STATS: Chelsea projected to battle relegation based on recent history

Chelsea’s problems so far this season have been documented far and wide. Jose Mourinho is under enormous pressure to turn things around after watching his side lose six of their first 11 games in the Premier League.

The Portuguese manager’s job is under threat, according to multiple reports, and there is little wonder when you look at the fate of other Premier League sides that have started with identical records in recent years.

Five sides have started the season with the same record as Chelsea (W3 D2 L6) over the past four campaigns, with three of those going on to suffer relegation by the end of the season.

Table: The last five sides to start with identical league records to Chelsea after 11 games.

Table: The last five sides to start with identical league records to Chelsea after 11 games.

West Bromwich Albion managed to turn their season around despite a poor start in the 2011/12 season as they ended up finishing 10th with 47 points unde Roy Hodgson’s guidance.

However, Wolves struggled badly after an identical start, going on to finish bottom of the table and suffering relegation to the Championship.

Wigan (2012/13) and Norwich (2013/14) also suffered relegation after picking up 11 points from 11 games and so using the word crisis to describe Chelsea’s start is hardly an overreaction.

Table: Finishing position of last five sides to start season with same record as Chelsea

Table: Finishing position of last five sides to start season with same record as Chelsea.

Using these statistics as a guide, it appears as though Chelsea’s problems will only worsen.

Although that’s not accounting for the fact that they’ve got a squad of elite professionals, many of whom lifted the title just six months ago.

Table: Chelsea's projected league finish based on recent history of sides with same starting record.

Table: Chelsea’s projected league finish based on recent history of sides with same starting record.

As the projection above shows, Chelsea look set to end the year in a relegation battle. That’s based on the last five teams’ finishes after starting with the same 11-point record through 11 games.

Finishing on that projected 36-point tally would be Chelsea’s lowest amount accrued in the Premier League era. The last time they picked up fewer points was back in the Football League First Division in the 1978/79 season (20).

Mourinho is in the middle of the biggest challenge of his managerial career and the spotlight is fully fixed on the Blues.

Their next Premier League game comes away at Stoke. Chelsea were eliminated from the League Cup last Wednesday after losing on penalties away at Stoke and so it’s difficult to see them picking up three points.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, October 31 – 12:45 GMT (08:45 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Liverpool 5/2

Match Preview

Chelsea welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge in the first Premier League game of the weekend on Saturday in what is a huge game for both clubs.

Chelsea’s ongoing struggles don’t seem to be improving and it is difficult to see when their season is going to pick up. The pressure on Jose Mourinho and his side every game is so intense but this is a good chance for them to show other sides they are capable of bouncing back.

They come into this one off the back of their midweek League Cup exit to Stoke City, losing 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Chelsea’s Premier League record: P10 – W3 – D2 – L5

Last weekend’s ill-disciplined loss against West Ham was the champions’ fifth Premier League defeat of the season and they come into the game sitting in 15th place.

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Liverpool sit six places higher in ninth but come into this one off the back of three consecutive league draws.

New manager Jurgen Klopp has a great chance of becoming even more of a fan favourite if he can guide his side to a victory in this huge tie.

Liverpool’s Premier League record: P10 – W3 – D5 – L2

Liverpool won 1-0 against AFC Bournemouth in the League Cup in midweek and will want to build on that solid performance with another good showing in London. They have already kept clean sheets at Arsenal and Tottenham this campaign, drawing both matches 0-0.

Klopp will have his side more than aware that Chelsea are not to be taken lightly despite their woeful form and will expect them to give their all to take three points.

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Team News

Chelsea have four injury concerns. Thibaut Courtois and Branislav Ivanovic remain out, while Diego Costa and Pedro are doubts. Nemanja Matic is suspended following his first-half red card last weekend.

Liverpool’s injury woes continue as Kolo Toure, Danny Ings, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Jon Flanagan are set to miss out. Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke are doubts but the Liverpool faithful will be praying they both pass fitness tests.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/W/L

Liverpool’s last five in the Premier League: D/W/D/D/D

Key Stat: Stalemate – These two have drawn their last three meetings in all competitions.

