The new English Premier League season is here. The transfer window may still be open but we can now predict the end-of-season league standings more accurately. By considering all the successful transfers, the relative strength of the top teams can now be told, and all signs point towards Chelsea FC being dethroned from their title as champions.

The first team is weaker

Chelsea FC overpowered their opponents for the entire season. A fine early-season form saw them gain a huge head start over title rivals. The truth, however, is that Chelsea was the best team by a country mile. Others have since strengthened ahead of the new season and ready to wrestle the title away from West London.

Manchester United have been busiest, with the rest not far behind. Manchester City just signed Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph to complement the 2013/2014 winners. Liverpool have overhauled their forward line in search of goals. James Milner brings graft in midfield and unmatched versatility. In Petr Cech, Arsenal have solved a long term Achilles’ heel, which makes them stronger than last season.

At best, Chelsea remain unchanged. Radamel Falcao is younger than Didier Drogba; but the Ivorian's hold up play is unmatched by any forward, and his departure leaves Chelsea with only one target man in Diego Costa. In goal, Asmir Begovic is inferior to Petr Cech, a sign that these departures have left the champions weaker. 

In Drogba and Cech, boss José Mourinho has lost two of his trusted on-field lieutenants whose leadership abilities will be sorely missed in a talented but young squad.

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Lean Squad with limited options

Mourinho’s Chelsea squad is very lean. His current squad has just 18 senior players and a couple of youngsters who are rarely utilized. The Portuguese sticks with his preferred core, using only 20 players to navigate a title-winning season.

Unfortunately, this technique overworks his players. A tired was given the run around in March against 10-man Paris St. Germain to end a promising campaign in the Champions League. On their day, the Chelsea starting XI is good enough to beat any team in the world. They cannot, however, complete a grueling domestic and European campaign using such a small number of players.

With Andre Schurrle gone, Ramires out of form and John Obi Mikel suffering with injuries, the Chelsea bench was miserably short in quality. This season, the situation may be even worse unless the fringe players step up.

Greater competition all through the season

The Premier League teams have strengthened significantly, and the competition is set to be higher than in 2014/2015. Last season, Chelsea lost twice only, failing to score once away to Sunderland.

These figures will rise in this season of finer margins. Unless every player improves individually to improve the team, the title will be gone before the New Year.

Recent history of dethroning champions

The defending champions have been continuously dethroned for the past six seasons. The last team to successfully defend their crown was Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 2008/2009. In fact, only two men have won consecutive Premier League tiles, with José Mourinho achieving the feat in 2005/2006. 

In all honesty, they don’t look equipped to break this trend. The Manchester clubs will return hungrier while the Arsenal revolution is gaining pace at a time when Blues’ strike force no longer inspires much confidence. Further, Chelsea FC have already fallen into the trap of the defending champion investing much less than their rivals. 

For even the ardent Chelsea fans, expect no repeat of Mourinho’s heroics the first time around.