Chelsea are early favorites to win English Premier League

By Brian McMahon,
After signing several high-profile players during the off-season, Chelsea has as much talent as any team in England

Chelsea are the preseason favorites to win the Barclays Premier League for the fifth time in club history.

The Blues have finished third in the Premier League the last two seasons, but manager Jose Mourinho feels his side now has the quality to be the champions of England.

Chelsea had a very successful summer, notes Goal.com, despite losing the likes of Frank Lampard, David Luis and Ashley Cole, as they have brought in more talent than they lost. There will now be a strong Spanish presence at Stamford Bridge, as forward Diego Costa and midfielder Cesc Fabregas join Fernando Torres as prominent Spaniards on the team. Costa joins the club after scoring 27 La Liga goals for Atetico Madrid last season, as he helped them reach the Champions League Final. Fabregas will bring a winner's mentality to the London club after spending three seasons with Barcelona.

Chelsea has also brought in Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is only 22, but has established himself as one of the world's top shot blockers. According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea are ready to entertain offers for Peter Cech, who has been the club's first choice keeper since coming to Stamford Bridge in 2004.

Mourinho, who is always one to speak his mind, is confident in his team's potential for not only the upcoming season, but for years to come.

"It is a squad for tomorrow, for next season and also a squad with big possibilities for the next five or 10 years with so many young people," said Mourinho. "So, I like my squad very much."

Chelsea did not have enough firepower last season to overtake Liverpool or Manchester City in the league table. The Blues only scored 71 goals during the season, compared to Liverpool's 101 and City's 102. Still, Chelsea's defense was nearly able to overcome the lack of goal scoring, as they finished just four points behind City, who won the Premier League.

Chelsea's defense did take a major hit this season, losing Brazilian defender David Luis to French champions Paris Saint-Germain. However, Chelsea should have one of the best defenses in Europe, boasting the like of John Terry and newly signed Filipe Luís.

Chelsea shouldn't have the same problems scoring goals this season with the additions of Costa and Fabregas. However, the man all Chelsea fans most want to see put the ball in the back of the net is Didier Drogba, who returns to Chelsea after two years of playing in China and Turkey. Drogba, 36, is considered one the greatest players in the club's history, as he scored 157 goals in all competitions with them from 2004-2012.

Despite bringing in all these big name players, the star of Chelsea is Belgium youngster, Eden Hazard, 23. He was named PFA Young Player of the Year for his outstanding 2013-2014 season, and came in second behind Luis Suárez for PFA Player of the Year. Hazard should be poised to take the leap into being one of the world's truly elite players in the upcoming season.

With the team Mourinho has at his disposal, Chelsea will not only be in the running to win the Premier League for the first time since 2010, but will also be a team team to look out for in this season's Champions League.

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