5 reasons Chelsea will not be in the title race in 2018
Chelsea have had an excellent season this year and are favourites to win the title, but that may not be the case next season.
Premier League leaders, Chelsea, have had a superb season under Italian manager, Antonio Conte, with a comfortable lead over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur. The Blues, after their initial blip in the early part of the season, have dominated the league and brushed aside the competition effortlessly and are odds-on favourites to win the Premier League this season.
Conte has breathed new life into an under-performing and unconfident side which he took over at the start of the season, after their dismal 2015-16 season where they finished in a lowly 10th position.
But, can the Italian weave his magic once again next season and mount another challenge on the Premier League crown? Here are five important reasons why the Blues may not be title challengers next season:
#1 Champions League football
Unlike their title rivals – Tottenham, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, Chelsea have not played European football this season which has helped their current league position massively. The taxing schedule that comes with playing in Europe can take a hit on the performance of even the best squads in the world, and Chelsea have benefitted from not travelling mid-week to far-flung places in Europe.
The Blues have played 38 games in all competitions so far, while nearest title rivals, Tottenham, have played 45 matches this season. Manchester United, thanks to their progression to the final of the League Cup, Round 6 of the FA Cup, and the quarter-finals of the Europa League, have played a whopping 51 games so far.
Fewer games means that the Chelsea players have longer recovery time and more work on the training ground to fine tune their tactics.
Chelsea have qualified for Europe for next season and will have to endure the rigours of two games a week, which will take a toll on the players physically and mentally, and may also expose Conte’s tactics.