With the 2015/16 season underway, this is the fourth and final 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 four T-W clubs that Chelsea will face in the next campaign:
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino – Ground: White Hart Lane (14 miles to Stamford Bridge) – Position last season: 5th (64 points) – SQUAD RATING: 8
PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: QUALIFY FOR THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
DOMESTIC CUP GOALS: SEMI FINALS
EUROPEAN GOAL: QUARTER FINALS
Spurs will be looking to continue and indeed improve upon their relatively encouraging performance last season. However, the money they have spent doesn’t warrant qualifying for just the Europa League, and that will provide huge motivation for Spurs in the new campaign. Going down 1-0 to Manchester United away from home is no great shame – they lost 3-0 in the same game last season. But, their lack of transfer activity, particularly upfront, may put unnecessary and unwarranted expectation on Harry Kane. Cup success at home will also be wanted – Pochettino has a long objectives list this year.
Manager: Enrique Flores – Ground: Vicarage Road (25 miles to Stamford Bridge) – Position last season: Championship runners-up – SQUAD RATING: 7
PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: AVOID RELEGATION
DOMESTIC CUPS GOAL: GET THROUGH THE FIRST FEW ROUNDS
The Hornets’ 2-2 draw against Everton, away from home, on Saturday was a very respectable one, and will provide much encouragement for those in north-west London. They have made some very astute signings too, noticeably Valon Behrami of Hamburger SV. But, some may ask whether these new faces will be able to muster enough cohesion to allow the club to stay up. Either way, being newly promoted, assuring survival can be the only honest objective that Flores has been set. With this in mind, cup form will mean little.
Manager: Tony Pulis – Ground: The Hawthorns (131 miles to Stamford Bridge) – Position last season: 13th (44 points) – SQUAD RATING: 7
PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: TOP 10 FINISH
DOMESTIC CUP GOAL: GET THROUGH THE FIRST FEW ROUNDS
Tony Pulis repeated his success at Crystal Palace with the Baggies last season, but maybe without the glitz of a seemingly-doomed side in Palace. However, Pulis will want a top 10 finish this season, and with Rickie Lambert now on board, as well as managing to keep Saido Berahino, that could happen. But, Pulis will have to show his best tactical hand for this to happen. It’s not out of reach for the Midlands club, but with a somewhat optimistic objective, cup form may go down the drain.
West Ham Manager: Slaven Bilic – Ground: Upton Park (13 miles from Stamford Bridge) – Position last season: 12th (47 points) – SQUAD RATING: 7
PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL: QUALIFY FOR THE EUROPA LEAGUE
DOMESTIC CUP GOALS: QUARTER FINALS With the Hammers’ brief European adventure already over, achieving something eye-catching is Bilic’s first objective. A shock 0-2 win at Arsenal was a clear, and surprising, statement of intent. The club have the talent in their squad to achieve Europa League football next season, or indeed a domestic cup, should they choose to go down that route. Dimitri Payet is an excellent signing, but the team as a whole will really have to step up should they want to achieve their goals.