Why Chelsea still look London’s best bet in the top-four race

Who’ll finish in the top four this season? We expect London clubs to be in the thick of the battle for Champions League places. 

Tottenham and Arsenal look stronger than last season, but it seems bookmakers still regard Chelsea as the capital’s strongest side.

The only London club that is expected to finish top four is Chelsea at 4/9. Tottenham 13/8 and Arsenal 15/8 have the fourth and fifth-best odds, but the oddsmakers still believe it is more likely that they finish fifth or worse. 

The true probability of the odds, at this point, give Chelsea a 63.3% chance, Tottenham 36.6%, and Arsenal 32.1%. If you are looking to sites that are available for betting on sports in the UK, the online portion offer some excellent advantages over local bookies. Especially during these post pandemic times where you can bet from the comfort of home.

Tottenham have looked so impressive since the start of the season that their former manager Harry Redknapp has claimed that they have a genuine chance of winning the Premier League.

Spurs look strong in every position, while their rivals Arsenal have made good progress under manager Mikel Arteta and look capable of maintaining that this season.

However, Chelsea’s summer signings understandably mean they are seen as the most likely side to challenge Manchester City and defending champions Liverpool. 

Better attacking options

Blues boss Frank Lampard made no secret of his desire to add to his attacking options for this season – and he certainly got his wish.

Chelsea have added serious quality in the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech. All three are still finding their feet in England but their ability is abundantly clear. 

There’s also Christian Pullisic, who was unplayable at times last season, and the fact Callum Hudson-Odoi now faces a real fight for a first-team place is an indication of the formidable attacking options Chelsea have. 

They were hugely reliant on the goals of Tammy Abraham last season and now the England striker would do well to hold down a first-team place at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are a different proposition now. 

Tighter at the back

The improvement in Chelsea’s defending is perhaps even more significant.

While reliant on Abraham, they were still a goal threat last season, with the likes of Pulisic and Willian starring on occasions.

It was at the back where Lampard had serious concerns. Chelsea looked vulnerable there all season, particularly at set-pieces, and it was clearly an area that needed to be improved.

The signing of a seasoned performer in Thiago Silva therefore seems hugely significant. Chelsea have lacked a leader since John Terry’s departure and the Brazilian centre-back brings bundles of composure and big-game experience.

The likes of Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso were unconvincing, especially in big games, but are now clearly being eased out and replaced by better players – Ben Chilwell at left-back is a serious upgrade on Alonso.  

So it’s hardly surprising that oddsmakers see Chelsea as a better bet that their London rivals for a top-four place. But can they challenge the top two? That might be a Bridge too far.