Key Player: Willian – The Brazilian has probably been Chelsea’s best player so far this season. They need him to be at his very best if they’re to stand any chance of taking all three points in this one.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool – Liverpool to heap more misery on Chelsea, who just cannot seem to get going.

Chelsea not looking to sign Didier Drogba for a third time

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has ruled out any chance of resigning Didier Drogba to help his side improve in the new year.

The Chelsea legend, who is the fourth highest goalscorer in their history, has been unplayable since joining Montreal Impact in MLS. He has scored 12 in 12, including Montreal’s third in their 3-0 playoff win last night.

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Mourinho, speaking at today’s press conference, was posed the question of another Drogba return but ruled out the possibility.

“Do you want me to compare the Premier League with MLS?

“Didier will always offer something to a club and the group that loves him and that he loves. No doubt about it. But will I bring him back? No.”

The Ivorian goal-machine will be fully focused as he hopes to lead his side through the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday evening as they face Columbus Crew in the first leg.

Chelsea face Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime in what is a huge game for the club, and in particular, Jose Mourinho.

Should Chelsea consider bring Didier Drogba back to the club again?

Lampard has his say on Chelsea’s slump, backing Mourinho

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard insists his former club must stick with Jose Mourinho despite the manager going through the worst period of his career.

The Premier League champions suffered their ninth defeat of the season last night in the League Cup away at Stoke and are slumped down the table in 15th.

Lampard, who won two Premier League titles under Mourinho, says he is still the right man for the job and that his record speaks for itself.

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“For sure. His record speaks for itself,” Lampard told ITV News. “I know he’s the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history.

“I’m sure he’s tearing his hair out and wanting to turn the corner. I’m sure the players are wanting to perform.

“I know the quality in the dressing room. I know the squad. I know people like John Terry with the desire to keep Chelsea up where they always are.

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“That will turn around very quickly and hopefully they move on and be where we expect them to be.”

Lampard’s first season with New York City FC ended with a 3-1 defeat to New England Revolution on Sunday and he will be eager to impress in the next MLS campaign.

The English midfielder scored three goals in 10 MLS appearances in his debut season.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Ham vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – West Ham United vs. Chelsea

Venue: Upton Park – Saturday, October 24 – 15:00 GMT (11:00 ET) 

Match Odds: West Ham 13/5 – Draw 14/5 – Chelsea 10/11

Match Preview

West Ham United welcome Chelsea to Upton Park for an intriguing London derby in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

The Hammers are flying after an impressive 3-1 win away at Crystal Palace last weekend extended their current unbeaten run to six games (W4, D2).

Slaven Bilic’s side are fourth in the Premier League table and will be looking to further establish their credentials with another positive result here.

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West Ham have already recorded wins over Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City this season, although those successes all came away from home.

Their form at Upton Park has left a lot to desire so far this season, with just one win from four home games (D1, L2), so the Irons will be looking to put that right on Saturday.

West Ham’s Premier League record: P9 – W5 – D2 – L2

Chelsea make the short trip across London hoping to record back-to-back victories for the first time in the Premier League this season.

The Blues beat Aston Villa 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last time out but still find themselves in the bottom half of the table after a disappointing start to the campaign by their very high standards.

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Jose Mourinho will be hoping his side avoid suffering a hangover from their tricky midweek Champions League game in the Ukraine against Dynamo Kiev, which ended goalless.

Chelsea’s Premier League record: P9 – W3 – D2 – L4

The last meeting between these two sides saw Chelsea edge a 1-0 win on the same ground back in March 2015.

Team News

West Ham will be without Victor Moses who is on-loan from Chelsea and cannot face his parent club. Winston Reid (back) and Alexandre Song (ankle) will miss the game through injury, while Joey O’Brien is also a doubt (leg).

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Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (knee) remains a long-term absentee for Chelsea, while Branislav Ivanovic (hamstring), Pedro (knock) and Loic Remy (knock) are all major doubts.

Key Points

West Ham’s last five: W/W/D/D/W

Chelsea’s last five: L/W/D/L/W

Key Stat: West Ham have only beaten Chelsea once in their last 18 meetings in the Premier League (D3, L14).

