EPL 2017/18: Five reasons why Chelsea will finish outside the top four
Here's why Antonio Conte's men have every chance of finishing outside the top four this season.
It’s rare to witness clubs retain titles, especially in the Premier League. Only Manchester United and Arsenal have done it in the past, apart from Chelsea. While it was a really tough task to pull off, the way forward after reaching the top is going back down.
The very fact that the Blues have done it in the past doesn’t mean they will do it again. The task is a gargantuan one and has often been impossible for many. Leicester’s failure to do so was expected and Antonio Conte’s men will look to prove their critics wrong after claiming silverware last season, pipping Tottenham to it.
While they did oust the Lilywhites recently, they’re still with one win in two games. Here are five reasons why Chelsea will finish outside the top four this season.
#1 Lack of depth
When the Blues took on Arsenal in the FA Community Shield clash recently, the team sheets did come as a bit of surprise. Not in terms of quality, but in terms of quantity.
While the Gunners full team occupied the whole page, the Chelsea side occupied only one half of it. That suggests the lack of numbers they have in their ranks to compete consistently throughout the season.
They have sold or loaned out more players than what they have bought and that could cost them big time. Nathaniel Chalobah has been sold to Watford, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been loaned out to Crystal Palace at a time when Diego Costa is refusing to play and is unlikely to play again for them. Nemanja Matic has been sold to rivals Manchester United, while former skipper John Terry wasn't offered a new contract.
To compete in a long season, one needs depth in the side to challenge for the pinnacle.