The onus of The Blues' transfer policy has been on signing flexible, creative midfield players to assist the forlorn Fernando Torres. Eden Hazard comes with a big reputation from his days at Lille, while Marko Marin earned the tag as the 'German Lionel Messi' when at Werder Bremen. Brazilian Oscar meanwhile starred in Brazil's run to the Olympic football final. Roberto Di Matteo has however opted against replacing Didier Drogba but Cesar Azpilicueta is expected to join from Marseille as a welcome addition at right-back.
New signings Hazard and Marin got off to the perfect start in Chelsea's opening pre-season fixture against Seattle Sounders, both netting in a 4-2 victory; the only win of the summer for Di Matteo's men. A draw against Paris Saint-Germain was followed by defeats to the MLS All-Stars, AC Milan, Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester City in the Community Shield.
Reasons why they'll be successful
Torres appears to have partially rediscovered his mojo after winning the Euro 2012 golden boot, while Daniel Sturridge enjoyed a decent Olympic football tournament after recovering from viral meningitis. Both will be relied on for goals. In midfield, the runs from deep from Ramires were as regular as they were threatening last term perhaps down to the form of John Obi Mikel, who enjoyed his best season at Stamford Bridge. Juan Mata, Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard are an able source of creativity.
Reasons why not
While Barcelona and Bayern Munich were left bemused in Europe, in the league, Chelsea were handing out a buffet of chances for their opponents to feed on. They conceded 46 league goals in all with the performances of January addition Gary Cahill and the dependable Petr Cech; while they were heroic on the continent, were shady domestically. As resources were going into the European campaign, the heralded Di Matteo won just five of his 11 league games. Captain John Terry's state of mind is unknown.
As the highest summer spenders in the Premier League and the FA Cup and Champions League holders, many are expecting Chelsea to bridge the gap to the Manchester pair and make it a three horse race for the title. Di Matteo, only handed a two-year deal, will be under immense pressure to translate European success into consistency domestically.
Possessing the potential for a title challenge, but not the legs. 4th