Manchester City banked their second Premier League title by hanging tough at the end of last term, but Chelsea’s sparkling summer signing spree has seen the west Londoners take 19/10 favouritism for the top-flight laurels this season, while Jose Mourinho’s crew can be backed at 4/5 in a season-long match bet with Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
After James Middleton flagged up three reasons to back City in this market, we’ve also wheeled out the reverse argument for your perusal…
The Blues have targeted key first-team areas in the transfer market and look to have come up trumps.
None of Chelsea’s trio of senior strikers broke into double figures in the Premier League last term, but there’s little doubt new £32m forward Diego Costa will reach that modest mark in 2014/15, after the 25-year-old notched 36 times in all competitions for Atletico Madrid last term.
Costa will be joined at Stamford Bridge by former Atleti teammates Thibaut Courtois, who proved to be the among the most exciting young goalkeepers on the planet during his three seasons on loan at the Vicente Calderon, and 28-year-old left-back Filipe Luis, who replaces 33-year-old Ashley Cole in the squad.
Throw in proven Premier League force Cesc Fabregas, who cost less to prise from Barcelona than the fee Chelsea received for calamitous defender David Luiz, and the Special One can feel very happy with his summer of business.
Holding midfielder Nemanja Matic, who was superb for Chelsea after re-signing in January, will be in from the off this term.
Based on Matic’s masterful display in the 1-0 win away to City in February, shortly after signing for north of £20m, it’s fair to conclude that the Blues would have been better placed for early-season fixtures away to Everton, Newcastle and Stoke with the Serbian in the team ahead of either Luiz, John Obi Mikel or Frank Lampard.
Chelsea lost all three of those matches last term, but with a higher-quality midfield containing Matic, Ramires and Fabregas, opponents will find their 2013/14 soft centre on the road has hardened significantly.
Mourinho hasn’t gone two full seasons at one club without managing them to title success since before his time with Porto.
Having won the Primeira Liga title in each of his two full terms at the Estadio do Dragao, the English top flight in two of his three completed seasons during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, Serie A in both campaigns at Inter Milan and La Liga in his middle term of three at Real Madrid, bwin punters may be better off plumping for the 19/10 about Chelsea to be 2014/15 champions.