Diego Costa
Costa must produce if Chelsea are to fulfil their pre-season billing as title favourites.

Last season

Premier League: 3rd

FA Cup: Fifth Round

League Cup: Fifth Round

Top Scorer: Eden Hazard (17)

Summer's work

No club has acted more decisively or clinically in the window than the men from the King's Road. In Diego Costa and Filipe Luis (as well as the returning Thibaut Courtois) they have the crucial assets from Atletico Madrid's successful La Liga campaign and run to the Champions League final. Cesc Fabregas resumes his Premier League career after Arsenal turned down the chance to resign their former captain from Barcelona while Didier Drogba returns two years on from scoring the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final. A host of big names have left the club including David Luiz and Romelu Lukaku for a combined £78m, while Ashley Cole topped the Blues' release list.

Manager – Jose Mourinho

If the sheen on Mourinho's reputation as world's football finest manager suffered upon the first trophy-less campaign in his managerial career last term, there is little doubt the Portuguese boss has not rested on his laurels. Possessing the most complete squad in the Premier League, the arrogance and bravado has already returned to Mourinho's personality, with the Chelsea boss predicting a decade of success at Stamford Bridge. Having rarely failed to match his own expectations, the Blues can expect a period of dominance only comparable to his first spell at the club.

Key player – Diego Costa

Having constantly complained over the club's attacking resources last season, Mourinho was given free reign to sign a player to lead Chelsea's title charge this season. The result has seen Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid's bulldozer of a forward, move to west London. Though Chelsea have substantial depth, their hopes at home and abroad rest on Costa's adaption to life on English shores. His physical playing style and appetite for goals make him the perfect Mourinho forward and one that should excel in the Premier League, but he is under pressure to justify his £32m price-tag.


With Roman Abramovich bank-rolling the finest summer transfer business of perhaps any club in Europe, the sky is the limit for Chelsea this season. Having achieved so much last term in finishing four points behind champions Manchester City and reaching the Champions League semi-final, Mourinho has the squad to dominate at home and on the continent. Nevertheless, how Costa and Courtois go in their debut seasons will be vital.

Prediction – 1st

A deluge of spending will see the Blues justify their pre-season billing.