Cautiously optimistic. Andre Villas-Boas (right) has great credentials to succeed at the Bridge, while his youth may bring the fresh approach they seem to need, although this is by far his biggest challenge yet.
IN: Lucas Piazon (Sao Paulo), Thibaut Courtois (Genk), Romelu Lukaku (Anderlecht); OUT: Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, loan), Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburg, loan), Michael Mancienne (Hamburg), Michael Woods (released), Yuri Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala)
Last season: 2nd
Last trophy: Premier League and FA Cup Double, 2010
FIRST FIVE FIXTURES
13 Aug, Newcastle (A); 20 Aug, Liver-p14 Aug, Stoke (A); 20 Aug, West Brom (H); 27 Aug Norwich (H); 10 Sep Sunderland (A); 18 Sep Man Utd (A)
BEST CASE scenario
Villas-Boas lives up to billing as new Mourinho, regaining Premier League, swiping another cup, getting to Champions League last four and maybe, just maybe, getting Fernando Torres scoring again.
New man tries a shake-up and fails, senior players begin to revolt, injury problems of Terry and Lampard resurface and Roman Abramovich fires yet another manager.
TREVOR STEVEN’S VERDICT
Strong in pre-season and I like the look of Villas-Boas – he’s always interacting and meticulous. They’ve got enough to challenge for the title but not to run away with it.