount produced by both Manchester clubs and their fellow London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham. They won't be too shabby in the cup competitions either.
Bigger Role for Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku underwhelmed during his first season in London, but things could improve next season. His performances this summer will play a huge part in whether or not he goes on loan, which has been rumoured, or stays with the club.
The young Belgian strikers dream has been to play for Chelsea and he will take his chances in order to ensure his place in the squad next season. Though Romelu Lukaku may have been sad to see his idol Didier Drogba leave, that may turn out to be a positive for him as well.
Daniel Sturridge is his competition for a spot behind Fernando Torres in the starting lineup, but the Englishman's ability to play on the wing may see him spend time there again next season.
Huge Pressure for Robert Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo will be under huge pressure next season as would be expected for a club with such high expectations as Chelsea.
Roman Abramovich has grand plans of signing Pep Guardiola at some point in the future and that will continue to hang over the Italian's head.
Should the team suffer any prolonged patch of bad form, or maybe even fail in one of their early season competitions, the European Super Cup and Club World Cup, things could get ugly fast for Di Matteo.
Strong Title Challenge on All Fronts
As mentioned on the intro slide, Chelsea could collect six trophies next season, seven if you include the Community Shield.
They will certainly be favourites in the Club World Cup but that is probably the only competition they are favoured for at the moment. Atletico Madrid will provide a strong challenge in the UEFA Super Cup and the three domestic competitions, as well as the Champions League, are up for grabs.
Chelsea will be a strong challenger in all of these competitions with the squad they are building and could very well come close to something special if everything works out well.
Folks can expect Chelsea to win at least one piece of silverware next season. It may be more but it certainly won't be less.
We know the amount of competitions they will be involved in and if they are unable to win anything at all with this squad it would have to go down as a failure.