Key Player: Dimitri Payet – The Frenchman has been a joy to watch this season with five goals and three assists already to his name after just nine games. He can cause trouble for any defence.

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Score Prediction

West Ham 1-1 Chelsea – West Ham are full of confidence and come up against a Jose Mourinho side who will be focusing on not losing the game. It should be a tightly contested London derby and a draw seems the likely outcome.

Jose Mourinho “not running away” as he lets out emotion after Southampton loss

Jose Mourinho watched his Chelsea side throw an early 1-0 lead away as they eventually lost 3-1 at home to Southampton on Saturday evening, leaving the reigning champions on eight points after eight games.

It means Chelsea have now endured their worst start to a Premier League season in 37 years. They were relegated that season, and while nobody is suggesting they will suffer the same fate this term, Mourinho is under the biggest pressure of his managerial career to turn things around.

He appeared to use his post-match interview with Sky Sports to send a message to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, asking to be given time despite the ongoing crisis at the club.

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“If the club wants to sack me they have to sack me because I am not running away,” Mourinho said after the game as part of an incredible seven-minute response to one question.

“To be champions now is very difficult because the distance is so much but I am convinced we will finish in the top four.

“It is a crucial moment in the history of this club. If they sack me they sack the best manager this club has ever had. The message is that the results are the fault of the manager. This is a moment for everybody to assume their responsibilities and stick together.”

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Mourinho now has two weeks to prepare for the Blues’ next league game against Aston Villa, so long as he is still in the job. The Portuguese tactician is as short as 5/1 with some bookmakers to be the next Premier League manager to leave.

Chelsea sit in 16th place in the Premier League after eight games. No club has ever finished higher than fifth after picking up just eight points through the same number of games.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle United vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. Chelsea

Venue: St James’ Park – Saturday, September 26 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 4/1 – Draw 14/5 – Chelsea 8/13

Match Preview

Newcastle United host Chelsea this weekend in a fixture which has thrown out some surprising results in recent years.

Newcastle have had a poor start to the season, with new manager Steven McClaren struggling to impose his style of play on the Toon.

The Magpies are yet to win a Premier League game and find themselves sitting 19th and are only not propping up the table due to goal difference. Their season needs to pick up, and fast, if they’re to avoid another slog to stay clear of the relegation battle. Newcastle fans will be left disappointed once again after the investment made over the summer.

They come into the game off the back of last weekend’s 2-1 away loss against Watford and, to make things even worse than they could be, they were knocked out of the League Cup in midweek by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.

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Chelsea’s struggles seem to be improving after their awful start to the defence of their Premier League crown. Mourinho’s men saw off nine-man Arsenal in last weekends controversial tie.

The Blues sit 15th in the league at the moment and need to go on a lengthy unbeaten, but more importantly winning, run if they are to make up the ground on Manchester City.

A win in this one would be a good result for Chelsea considering their recent form at St. James’ Park and Mourinho will be drilling his players that anything but three points is unacceptable.

Chelsea can send out a signal of intent if they are to find a big win this weekend, but they cannot afford to be complacent as it is a fixture which throws out unlikely results.

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Team News

Newcastle have 12 injuries, the highest total in the Premier League. But Steve McClaren could see a number of his players available for selection again for this game. Sylvain Marveaux, Daryl Janmatt, Rolando Aarons, Jack Colback and Cheick Tiote could be in contention to feature. Papiss Cisse, Steven Taylor, Emmanuel Riviera, Paul Dummett and Massaido Haidara are all expect to miss out.

Chelsea are expected to be without just the three players, as Kenedy, Willian and Thibaut Courtios are unavailable. Diego Costa is banned following his actions last weekend against Arsenal so former Newcastle forward Loic Remy could start up top for the champions.

Key Points

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/L/L/L

Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: L/WL/L/W

Key Stat: Newcastle have won the last three meetings between the sides at St. James’ Park and have only lost one of the last five in this fixture at home.

