Premier League 2022-23 preview No. 6. Chelsea Soccer:

Guardian writers’ predicted position 4th (NB: this is not necessarily Jacob Steinberg’s prediction but the average of our writers’ tips)

Last season’s position: 3rd:

Odds to win the league (via Oddschecker) 16-1

Prospects:

It has been a whirlwind summer at Stamford Bridge. Roman Abramovich is gone, as are the Russian’s closest allies, and Chelsea’s new owners have not had much time to get up to speed with the intricacies of English football since completing their £4.25bn takeover of the club.

Yet the situation is far from disastrous. Chelsea have not gone away. The recruitment overseen by Todd Boehly, the club’s new co-owner and interim sporting director, has been encouraging and there has been no sign of Chelsea curbing their spending. Raheem Sterling, who should make Thomas Tuchel’s attack far more incisive, is a solid buy and Kalidou Koulibably is an important signing in defense following the departures of Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen.

In that context the picture does not look too bad. Tuchel still has a talented squad and the return of Ben Chilwell from long-term injury is a major boost. A left side of Sterling and Chilwell? It looks pretty tasty.

However, it is doubtful whether the squad is strong enough to close the gap on Liverpool and City. Tuchel has issues in central midfield – N’Golo Kanté cannot stay fit and Jorginho lacks mobility – and Chelsea could be short of reliable goalscorers. Kai Havertz, expected to continue as the false nine, needs to become reliable. There cannot be too much of a goalscoring burden on Mason Mount and Sterling. If there is, then Champions League qualification and runs in the cups may have to be enough.