The State of Chelsea: An Overview of the Club's Prospects as Football Takes a Break

After keeping us all entertained for months, football is taking a few weeks off while the world attempts to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Leaving the medical stuff to the professionals, this time away from the pitch will give clubs plenty of time to get things in order, and Chelsea are no different.

Frank Lampard has endured a real rollercoaster of a first season in the Stamford Bridge dugout. There have been big wins, crushing losses and more defensive errors than any team should ever commit.

So, while the season is on hold, let's take a look at how Chelsea's year has shaped up so far, and what they've got in store once football blesses our lives once again.

As it Stands

This season was always about sealing ​Champions League qualification, so it's safe to say that ​Chelsea are on track. They're fourth in the ​Premier League table right now, which is all the Blues need.

They're three points clear of ​Manchester United in fifth, so they've at least got some form of cushion, and the 4-0 win over Everton in their final game before the apocalypse looked set to give them some real momentum.

Lampard's side are still in the FA Cup, having dispatched of ​Liverpool in the last round, and Leicester City stand between them and a place in the semi-final. Well, assuming the FA Cup ever does come back.

Unfortunately, life hasn't been so rosy in the Champions League. Chelsea are still in Europe, but after losing 3-0 to ​Bayern Munich at Stamford Bridge, it's safe to say that the focus will be on other competitions.

Injury Status and Potential Returns

From a purely footballing perspective, this break is actually something of a godsend for Chelsea, who haven't had a full strength squad in what feels like forever.

We haven't seen Callum Hudson-Odoi or Christian Pulisic for a while, and then you've got ​N'Golo Kanté, Tammy Abraham and ​Mateo Kovačić all on the treatment table. By the time football returns, they should all be raring to go.

Don't forget about ​Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who was on the cusp of a return from an Achilles injury. He still needs match fitness, but the distinct lack of games will likely keep him out for a little while longer.

Remaining Fixtures and Season Projection

If football ever does return, Chelsea will have to find time to play nine Premier League fixtures, and here's a prediction of how that will all play out for the Blues.

Fixture Prediction
​Aston Villa (A) Win​
​Manchester City (H) ​Lose
​West Ham United (A) Win​
​Watford (H) Win​
​Crystal Palace (A) Draw
​Sheffield United (A) Draw​
​Norwich City (H) Win​
​Liverpool (A) Lose
​Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) Draw​

Total Points Projection: 63
Predicted Finish: 4th

Chelsea have a real range of fixtures left to play. They face the league's top two and bottom two sides, as well as a whole mix of sides in between. With that in mind, it should be business as usual for Lampard's sides.

With points likely to be dropped against Liverpool and ​Manchester City, Chelsea simply cannot afford to come unstuck against some of the so-called lesser sides; Villa, West Ham, Watford, and Norwich are four of the bottom five, so that must be no less than 12 points.

The Blues should be good enough to come out on top in the vast majority of their fixtures, but we all know just how much they love making life hard for themselves.

As for cup competitions, the Champions League is effectively a write-off now, but the FA Cup is still alive for Chelsea. Leicester are a beatable opponent, and then Chelsea would be just two games away from lifting the trophy.

Player Contract Status

Away from the pitch, Chelsea have some real questions to answer. In terms of contracts, ​Willian​Pedro and ​Olivier Giroud are all currently set to walk away for free, while Willy Caballero and forgotten man Marco van Ginkel will both become free agents as well.

In the other direction, Ajax star Hakim Ziyech ​is expected to complete his move from Ajax on 1 July, but that could all come down to when the current season actually finishes.

Summer Transfer Plans

The transfer ban is well and truly gone, and fans are expecting big things from Chelsea. A source has confirmed to 90min that​ finding a new a striker and centre-back ​is top of their agenda, and hopefully there will be money left over for a left-back, goalkeeper and attacking midfielder.

In attack, ​Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lyon's Moussa Dembélé are in their sights, while Dayot Upamecano and Kalidou Koulibaly have been tipped to fill the void at centre-back, but it could all come down to money.

You've then got Alex Telles, Jadon Sancho, Jeremie Boga, Dean Henderson and the rest of the army of players who have been linked with Chelsea, so this summer could be a busy one.

Long-Term Targets

The overall goal for Chelsea is just to get back among the Premier League's elite. At the minute, you can never be certain that they will reach the Champions League, so cementing a spot in the top four is a must.

Fans are hopeful that the current crop of youngsters will be able to lead the charge, and complimenting them with experience where needed sounds like a real recipe for success.

However, if Chelsea only achieve one goal, can we please not see any more Danny Drinkwaters arrive at Stamford Bridge?

Thanks, thanks a lot.

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Source : 90min