If you haven’t seen these bubble plots before I explained the concept here but basically, higher = better team, further right = more luck, bigger bubble = more points, brighter bubble = more extreme goal difference (green = +ve, red = -ve).
A turbulent year for Chelsea, they somehow won the Champions League despite being, at best, a shadow of the team they were 5 years ago. They got an unsustainable amount of luck under Di Matteo and, although we know that the media will describe any slow start to the season as a Champions League hangover, the reality is they weren’t very good at controlling attacking possession towards the end of last season (link). They finished 5th in terms of TSR (link), and if we consider just the time under Di Matteo they sit behind Everton in 7th. 14 league games isn’t the largest sample but it’s not something to easily write off either.
The table below includes the projections based on those comparable teams (as well as the max and min points expected from their performance) as well as their expected performance based on their total shots ratio (TSR) and shots on target ratio (STR) from last season.
Another case of the comparable’s being more optimistic than the shots model. Teams 2-6 in this preview seem highly interchangeable to me, and I could certainly see Chelsea filling any one of those spots. Finally the projected league table, based on the comparable’s model.
The comparable’s for Chelsea are: ’05-06 Arsenal (83 points in year ‘0’, 89 points in year ‘1’), ’05-06 Manchester United (83, 89), ’03-04 Chelsea (79, 95), ’03-04 Manchester City (41, 52), ’01-02 Manchester United (77, 83), ’02-03 Chelsea (67, 79), ’03-04 Arsenal (90, 83), ’00-01 Liverpool (69, 80), ’10-11 Manchester United (80, 89), ’00-01 Chelsea (61, 64)