Our team-by-team guide to the new Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season continues with this preview of Chelsea.
Don’t forget that you can find official Opta team and player information on the Blues and every other Premier League side in our Premium Members Area, to help with your planning for Gameweek 1.
SEASON OF TWO HALVES
2020/21 was a season of two halves at Stamford Bridge.
Under Frank Lampard, the Blues made a good start but then faded and sat ninth in the Premier League ahead of his departure in January.
Thomas Tuchel was then quickly appointed as the new head coach and inspired an instant turnaround.
The German tactician started with a 14-game unbeaten streak which saw them fly up the table and finish fourth. They also reached the FA Cup final, and of course, the defining moment came in May when they defeated Manchester City to lift their second Champions League trophy.
The introduction of a back-three with a double pivot ahead of them turned Chelsea into one of the best defensive sides in Europe, as they produced 11 clean sheets and conceded just 13 goals, both league leading-totals during that period.
CHELSEA’S PREMIER LEAGUE STATISTICS UNDER LAMPARD AND TUCHEL IN 2020/21:
|Expected goals (xG)||29.84||33.11|
|Expected goals conceded (xGC)||18.37||12.05|
Tuchel’s tendency to rotate and mix and match his line-ups was a real headache for FPL managers last season.
César Azpilicueta (£6.0m) led the way with 17 starts, followed by Edouard Mendy (£6.0m) and Mason Mount (£7.5m), with 16 and 15 respectively.
MOST PREMIER LEAGUE STARTS UNDER TUCHEL:
Investing in Chelsea’s players, especially their attacking ones, is a high-risk/high-reward strategy, and you get the feeling that hopping on and off at the right time next season will be key.
Many players raised their game under Tuchel, none more so than Antonio Rüdiger (£5.5m).
The German international was excellent throughout the second half of the campaign and thrived as the left-sided centre-back in Chelsea’s 3-4-2-1 set-up.
Much like Rüdiger, Azpilicueta also impressed as he played as both a wing-back and centre-half, and as revealed above, is probably the most secure route into their backline.
However, despite concerns over minutes, the regular wing-backs carry the most potential.
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