All summer, the majority of people have chosen Manchester United to be the favorites to win the Premier League. With United playing Chelsea this weekend, Chelsea have improved since the transfer window closed and seem to be a dangerous team.
Manchester United go into this matchup with four wins in four games, while Chelsea enter with three wins and a draw in four games. This weekend's fixture could see United grab an early stranglehold on the Premier League race.
Chelsea can overtake United at the top of the table if they play up to their capability throughout the rest of the season. This week will be a telling sign but Chelsea seem to be a stronger side than people expected them to be. They are better than Manchester City and will contend for the title.
So here are four reasons Chelsea can overtake United for the Premier League title.
NOTE: I am a Tottenham supporter, so don't claim that I'm biased in either direction.
Since Fernando Torres has come over from Liverpool last January, Chelsea have been searching for a consistent starting XI to work with. They have tried using Torres and Didier Drogba together, one at a time, not using Anelka, trying to find midfielders who have chemistry with the forwards, and they are still searching for that magical combination.
Chelsea are amongst the most talented teams in England. While City may have more talent, City has the same problem as Chelsea in finding a consistent group (City are starting to overcome that). United has great chemistry on the team and have found a steady diet of midfielders to work with the forwards.
Here's the main factor for Chelsea: despite searching for a combination, they keep winning. After going through a terrible stretch in the middle of last season, Chelsea had a chance to overtake United at the end of last season.
This season, they opened up with a result in a difficult road game at Stoke and have taken care of business in the others.
If Chelsea are able to find a consistent starting XI that works together, they will be very dangerous to United.
After being awful late last season, Fernando Torres still has not scored a goal for Chelsea this year. As I mentioned in the previous slide, Chelsea is still trying to develop chemistry with Torres and the midfielders.
Torres, when healthy and with confidence, is one of the premier strikers in the world (he is also "the best player in a video game compared to real life" in FIFA history). It is inconceivable that Torres would go a full season and not make an impact for Chelsea.
Torres has started to play better, but in a play-making role rather than a goal scorer. He needs to put the ball in the back of the net.
Which brings me back to this fact: despite not having Torres be effective scoring-wise, Chelsea keeps winning. Torres is going to snap out of this funk at some point. If Chelsea is winning without Torres being effective, they will be that much better when he is.
Chelsea had a very successful transfer window with the additions of Juan Mata, Raul Meireles and Romelu Lukoku. With Chelsea not being able to find chemistry between its players, bringing in new faces to tinker with is a good idea.
The signing of Juan Mata should have a huge influence in the Premier League this season. Besides from that, Chelsea's deeper team has prepared them for a Champions League run as well as Premier League title contenders.
These additions could backfire though. If Chelsea is unable to find a starting XI that works, they could start to lose ground on United if it takes too long. With more players, that means more experimenting has to be done.
I'm not stupid (although some of you may refute that statement). I am not going to sit here and say that Andre Villas-Boas is on the same playing field as Sir Alex Ferguson or that Villas-Boas is the next Jose Mourinho because he is not.
Villas-Boas was a scout for Chelsea and in his first season as manager of Chelsea, he seems to have a better grasp over the team than Carlo Anceletti did. Villas-Boas may need to get creative with his lineups to push Chelsea over the top this season.
Villas-Boas will not be the reason Chelsea has a chance to win the Premier League this year. If he does, he deserves all the credit in the world.
Chelsea have enough talent this year to give Manchester United a true contender for the Premier League title. If Chelsea can find the group that will show all of the talent that they have, they may have the most talented team in England.
Will Chelsea need some luck in order to overcome United both this weekend and at the end of the season? Yes, they will but if Chelsea can pull together some magic they can certainly pull it off.
It all starts on Sunday when the Blues visit Old Trafford.
Thanks for the read and feel free to comment.
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