Ahead of the 2015/16 Premier League season, this is the first part of a comprehensive preview of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals, and their goals for the season ahead.
The Blues won their fourth Premier League title with three games to spare last season, their first since 2010, and the third under Jose Mourinho’s leadership.
But after yet another summer of intense transfer business, along with three new teams, we round up the key info and goals of all of the A-C clubs that Chelsea will face in the next campaign:
Manager: Arsene Wenger – Ground: Emirates Stadium (11 miles to Stamford Bridge) – Position last season: 3rd (75 points) – SQUAD RATING: 8
PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: WIN THE TITLE
DOMESTIC CUPS GOAL: WIN THE CUPS
EUROPEAN GOAL: SEMI-FINALS
Lifting the Premier League is the only goal now for Chelsea’s London neighbours – Mourinho said that there will be no excuses for Arsenal if they don’t win the league next season – he’s right. The Gunners have conducted one of the best bits of transfer business this summer with the signing of Petr Cech, and Theo Walcott has also returned. The title is their biggest priority, but domestic cup successes are also very much achievable, as well as much more European success than last year.
Manager: Tim Sherwood – Ground: Villa Park (126 miles to Stamford Bridge) – Position last season: 17th (38 points) – SQUAD RATING: 6
PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: MID-TABLE
DOMESTIC CUPS GOAL: SEMI-FINAL
After a near-disastrous season last year, Sherwood will hope to build from the ground up this campaign. But, without Christian Benteke, who has just moved to Liverpool, the Villains’ attack may be slightly blunt. Thus, their defence will need to be much more watertight than last season. Avoiding relegation is the main concern, but the club has the potential to resurrect itself in the Premier League. It would be an incredible feat for the Midlands club to repeat last year’s club success, but it almost came at a heavy cost last year, so is less of a priority.
Manager: Eddie Howe – Ground: Vitality Stadium (103 miles to Stamford Bridge) – Position last season: Championship Champions (90 points) – SQUAD RATING: 5
PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: AVOID RELEGATION
DOMESTIC CUP GOAL: GET THROUGH THE FIRST FEW ROUNDS
Eddie Howe has conducted his summer transfer business the same way he has steered the Cherries’ rise to the top flight – extremely smartly. Signing Lee Tomlin from Middlesbrough and Sylvain Distin from Everton are two good deals amongst others, but the squad may not have the experience to keep the club up. With survival in mind, the cup will probably mean little.
Manager: Alan Pardew – Ground: Selhurst Park (nine miles from Stamford Bridge) – Position last season: 10th (48 points) – SQUAD RATING: 7
PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: TOP 10 FINISH
DOMESTIC CUP GOALS: QUARTER FINALS
Last season was a very good one for the Eagles, and the signing of players such as Yohan Cabaye from PSG this summer shows true intent to repeat that feat – or indeed better it. The competition for top 10 places will be tough, but Alan Pardew will not be wanting to do worse than last season. The cup is something that Palace could do well in, but again, isn’t a top priority.