Chelsea Predictions 2022/23: Premier League finish, signing of the season, best player and more

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Thomas Tuchel in the Chelsea dugout Credit: PA Images
Thomas Tuchel in the Chelsea dugout Credit: PA Images

It has been an interesting summer for Chelsea on and off the field and TEAMtalk’s Samuel Bannister has predicted how the 2022/23 season might go for the Blues.

TEAMtalk writers have six different categories to dissect – including where the team will finish in the Premier League table, how the cup competitions will go and who will end the campaign as Player of the Season.

One of the most powerful clubs in the country, what does the season ahead have in store for an evolving Chelsea?

PREMIER LEAGUE FINISH

Chelsea are such an intriguing club to predict this year after all the changes that have been made on and off the field. In terms of the squad itself, it still feels too early to judge – it really could go either way.

But the Blues seem to be investing well and crucially are keeping hold of Thomas Tuchel as their head coach. Although there will be extra competition this season – Tottenham and Arsenal have strengthened, while it is a new era for Manchester United – I still believe Chelsea have a good chance of keeping their top-four place.

That said, I can see Tottenham catching them for third place this time around, even if I still think the Blues will be healthier in the long term. Therefore, for now, I’m putting Chelsea fourth in my predictions – keeping Man Utd and Arsenal at bay.

EUROPEAN CAMPAIGN

Chelsea are in the Champions League again for the 2022/23 season. It is, of course, a competition they won as recently as 2021.

They are in pot 2 for the group-stage draw, so despite the risk of facing someone like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or PSG, they still should have a good chance of getting to the knockout stages.

From there, anything could happen, so it is hard to call – especially if they don’t make it through as group winners. There are plenty of players of European pedigree at Tuchel’s disposal, which could be cause for optimism.

Thus, I’ll go down the middle of the knockout stages and say Chelsea’s Champions League journey will go up to the quarter-finals.

DOMESTIC CUP PERFORMANCE

Last season, Chelsea were the runners up in both domestic cup competitions, only losing on penalties each time.

I think they will manage to get their hands on one this season, so I’ll suggest the EFL Cup.

There would likely be a low probability for a side to reach three consecutive FA Cup finals, as good as Chelsea are, so perhaps the League Cup could be a likelier route to silverware.

As long as Tuchel retains an available and deep squad – they had some issues in that regard last December, but still managed to reach the final – it would give them some momentum in the new calendar year.

As for the FA Cup, Chelsea will have a good chance again, but this time the draw may not be as favourable as it was in 2021/22 – you simply never know. I’ll predict an exit in the semi-finals.

PLAYER OF THE SEASON

It has taken a couple of years for Kai Havertz to properly cement himself at Chelsea, but I can see this being a full breakout year for the German.

Kai Havertz playing for Chelsea Credit: PA Images
Kai Havertz playing for Chelsea Credit: PA Images

After the departure of Romelu Lukaku, it is likely that Havertz will operate as a centre-forward. He should take advantage of being able to fill the void left by the Belgian, whose struggles surprised me in 2021-22.

Anyway, last season, Havertz scored 11 goals from 26 games as a striker, compared to three from 19 as an attacking midfielder or a winger. Now, the onus could be on him to lead the line full-time.

The signing of Raheem Sterling is a smart one in terms of finding someone who isn’t an out-and-out striker but can get goals; those players seem to have more success for Tuchel.

But the existing understanding of Havertz and some renewed confidence could see the 23-year-old take a big leap forward with his Chelsea career as a focal point up top.

SIGNING OF THE SEASON (at the time of writing)

As a regular follower of Serie A, I am well aware of the ability of Kalidou Koulibaly – and what a player Chelsea are getting.

Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly Credit: PA Images
Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly Credit: PA Images

Strengthening the centre of defence was a priority for the Blues after the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. By adding Koulibaly, they are bringing in one of the best centre-backs in the world.

For years, Koulibaly commanded the Napoli backline and he has finally earned his chance to succeed in the Premier League. His strength and organisational abilities will make him an asset to Chelsea.

They probably still need another option alongside him, perhaps someone younger. But after seeing how well Thiago Silva adapted to life at Stamford Bridge as a veteran, I can imagine Koulibaly following in his footsteps and even surpassing him.

SURPRISE PACKAGE

Chelsea have such a talented squad it is hard to identify a surprise package as such. They are all good players.

Some of those returning from loan spells away may get a chance, like Conor Gallagher – but I think a lot of people are predicting him to be a success, so he wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise.

Hence, my pick for this category will be someone already at the club: Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

It looked at one point like he would never live up to the heights he was promising before some injury issues. But it almost went under the radar that he managed to accumulate 40 appearances for Chelsea last season. Even if it would have been preferable for him to up his goal output too, he needed that; now it is time to kick on.

Despite some links with an exit and the prospect of extra competition from the likes of Gallagher, I’m backing Loftus-Cheek to hold his own again in the Chelsea midfield.

Still only 26, he may not play as much as he did last season, but if he stays at Stamford Bridge, he could continue to be a valuable member of Tuchel’s squad. It will be interesting to see what they all can achieve.

The article Chelsea Predictions 2022/23: Premier League finish, signing of the season, best player and more appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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