These are uncertain times for Chelsea and yet they are always tough to beat in the Premier League.

Chelsea Premier League Fixtures, Squad, Guide

There have been plenty of questions hanging over Stamford Bridge this summer, with possibly the biggest issue surrounding the future of the club’s owner, Roman Ambramovich, who has shelved plans for a new stadium after his UK visa was not renewed. There is certainly no suggestion that he is about to pull the plug on his investment in Chelsea, but his decision to take up Israeli citizenship does mean that he will be spending a lot less time in London.

Despite winning the FA Cup in May, Antonio Conte’s failure to qualify the team for this season’s Champions League saw him part company with the club in July and he was replaced by another Italian, Maurizio Sarri, who led Napoli to two second-place finishes in Serie A in three seasons. And following last season’s departure of technical director Michael Emenalo, will the club decide to continue to farm out talent on loan rather than giving youngsters a chance?

Annual wage bill – £221m (2017)

Annual income – £368m (2017)

Stadium Stamford Bridge (41,841)

Odds – 12/1 to win Premier League

FAN’S VIEW

Drew Bartle, CFCnet, CFCnet.co.uk

LAST SEASON WAS… 

A frustrating one, full of missed chances and players not quite linking up. Add a bunch of dodgy decisions to the mix and there you have it. The questionable singings of Drinkwater and Barkley just felt like they were never handpicked by Antonio Conte. However, we did win the FA Cup so at least it ended on a high.

OUR BIGGEST HERO 

It’s between N’Golo Kante and Cesar Azpilicueta – both were the glue that bound the whole team together.

OUR BIGGEST VILLAIN 

We do not have villains at our own club. Some may disagree of course.

YOUNGSTER TO WATCH 

Ethan Ampadu has impressed when he’s had the opportunity.

MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER

Tiemoue Bakayoko. No doubt he has the capability to be a very good player in the Michael Essien style-mould, but he seriously needs to work on his passing, his speed of execution and decision-making. The 2018-19 season is a big one for him.

HOPES & FEARS FOR 2018-19 

It would be great if the club decided to rebuild around our best young players but look to keep the overall quality of the squad at its best. Our aim should be top four because we need Champions League to encourage the elite players to join us. It’s doable with the players we have – if Willian/Hazard stay – and maybe an addition or two, but we must, if somewhat reluctantly, have a plan in place for some of our key players to be gone this summer or the next.

Keeping Hazard and Willian will be vital for Chelsea (Getty Images)

Chelsea Premier League Squad

Name Age/d.o.b. Signed/prev club

GOALKEEPERS
Willy Caballero (Arg) (36) 28.09.81 2017 / Manchester City
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Spa) (23) 03.11.1994 2018 / Atletico Bilbao
Robert Green (38) 18.01.1980 2018 / Huddersfield Town

DEFENDERS
Marcos Alonso (Spa) (27) 28.12.90 2016 / Fiorentina (Ita)
Ethan Ampadu (Wal) (17) 14.09.00 2017 / Exeter City
Cesar Azpilicueta (Spa) (28) 28.08.89 2012 / Marseille (Fra)
Gary Cahill (32) 19.12.85 2012 / Bolton Wanderers
Andreas Christensen (Den) (22) 10.04.96 2012 / Brondby (Den)
David Luiz (Bra) (31) 22.04.87 2016 / PSG (Fra)
Emerson (Ita) (23) 03.08.94 2018 / Roma (Ita)
Antonio Rudiger (Ger) (25) 03.03.93 2017 / Roma (Ita)
Davide Zappacosta (Ita) (26) 11.06.92 2017 / Torino (Ita)
Kurt Zouma (Fra) (23) 27.10.94 2014 / Saint-Etienne (Fra)

MIDFIELDERS
Tiemoue Bakayoko (Fra) (23) 17.08.94 2017 / Monaco (Fra)
Ross Barkley (24) 05.12.93 2018 / Everton
Danny Drinkwater (28) 05.03.90 2017 / Leicester City
Cesc Fabregas (Spa) (31) 04.05.87 2014 / Barcelona (Spa)
Jorginho (Ita) (26) 20.12.91 2018 / Napoli (Ita)
N’Golo Kante (Fra) (27) 29.03.91 2016 / Leicester City
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (22) 23.01.96 2004 / youth
Victor Moses (Nga) (27) 12.12.90 2012 / Wigan Athletic
Charles Musonda (Blg) (21) 15.10.96 2012 / Anderlecht (Blg)
Kyle Scott (USA) (20) 12.12.97 2007 / youth
Willian (Bra) (29) 09.08.88 2013 / Anzhi (Russia)
Matteo Kovacic (Cro) 24 06.05.1994 2018 / Real Madrid

FORWARDS
Tammy Abraham (20) 02.10.97 2004 / youth
Michy Batshuayi (Blg) (24) 02.10.93 2016 / Marseille (Fra)
Olivier Giroud (Fra) (31) 30.09.86 2018 / Arsenal
Eden Hazard (Blg) (27) 07.01.91 2012 / Lille (Fra)
Alvaro Morata (Spa) (25) 23.10.92 2017 / Real Madrid (Spa)
Pedro (Spa) (30) 28.07.87 2015 / Barcelona (Spa)

MANAGER
Maurizio Sarri (Ita) (59) 10.01.59 2018 / Napoli (Ita)

Maurizio Sarri takes control of Chelsea this year (Getty Images)

Chelsea Premier League Fixtures

Aug 11 Huddersfield (a) – won 3-0

Aug 18 Arsenal (h)

Aug 26 Newcastle (a)

Sep 1 Bournemouth (h)

Sep 15 Cardiff (h)

Sep 23 West Ham (a)

Sep 29 Liverpool (h)

Oct 6 Southampton (a)

Oct 20 Man Utd (h)

Oct 27 Burnley (a)

Nov 3 Crystal Palace (h)

Nov 10 Everton (h)

Nov 24 Tottenham (a)

Dec 1 Fulham (h)

Dec 4 Wolves (a)

Dec 8 Man City (h)

Dec 15 Brighton (a)

Dec 22 Leicester (h)

Dec 26 Watford (a)

Dec 29 Crystal Palace (a)

Jan 1 Southampton (h)

Jan 12 Newcastle (h)

Jan 19 Arsenal (a)

Jan 29 Bournemouth (a)

Feb 2 Huddersfield (h)

Feb 9 Man City (a)

Feb 23 Brighton (h)

Feb 27 Tottenham (h)

Mar 2 Fulham (a)

Mar 9 Wolves (h)

Mar 16 Everton (a)

Mar 30 Cardiff (a)

Apr 6 West Ham (h)

Apr 13 Liverpool (a)

Apr 20 Burnley (h)

Apr 27 Man Utd (a)

May 4 Watford (h)

May 12 Leicester (a)

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