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How Are Chelsea Doing Against Their Top 7 Rivals So Far This Season?

Chelsea ended last season in a disappointing 5th, disappointing not just that it was outside the top four but also because of the distance between themselves and the champions – no less than 30 points. The only statistic that might have brought a fraction of a smile to the occasional Blues fan was the fact that despite that deficit they were still 7 points above Arsenal.

In response Chelsea went into the transfer market buying Jorginho (£50.4m) and Kepa Arrizabalaga for £71.6m. Mateo Kovacic came in on a loan and Rob Green appeared as backup keeper. Thibaut Courtois left for £35m

Chelsea’s position was not just far worse than the Champions in terms of points they were also 44 goals behind Manchester City by the end of the season. So the question was, could they catch up.

After 15 games they were 10 points behind the Champions of last season. At this rate they will end up 25 points behind the champions. An improvement but not that much.

So is there any relief to be found?

In the curtain raiser Chelsea lost to Manchester City in the Community Shield, before beating Arsenal 3-2 in the League. Then came a 1-1 draw against Liverpool (although with the compensation of a 1-2 away win in the League Cup three days before.)

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There was a 2-2 draw with Manchester United at home at the end of October, followed by a 0-0 draw with Ross Barkley’s old club Everton – which raises the question is it Everton or Man U that is part of the top six? The week after this Chelsea had Tottenham away in the League and lost 3-1 with none of their players or new transfer signings showing enough fight. But Reuben Loftus-Cheek has been a very pleasant surprise along with Ross Barkley.

But they all came very good after that beating Manchester City 2-0 at the weekend and many fantasy players will still be rueing the fact that the likes of Gabriel Jesus and the experienced Vincent Kompany did not start for City on the weekend, the result of the Citizens losing to Chelsea will definitely have sent shock waves through the entire online community as Pep opted to start with a “false 9” and interestingly Maurizio Sarri did the same.

Both managers looked for the likes of Sterling, Sane and Mahrez in City’s case and Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard for Chelsea to take advantage of all the space and it certainly worked for Chelsea.

Manchester City were already clearly the team to beat and they strengthened in the summer with the addition of Mahrez for £60m.

They opened with the Charity Shield win, followed by a 2-0 win against Arsenal at the Emirates. Liverpool away ended 0-0, and with Tottenham away it was a 1-0 win. They saw off Manchester United 3-1 making it three wins and a draw. But as noted above they lost this last weekend 2-0 to Chelsea.

Liverpool are looking like the team this season giving Manchester City a closer chase.

Fabinho (£40m), Keita (£52.8m), Shaqiri (£13m), Allison (£65m) all added to earlier spendings, making giving Man City a run for their money imperative.

After 15 games they are just two points behind last season’s champions so this challenge looks like this is happening. They beat Tottenham away 2-1, held Man City 0-0 at home, drew with Chelsea away 1-1, drew 1-1 with Arsenal away, and beat Everton 1-0 at home. Two wins and three draws.

Tottenham famously didn’t buy anyone this summer – the first Premier League club ever to disdain the window all summer long. So how have they done against their rivals?

Tottenham opened their top six campaign by beating Man U away 0-3, but lost at home to Liverpool 1-2. They also lost at home 0-1 to Man City. They then beat Chelsea 3-1 at home, but lost to Arsenal away 4-2. That gives them two wins and three defeats.

Arsenal were the subject of an earlier article and with a new manager in place they did go in for some serious, if occasionally obscure, buying. And as we noted before they started by losing their first two matches of the season to Man City and Chelsea. Since then it has been 16 wins and 5 draws. Everton and Tottenham have been beaten, Manchester Utd and Liverpool have had drawn games.

As for Everton, if they are considering themselves as top six challengers, they have lost to Arsenal, lost to Man U, drawn with Chelsea and lost to Liverpool. Three defeats and a draw against the other top six clubs. It could well be that they will end up sixth in the league but with a particularly poor record against the more regularly recognised top six clubs.

Man U themselves bought Fred for £44m and Dalot for £19m but meanwhile have lost to Tottenham, drawn with Chelsea, beaten Everton, lost to Manchester City and drawn with Arsenal. One win, two draws, and two defeats. As their overall position in the league suggests, this does not look like a top six club when playing against the other top challengers.

If we add all this together this is what we find.

Everton were very lucky to save a point against Watford last night with a goal with the last kick of the game to draw 2-2 and they might have spent some time this season sitting above Man U in the overall table but they are not performing well against their top six rivals and so it may well be that the top six will remain the same top six as last time around.

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