Key Player: Eden Hazard – The Chelsea superstar needs to kick on from netting his first goal of the season last weekend against Arsenal and show why he is so highly regarded. He didn’t feature in Chelsea’s midweek win so he should be fresh.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle United 2-1 Chelsea – A prediction which may surprise many but given Chelsea’s form against Newcastle away from home it would not be unheard of. Newcastle often manage to kick-start their season with a positive result in this fixture, anything is possible.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Arsenal 

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, September 19 – 12:45 BST (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 11/8 – Draw 5/2 – Arsenal 15/8

Match Preview 

The early kick off on Saturday sees Chelsea host rivals Arsenal in the standout tie of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures.

The champions have struggled to get going so far and lost their third game of the domestic season last weekend, 3-1 away at Everton.

Manager Jose Mourinho has insisted he is still the right man for the job and has dismissed talk of a crisis at the club, despite being under pressure. Chelsea must go on a winning run if they are to convince doubters that they are in with any chance of defending their crown.

They come into the game off the back of their 4-0 midweek win in the Champions League against Maccabi Tel Aviv, a game they were expected to win but they looked far more positive and it could be a turning point in the season even this early on.

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Arsenal have started the season in typical fashion, not quite setting the world alight, but picking up points nonetheless.

Arsene Wenger’s side won 2-0 at home against Stoke City last weekend and will see this as an opportunity to win against Chelsea in the league for the first time since 2011.

The Gunners had a disappointing game midweek, as they lost 2-1 away against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, and will want to bounce back to winning ways here in a huge London derby.

Wenger is yet to beat Mourinho in the Premier League, but did however finally defeat his nemesis in the Community Shield a week before the opening game of the season and will be hoping for a repeat of that performance.

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Team News  

Chelsea will be without Thibaut Courtois for some time after picking up a knee injury. Mourinho is being forced into making more changes to his squad this weekend as Pedro, Willian and Radamel Falcao are all expected to miss out through injury. This could mean Ramires or Loic Remy will start on the right-hand side of Chelsea’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system as Oscar will return in the number ten role.

Arsenal also have four injury concerns. Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker all remain sidelined. Wenger isn’t expected to change his side around much, the only real decision he has to make is who to start up top. Theo Walcott scored again in midweek, his pace and direct approach may see him lead the line again over Frenchman Olivier Giroud.

Key Points 

Chelsea’s Premier League form: D/L/W/L/L

Arsenal’s Premier League form: L/W/D/W/W

Key Stat: Arsenal have won seven of their last eight away matches in the Premier League.

Key Player: Petr Cech – The former Chelsea fan-favourite will line-up against the Blues for the first time in the Premier League. He has been in good form after his shaky performance on the opening day and as Chelsea fans will know, he can prove to be the difference in his side taking all three points in a tie.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal – The defending champions to struggle once again against a resilient Arsenal side who will see this a chance to take points.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Bromwich Albion vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea 

Venue: The Hawthorns – Sunday, August 23 – 13:30 BST (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: West Bromwich Albion 9/2 – Draw 11/4 – Chelsea 8/13

Match Preview

West Bromwich Albion have another tricky fixture as they host Chelsea this weekend. Both sides are still looking for their first win of the season.

West Brom picked up their first point of the season last weekend in their 0-0 draw against promoted Watford. Tony Pulis’ side are yet to score in either of their games this season, but new signing Salomon Rondon has been bought in to lead the line.

The Baggies last win came over the Premier League champions at the back end of last season. Pulis’ side had a good preseason but have struggled to relay that form so far this campaign.

It is difficult to tell whether or not this is a good time for West Brom to play the defending champions, as although they are out of form they will see this a good chance to pick up their first win of the season.

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Chelsea have had a very poor start to the season and even this early on, trailing Manchester City by five points is a concern for Mourinho.

Last weekends demolition at the hands of City seems to have sparked the Blues back into life in the transfer market. Having signed Pedro they are now being linked with Juventus’ Paul Pogba. The future of John Stones remains unclear but it is obvious he is a player Chelsea are hoping to sign.

This is Chelsea’s worst start to a Premier League season since 1998/99 and they cannot afford to drop more points in this one. The pressure is certainly on Jose Mourinho and his players will be all too aware of the wrath they could potentially face from the boss and fans alike if they do not win here.

