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First Team

Premier League Preview: Chelsea

The European Champions from just down the road

21 June 2021

We've met our West London neighbours just 10 times in the league, last playing them at Griffin Park in 1947. This season, The Blues look set to be one of our toughest tests.

2020/21 REPORT

League Position: 4th

Top League Goalscorer: Jorginho (7)

Stadium: Stamford Bridge, Fulham Rd, London, SW6 1HS

Capacity: 41,830

Fans were hopeful that Frank Lampard would build on his previous season, getting to fourth place while relying on the youth system instead of transfers. With some big name signings arriving in the summer, it was expected that Chelsea would challenge for the title.

They got off to a good start, only losing to Liverpool in the first 11 games and were top of their Champions League group. By December, things were starting to turn sour. Following a run of just two wins from eight games, slipping to ninth, Lampard was sacked and quickly replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

He was quick to change things, giving Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso second chances. Chelsea went unbeaten in Tuchel’s first 14 games in all competitions. They reached fourth in the table, securing Champions League football on the final day. They couldn't quite manage a win in the FA Cup final, losing 1-0 to Leicester City. They went one better two weeks later, beating Man City in the Champions League final.

THE MANAGER

Thomas Tuchel was a professional player who came through the academy at FC Augsburg before going pro with Stuttgarter Kickers. His time at SSV Ulm, and his career, was cut short by a knee cartilage injury at the age of 25.

Chelsea Manager.jpg

Determined to stay in football, his coaching career began in the youth teams at VfB Stuttgart. After five years there, and a spell at Augsburg, he was hired as Head Coach by Mainz 05. He stabilised their stay in the Bundesliga during his five years in charge, earning praise for his energetic and attacking football. He was appointed to Borussia Dortmund in 2015, where he won the DFB-Pokal before leaving in 2017.

He joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2018, where he won two league titles and took the club to their first UEFA Champions League Final. He was dismissed in 2020 and was hired by Chelsea six months ago. He won the Champions League Final with The Blues a few months later, defeating Man City 1-0.

LAST MEETING

We last saw Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round on Saturday 28 January 2017. The Blues won 4-0 on the day at Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte's side getting going through a Willian free-kick after only a 14 minutes. Pedro netted a second to kill the game in the first half.

Chelsea's third came on the counter attack, finished by Branislav Ivanovic, who was then fouled in the area by Yoann Barbet. The penalty was put away by Michy Batshuayi.

Bees: Bentley; Colin, Egan, Dean, Bjelland, Barbet; Yennaris, McEachran (Kerschbaumer 78), Woods; Sawyers (Hogan 64), Vibe (Jota 65)

Chelsea: Begovic; Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta (Kenedy 71); Pedro (Diego Costa 76), Fabregas, Chalobah, Ake; Willian (Ivanovic 64), Batshuayi, Loftus-Cheek


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