Chelsea Season Preview | Premier League Betting Picks

Chelsea Season Preview | Premier League Betting Picks article feature image

Matthew Ashton/Getty. Pictured: Mykhailo Mudryk.

Welcome to Action Network's Premier League team previews, where our soccer experts will break down each and every Premier League team ahead of the season, which starts on August 11. Will Chelsea be able to overcome a brutal season? Read on for our season  preview.

Premier League Season Preview – Chelsea

There’s no team in the entire Premier League with a wider range of outcomes in 2022-23 than Chelsea following a tumultuous 2021-22 campaign. The Blues spent a ton of money in both transfer windows and had very little return for it. They were an average Premier League team for the majority of the season that vastly underperformed their xG numbers in attack and cycled through three different managers without ever finding successful and consistent form. 

Team Breakdown

The Blues finished the season 10th in xG difference per 90 minutes, averaged one goal per game and ended 12th in the table. Chelsea did benefit from the Saudi Arabian league paying to clear out a lot of the deadwood from the club. The Blues return less than half of their minutes thanks to the departures of Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic. Chelsea also lost more than half of their xG production from last year. 

Given how poorly that group of players produced, it’s probably a net positive to clean house ahead of the new season. Mauricio Pochettino is a clear upgrade on Frank Lampard as manager, but questions remain about how good this collection of Chelsea talent really is. The Blues have plenty of young wingers to give minutes to and hope to see development from. They’re not playing in Europe this season and Pochettino’s track record at Spurs shows that he likes to keep a tight knit group of squad players without a ton of rotation. The lack of fixture congestion should help him achieve that. 

The midfield looks quite thin and short on passing and ball winning at the moment. They’re linked with Tyler Adams, who would be an excellent defensive midfield signing to pair with Enzo Fernandez and help the ball winning. Conor Gallagher remains in the picture, but his limited passing range in a midfield with Adams — also a limited passer — could hurt Chelsea’s possession structure.

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for soccer bettors
The best soccer betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

Chelsea did sign Levi Colwill to a new six-year deal and he could be the key cog in the Chelsea ball progression plan from center back. His passing numbers impressed at Brighton last year and he’s expected to start at age 20 on Sunday against Liverpool. 

The other issue with Chelsea could be shot production. The two main attacking signs were Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig and Nico Jackson from Villarreal. Jackson is expected to be the main central striker, but his 2.31 shots per 90 at Villarreal last year suggests that he’s not quite good enough to be a true striker for a top four competitor in England. Jackson adds other value through shot creation and ball carrying, but there’s no 15-20 goal player on this team right now. 

When you compare Chelsea to their main rivals, they’re quite light on attacking firepower. Nkunku picked up a knee injury and likely will miss the start of the season, and even his production in Germany leads itself to more of a wide forward creator role than a true striker. Nkunku will see his numbers take a hit coming from Germany, and injuries have been an issue for him for more than a full year now. 

Betting Preview

There’s a natural bounce back and positive regression for a team with Chelsea’s payroll and talent level one season after finishing 12th. This time last year, Chelsea had just finished third in the league and had -150 odds to finish in the top four once again. 

No team in the entire PL underperformed their xGF more than Chelsea did last season. The market is still pricing them as the fifth-best team in the league though, based on top four and title odds. The collection of talent assembled still has more questions than answers at the moment. 

If you’re betting on Chelsea, you’re betting on Pochettino’s track record. Chelsea might give more minutes to players under the age of 24 than anyone in the Premier League. This led to a rocky start for Pochettino at Spurs, but it didn’t take long for him to build them into a title contender and pressing monster. To me, Chelsea are still some time away from pushing into a highly competitive top four club.

I’m higher than the market on both Newcastle and Brighton and without a top striker, Chelsea remain vulnerable to separate from weaker opponents.

Picks: Chelsea to miss Top 4 (-200 via bet365), Under 67.5 points (-100 via bet365)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.