Chelsea Team Guide
Today our scouts turn their attention to Premier League champions Chelsea in search of essential players for your Fantasy EPL teams this season. Jose Mourinho did exactly what he promised, to make Chelsea Premier League champions once again. He did it, clinching the league title in his second season back in charge at Stamford Bridge by 8 points to second placed Manchester City. One of the biggest factors in that title was their defensive grit, let by John Terry. Mourinho likes to set his team up with Matic shielding his defense and then hit teams on the counter attack with the likes of Eden Hazard. There were 4 Chelsea players in the top 10 Fantasy Premier League points scorers last season, so while Chelsea players might come at a premium price, you can’t afford to miss out on the points.
Team Stats from 2014/15
Defensively Chelsea were the benchmark last season. Chelsea had the best defense in the league both in terms of clean sheets (17 last season) and goals conceded (just 32 goals from 38 matches). Over the last two Mourinho season’s, Chelsea are averaging 17.5 clean sheets per season and averaging conceding just 29 goals per season. That solid defense is the foundation that they build their season on, and how Mourinho gets the best out of his teams. There wasn’t much rotation at the back last season, with captain John Terry starting every league match. Terry and Branislav Ivanovic were the top two defenders last season in terms of FPL points scored, and you can expect much of the same for season 2015/16.
Attacking wise, Chelsea starting the season on fire in attack – mainly due to the link-up play from new signing Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa. Costa scored 20 league goals from just 24 starts, showing he’s one of the deadliest forwards in the league. A persistent hanstring injury hampered the second half of his season, so he’ll be thankful for the summer break to get his body back to 100% fitness for the new season. Cesc Fabregas’ 19 assists was a league best, but he was over shadowed by Chelsea’s star player Edin Hazard. Hazard showed that he is the complete player, with 14 goals and 10 assists in the league making him the top points scorer in the Fantasy Premier League last season. The arrival of Romadale Falcao, as cover for Costa, gives Chelsea better depth up front to ensure a steady flow of goals.
Player Stats from 2014/15
Here’s a detailed look at Chelsea’s player stats from the 2014/15 Season.
|Pos||Player||Matches Started||Sub App.||Goals Scored||Shots on goal||Shots on target||Assists|
|M||John Obi Mikel||6||12||0||3||1||1|
First 5 Gameweek Fixtures
Swansea City (H), Manchester City (A), West Bromwich Albion (A), Crystal Palace (H), Everton (A)
Chelsea face a big early test in gameweek 2 when they travel to Manchester City who finished second in the league last season, and were the Champions the season before that. A win there would be a huge boost to their title defense. Their other 4 matches are all against mid-table clubs who may dig in and offer resistance, but you would expect Chelsea to have too much quality and win all of these at the end of the day. Swansea at home on the opening day shouldn’t be an issue, and looks like a fixture they should get a few goals in and start on the from the foot.
Key Players for FPL
Eden Hazard £11.5 Midfield *Star Pick*
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was last season’s top points scorer in the Fantasy Premier League, helping Chelsea to the league along the way. At just 24 years of age, he’s still relatively young and growing in stature as a player to one of the worlds best. Last season Hazard was one of the most consistent performers, making him an easy choice for FPL Captaincy each gameweek. His return of 14 goals and 10 assists last season shows he’s both a goal scoring threat as well as with assists. He’s had a full break for the European summer, so should be back as fresh as ever for the new season. His ownership sits at 54% of teams thus far, so you don’t want to be the one who misses out on Hazard if he start the year at his attacking best.
Branislav Ivanovic £7.0m Defender
The right fullback of the Premier League champions Chelsea was the highest scoring defender in the Fantasy Premier League last season with 179 points. He was also the 6th highest scorer of all players in any position, which actually makes him great value for money at nearly 5 million cheaper than some of the stiker options. Chelsea’s defense was like a wall last season, picking up a league best 17 clean sheets which made up a portion of Ivanovic’s points. But he also likes to get forward down the right flank and offer an overlapping option on attack. That attacking play earned him 4 goals and 6 assists last season, all vital points from the back for a Fantasy Premier League team. He is a nailed on starter in the Chelsea lineup and you can expect much the same from Chelsea’s defense and Ivanovic in 2015/16. A safe bet for easy points at the back.
Diego Costa £11.0 Forward
Diego Costa hit the ground running last season after his £32 million transfer from Atlético Madrid where his 27 goals in 2013/14 led them to the LaLiga title. Costa scored 7 league goals in his first 4 Premier League games and looked like he was going to hit 30+ goals for the season. But a hamstring injury kept him out for long spells over Christmas and through the second half of the season. Costa still finished the season with 20 league goals, which was the third most by any player in the league (only Harry Kane & Sergio Aguero scored more). Costa offers both pace and power, which is the perfect combination for the Premier League. If he can keep himself fit, you can expect him to score at least 20 more goal this season. A must have, more so that Hazard, in our book.