Pre-Season Preview: Chelsea


With club legend Frank Lampard in charge of the Blues and Champions League football back in west London, the 2019 season may prove an entertaining one at Chelsea.

Maurizio Sarri achieved Champions League qualification in his sole season at Stamford Bridge before departing this summer for Italian giants Juventus. Sarri’s men also tasted silverware, triumphing 4-1 in the Europa League final over London neighbours Arsenal.

The ever-influential Eden Hazard was the orchestrator for much of Chelsea’s success as the 28-year-old netted 16 league goals and 21 in all competitions. It remains to be seen whether Chelsea can replace his goals as Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi return from loans for the coming campaign.


Due to the club’s current transfer ban, Chelsea haven’t been able to complete as many deals as they may have liked. They said farewell to Eden Hazard in June when the Belgian completed a big-money move to Real Madrid with Blues also seeing central defenders Gary Cahill and David Luis depart the club amongst others.

Despite the ban, Chelsea were still able to make Mateo Kovacic’s loan permanent this summer for £40 million and welcomed American Christian Pulisic after his pre-arranged arrival from Borussia Dortmund.


Frank Lampard’s tenure as Blues boss starts in difficult fashion with a trip to Old Trafford on Sunday to take on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United. A trip to Istanbul follows to tackle Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup before another test as Leicester visit Stamford Bridge.

Two of the newly-promoted sides, Norwich and Sheffield United, follow as Lampard looks to emulate his playing success in the managerial seat in west London. Chelsea complete their opening six Premier League fixtures with an away fixture at giant-killers Wolves before they once again face Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.


“We’ve got a long week to come and we will keep them going. It’s been a good pre-season that we’ve had. We’ve had some good results and some hard work that’s the important thing.

As a new manager you have to try and get your new ideas across as quickly as possible as the team will have a certain way they are used to playing, different messages and mine and my staff’s work in the last month has been to get our message across. I think we’ve done that and I have a good feeling.”


Many Chelsea fans are viewing this season as somewhat of a ‘free hit’ after years of strict expectation. With Frank Lampard so beloved by the Stamford Bridge faithful, there is a sense that this Chelsea manager may get time to get things rights and be allowed to make mistakes.

The Englishman’s willingness to play younger players also seems a breathe of fresh air at a club who are synonymous for shipping out promising teens on loan. Some of these returning loanees, most notably Tammy Abraham, Kurt Zouma and Mason Mount, now have the opportunity to gain first-team minutes and prove that they have the ability to play for the club.

Their top-six rivals have all strengthened this summer as they’ve watched on with the transfer ban in place but Lampard will be confident that his philosophy can produce positive results.

If the 41-year-old can hit the ground running and get the fans excited about watching football at Stamford Bridge again then who knows what Chelsea and Lampard can achieve together this season.

Expected starting XI

Kepa; Emerson, Zouma, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Giroud


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