Chelsea headed into this season as reigning champions of the Premier League after last season’s heroics. Expectations were high for Chelsea, however they currently find themselves in fourth place – nine points behind the league leaders Manchester City – after their first eight games.

The Blues have now suffered back-to-back defeats after a 1-0 defeat at home to Manchester City, then a surprise 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace – a team who prior to the game had not scored a single goal in their first seven games.

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To make matters worse, the likes of N’Golo Kante, Alvaro Morata and Danny Drinkwater had all been ruled out of these fixtures with injuries, leaving Antonio Conte very light in terms of squad depth.

With this current bad spell of form and fortune, many are now asking the question – will Chelsea be able to retain their Premier League title this season?

Chelsea facing similar predicament this time last season

As previously mentioned, Chelsea won their fifth Premier League title in 12 years last season during Antonio Conte’s first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, however, they didn’t make the greatest of starts. At this stage last season, Chelsea sat in fifth place after their first eight games with sixteen points, but this was only after they secured back-to-back wins after going the previous three games without a win – a run which included back-to-back losses against Liverpool and Arsenal.

Fast forward one season, Chelsea now sit in fifth place after suffering back-to-back defeats.

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They are just three points worst off than they were at this stage last season and the fact they went on to win the league that season provides plenty of encouragement to Chelsea fans that this current side can turn their fortunes around. In fact, after Chelsea’s back-to-back losses in their fifth and sixth game of last season, they went on a 13 game winning streak which left them top of the league at the halfway stage of last season.

Impact of new signings

Another area of encouragement for Chelsea fans is the impact of their new signings. Although it may be a little too early to judge whether they were indeed good signings or not, early signs have pointed in the right direction for the newcomers. Striker Alvaro Morata has already scored six goals in his first seven Premier League games – including a hat-trick against Stoke City. After Diego Costa tried to push through a move away from the club, many were wondering where the side would get their goals from, however, since signing for the club, Morata has settled into life in the Premier League very quickly and looks to have established himself as a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea fans will be even happier to know that the Spaniard returned to full first team training this week, and has been put in contention to start for Chelsea in their Champions League tie against Roma.

Chelsea also signed Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco during the summer, and the midfielder has played in all but one of Chelsea’s league games so far. He has been a solid member of the midfield and even managed to get himself on the score sheet during Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. Like Bakayoko, fellow new signing Antonio Rudiger has also settled into life at Chelsea well after making six Premier League appearances already. He has been part of a strong back three which Conte has implemented, and has managed to keep clean sheets against both Everton and Stoke. He too will be looking to establish himself as a regular member of Conte’s starting line up this season and has already made a good impression on the fans so far.

Marcos Alonso states Chelsea cannot afford to lose any more League games

Despite only being eight games into the new season, Blues defender Marcos Alonso recently told Sky Sports News that Chelsea cannot afford to lose any more games this season. He explained how Chelsea have already dropped a lot of points and how they urgently need to change things if they are to challenge for the Premier League title this season.

He also stated how Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Roma on Tuesday evening will provide the perfect opportunity for him and his side to regain some confidence as they look to get their season back on track and begin closing the gap on both Manchester clubs at the top of the table.