Chelsea started the 2018-19 Premier League season with an effortless 3-0 victory over Huddersfield. It marked a successful beginning to the Maurizio Sarri era.
Can Maurizio Sarri Lead Chelsea to Premier League Glory?
The North London team showed they can compete against anybody as long as their roster remains injury-free.
The recently signed Jorginho had a dream debut in the Premier League scoring a goal in the 45th minute. Not only that, he was equally important due to his outstanding display in the midfield.
If we analyze this Chelsea team, we will find a team solid in all of the perfectives.
A Close Look
Chelsea has a complete team full of world-class talent that includes the Belgian Eden Hazard, the French World Cup champion N’Golo Kante and Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, just to mention a few.
However, the squad is one of the deepest in the league.
Here’s the actual roster:
Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Willy Caballero, and Robert Green.
Defenses: Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Zappacosta, Emerson, Andreas Christensen, David Luiz, and Gary Cahill (C).
Midfielders: Cesc Fabregas, Jorginho, Danny Drinkwater, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Eden Hazard, Pedro, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tiémoué Bakayoko, Mateo Kovacic, William, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Ethan Ampadu.
Forwards: Alvaro Morata, Oliver Giroud, and Tammy Abraham.
That’s a compact team and under Sarri, this group can aspire to big things.
Seeing that Chelsea dispatched Huddersfield fairly easily, it is also true their main man Eden Hazard was not that important to earn the three points.
Hazard assisted Pedro in the 80th minute to put the game in the bag. But even so, the squad had secured the match way before of it. Kante opened the scoring in the 34th and Jorginho netted his first goal since November 26 last year.
Jorginho dominated the midfield by retaining the ball and making key passes. Of course, when Hazard entered in the second half, the Belgian international was the difference-maker doing what he does best, dribbling past defenders.
With this in mind, it is clear Sarri can take advantage of his midfield.
A New Hope
Chelsea was in crisis last season under Antonio Conte.
The team was sacked in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 and barely earned a spot in the Europe League this season.
So they clearly needed a change.
Surprisingly, another Italian took over when Maurizio Sarri signed a three-year deal with the club.
Sarri arrived at Chelsea after finishing second with Napoli in Italy’s Serie A. One of the new manager’s demands was to bring Jorginho who was a key player for Napoli last season, and Chelsea made it.
The other important point was to keep Hazard. Even though the summer transfer has already closed in England, the Belgian international declared during the World Cup that he thought it was time to leave Chelsea after six years.
Regardless of the what case may be, Sarri is confident the Belgian will be part of the club’s long-term plans.
Sarri’s On A Mission
The Italian coach has something to prove too as he has never won a title with any team and lost his best opportunity last season when Napoli led the Serie A by 1 point with four matchdays remaining.
But Juventus ended up overtaking them and won their seventh-straight Scudetto. It was a frustrating end to the season for Napoli who crashed out of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, then lost in the Europa League round of 32.
With this new change of scenery, Sarri has a huge chance to prove he’s a championship-winning manager.
Chelsea has enough individual and collective talent to win the English Premier League, but there are other teams stronger than them, like Manchester United and Liverpool.
Nevertheless, Sarri’s squad seems to be ready to reconquer the title, or at least, ending in the top three.
They have to take care of Manchester United and Tottenham. If Chelsea beat these teams, they can consider themselves real candidates.
In addition, in the UEFA Europa League run they are the favorites, with Villareal, Arsenal, and Milan as their hardest opponents.