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Team News

West Brom are still missing Ben Foster. Salomon Rondon will be hoping to start and show what he can do against a struggling Chelsea defence. Joleon Lescott will be hopeful of regaining his first team place after being left out of the 0-0 draw with Watford.

Jose Mourinho could bring Thibaut Courtois back into the starting line-up after he served his one game suspension. Asmir Begovic will certainly feel hard done by if this is the case as he without question was Chelsea’s best player on the pitch last weekend and stopped the scoreline from being anymore humiliating. Victor Moses and Oscar look set to be sidelined, while new signing Baba Rahman is tipped to start at left-back, pushing Cesar Azpilicueta into his more natural position of right-back. Branislav Ivanovic could find himself on the bench after he has struggled to find form this season. The decision to look out for is whether or not Mourinho starts John Terry after his substitution last weekend. Pedro may well feature but it remains to be seen whether or not he will start. Lots of talking points for the potential Chelsea line-up and there will no doubt be some controversy.

Key Points

West Brom’s form: L/D

Chelsea’s form: D/L

Key Stat: Leaky – Only Sunderland (seven) have conceded more goals than Chelsea so far this season, not a stat you could have imagined hearing just two weeks ago.

Key Player: Nemanja Matic – The big Serbian’s performance will be vital to how this game goes for the defending champions. If he can control the midfield, marshall the back-four and steady the ship Chelsea stand a great chance of picking up three points.

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Score Prediction

West Brom 1-1 Chelsea – West Brom to pick up a solid point against a disorganised, struggling Chelsea side. Pulis will know his side can frustrate Jose Mourinho’s men which will lead to their weaknesses showing yet again on the pitch.  

Feature: Chelsea dominating transfer headlines but are they panic buying?

Chelsea‘s below-par start to the new Premier League season has resulted in transfer news and rumours flying around about a number of players.

The Blues have today signed FC Barcelona’s Pedro Rodriguez after Jose Mourinho swooped in and stole an almost done-deal from rivals Manchester United.

The 28-year-old winger made it clear he wanted to leave the Catalan giants this summer after a lack of playing time and although terms had initially been agreed between United and Barca, it is Chelsea who have landed the experienced Spanish winger.

With Eden Hazard, Willian and Juan Cuadrado all having featured already this campaign, you have to ask whether there is room for Pedro and whether one of these three will be on their way out of the club in the next two weeks.

Foot Mercato have reported that Willian has been offered to either Paris Saint Germain or Bayern Munich, which would be a surprise given he appears to be one of the first names on the team-sheet for Mourinho.

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The John Stones saga also continues. Chelsea have reportedly had a third bid of £30 million rejected for the 21-year-old Everton defender, with a fee of nearer £40 million rumoured to be required.

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will make a final offer to tempt the Englishman away from the Toffees but Mourinho wants the player and he will do what he can to get his own way with a short time left to go in the transfer window.

With John Terry’s position in the side uncertain ahead of the weekend clash with West Brom this will be a story with more to come. Whether or not Chelsea need the youngster is another question, with Terry, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma and Branislav Ivanovic all options for Mourinho at centre-back.

Ivanovic could find himself out of the squad for this weekend’s upcoming game, with new signing Baba Rahman tipped to start at left-back, pushing Cesar Azpilicueta back to his more natural right-back slot.

The odds have been slashed for Paul Pogba to join Chelsea before the window closes. This could be a clever manoeuvre from the bookies, given Chelsea’s late movements in the window leading people to believe they are willing to pay big money for players that will help them defend their Premier League title.

Juventus are reportedly holding out for at least £70 million for their highly sought after talent and having already lost many star players this summer, a move away for Pogba looks unlikely.

With a whole host of attacking midfield options at Chelsea already, Pogba would no doubt have to dislodge another player from a starting position. With Oscar occupying the number ten role he could more than likely be the player axed if Pogba was to join, with Juve linked with the Brazilian throughout the window.

Talk of Cuadrado going to Juventus is also ongoing but the rumours are that he would be going on loan to the Old Lady and would not be included as part of a potential Pogba deal.

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It is going to be a very interesting and busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea if we are to believe the rumours and Mourinho’s side could be the ones to watch very closely as they look to make up for their worst start to a season since 1998 with some late transfer excitement.