Chelsea FC has finished their ICC preseason tour in the United States and are ready to begin the 2016-17 Premier League season.
Perhaps no other team is more eager to turn the page on last year and work towards making the current campaign a successful one.
As the club and their supporters prepare to play host to London rival West Ham United on Monday night, we take a look at why their season will get off to a flying start.
New Manager – New Tactics – New Attitude
One the most, if not the most, frustrating aspect of what took place last year was a lack of effort and desire from many of the Chelsea players.
Jose Mourinho had completely lost the dressing room last autumn, and it was easy to see the effect on the results. Lethargic and uninspired performances on the pitch eventually led to changes at the top.
Former Juventus manager Antonio Conte will not have any of that type of nonsense.
His impassioned approach and attention to detail will have immediate benefits to Chelsea. One of the best tacticians in the game, his knowledge of defensive structure and positioning will prepare the backline well for multiple clean sheets early in the campaign.
While certainly, no one should underestimate the tough opening test against West Ham on Monday, Chelsea should be able to accumulate a lot of points in the standings to start 2016-17.
In between the opener and a home match against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in mid-September, the Blues meet Watford, Burnley and Swansea City.
All three of those games should bring three points to help get Chelsea on the right track headed into more challenging fixtures.
Ne European Competitions
While the club is not thrilled about this in an immediate sense, the absence of Champions League and Europa League play will ultimately benefit Chelsea in the league standings.
Instead of midweek matches spread out across the next few months, Chelsea can fully focus and concentrate on Premier League fixtures.
Key players and starters can be fully rested, and the team will be ready for each and every opponent.
Eden Hazard Ready To Shine Again
Belgian international midfielder Eden Hazard has had quite a few ups and downs over the past few years and rarely seemed to see eye to eye with Jose Mourinho.
After 28 league goals over the previous two seasons, Hazard saw his goal total drop to a paltry 4 in 2015-16. No one in the squad including Hazard himself will want to see this trend continue.
With new addition N’Golo Kante able to provide him even greater cover in the defensive half of the pitch, expect Hazard to get forward and find his prolific scoring touch again.
Transfer Window Still Open
Owner Roman Abramovich rarely rests during a transfer window, and he has already brought on new additions in Kante and striker Michy Batshuayi. But the hunt for forwards has not stopped.
Rumours of acquiring Romelu Lukaku appear to be cooling off, but the possible movement of Diego Costa gives life to the possibility of Chelsea adding more pieces shortly.
After a disappointing 2015-16 season, Chelsea will want to get off to the best start possible in 2016-17.
Thanks to a new manager and some smart roster decisions, the Blues are set to have a great opening few months in returning to the top of the Premier League.