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Season 2024/25: Chelsea aiming to bounce back from a disappointing campaign

Chelsea will head into the 2024/25 season with a point to prove after failing to live up to expectations during the previous campaign.

A late rally helped the Blues finish sixth in the Premier League, but Manchester United’s FA Cup success scuppered their hopes of Europa League qualification.

They will feature in the Europa Conference League next term – a significant fall from grace for a club more accustomed to competing in the Champions League.

Chelsea’s priority next season will be to force their way back into the top four in the Premier League, and online bookmakers are backing them to achieve the feat.

A quick odds analysis shows that Chelsea are rated as 6/4 shots to finish in the top four – only Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool are shorter in the betting.

However, while it is reasonable to think that fourth place will be as good as it gets for Chelsea, the club should set its sights much higher than that.

Previous manager Mauricio Pochettino laid down some reasonable foundations for new boss Enzo Maresco to build on, and he will be confident he can guide the team into title contention.

Stopping Manchester City from winning their fifth consecutive league crown will not be easy, but that is the target Maresco must set for his team.

Chelsea have invested heavily in their squad over the past few transfer windows, and more squad improvements have been made this summer.

Maresco now has the task of moulding them into a team capable of challenging for silverware and he must hit the ground running.

If Chelsea are unable to topple Man City, overhauling Arsenal and Liverpool must be the minimum aim for the club next season.

The Gunners have come up short in the title race over the last two years and should be in contention again, but they are certainly not unbeatable.

Liverpool finished third in Jurgen Klopp’s final season in charge and the pressure will be on his replacement Arne Slot next season.

On that basis, odds of 11/1 for Chelsea to claim a top two finish could be worth taking given the depth of talent in their squad.

If the Premier League title proves to be elusive next season, the Blues still have three other trophies they can target next season.

The FA Cup is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch and is a competition they cannot afford to take lightly in Maresco’s debut season with the club.

Chelsea last lifted the trophy in 2017/18 and have reached the final three times since then, so their recent pedigree in the competition demands respect.

The Europa Conference League should be the next priority given that the tournament winners automatically qualify for the Europa League.

Lifting the trophy would partially restore Chelsea’s reputation in Europe, although they would still be some way short of their former glories.

The League Cup is also a viable target, but fans would probably be happy to see the club use it as a vehicle to give younger players the chance to shine.

A top-four finish and a winning a trophy is the minimum requirement for Chelsea next season and would be a respectable step in the right direction.

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