What does Chelsea need to challenge for the Premier League title?

Chelsea's English head coach Graham Potter (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Chelsea's English head coach Graham Potter (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Chelsea has not been challenging for the league title since they won it in the 2016/17 season when Antonio Conte was in charge. Since then, Chelsea has been behind the league leaders by an average of 25 points over the past five completed seasons. That’s on average eight wins and one draw worse than the league champions.

The Blues look to even finish behind the league leaders by more points than any of the last five seasons.

Everyone in the Chelsea community looks forward to when the Blues will challenge for the league title again, and the club likes to believe they’re putting things in place to make that happen. However, what does a title-challenging team need to do anyway? What level do they need to hit?

4 things that Chelsea need to mount a title challenge

Regular chance creation (<= 100 big chances in 38 games)

A title-challenging team needs to create good chances regularly, especially clear-cut chances. Clear-cut chances or big chances come in many forms, these generally include shots from very close to the goal when the player is reasonably expected to score.

They also include one-on-ones. Over the past five years, two teams have generally contested for the title: Liverpool and Manchester City. Man City has been by far the best team in the country in that period, but Liverpool has competed with them. From the 2018/19 – 2021/22 season, Liverpool’s lowest number of big chances created per game was 2.8. They created that once, created 2.9 big chances per game twice, and created over 3.1 big chances per game twice.

They have also averaged 16.5 shots taken per game in those seasons according to WhoScored, with the lowest tally being the 2018/19 season where they created 15.1 chances per game. 19% of their shots per game have been big chances.

This is the level that is needed to challenge for the league title. You need to create in the region of 600 shots per season and about 100-110 big chances in 38 games as a team. Chelsea in the same period has created 15.7 shots per game on average, and 597 total shots, which is fine, however, they have created 2.4 big chances per game and about 90 big chances per season. This is not up to the level of those who have been challenging for the title.