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Chelsea: 2010 Team Preview | Odds

English Premier League – Chelsea 2010 Preview

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Odds to win the 2010-11 Premiership outright: 13/8

One year after finishing in third, Chelsea claimed top honors in both the Premier League and the FA Cup last season to complete the English Double in Carlo Ancelotti’s first year in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Ancelotti came to the Pensioners with the intentions of winning a Premier League championship, and he did just that.

The former AC Milan coach was not only able to guide his side to a their third EPL title, but added an exclamation mark to it by becoming the highest scoring side in Premier League history, with 103 goals.

With the Golden Boot winner Didier Drogba’s 29 goals and Frank Lampard’s 17 assists, the offense was more than formidable. Meanwhile, the defense was nearly impenetrable with captain John Terry in the back and Petr Cech between the sticks, as the Pensioners allowed the second fewest goals with 32 – four more than league leaders Manchester United.

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By being crowned kings of Europe of course, so the Champions League will once again be the main focus at Stamford Bridge.

The Pensioners 2009 Champions League run ended in the round of 16 by eventual winners Inter Milan, a loss that allowed Chelsea to complete the English double.

The Blues should do better this year in their hunt for Champions League title, but it could cost them shot at another string of consecutive Premier League honors, a feat that Chelsea reached in 2004 and 2005.

But in order to insure a strong showing in 2010, Ancellotti will need new blood to replace a pair of departing Chelsea fixtures, stylish midfielder Joe Cole (Liverpool), and accomplished German skipper Michael Ballack (Bayer Leverkusen), both of whose presence will be sorely missed.

Demanding Blues owner Roman Abramovich stepped up showing his commitment to winning at all costs by loosening the purse strings during the transfer season and acquiring Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun and Brazilian midfielder Ramires of Benfica.

Chelsea was also linked to discussions with Brazilian international Kaka before his season-ending knee injury, and to youngster Neymar da Silva, who despite being offered a bid of £17.5 million, declined Chelsea’s offer and has decided to stay with his current club Santos. But look for Chelsea to pursue at least one more key player as the season draws nearer.

Chelsea 2010 Prediction: Repeating as Premier League champions is always tough to achieve, and I find it difficult to imagine Chelsea finishing at the top of the league table again as they focus on doing better in the Champions League.

But with several easy fixtures to begin the season, and a host of Premier quality players, the Blues shouldn’t finish out of the top three in 2010-11.

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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. “ Football (soccer) is a game in which a handful of fit men run around for one and a half hours watched by millions of people who could really use the exercise.”


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