Football Features

Chelsea stats: Finding consistency is key for the Premier League’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ team

By Will Evans | Twenty3

Published: 17:36, 1 May 2024

Chelsea’s infuriating inconsistency is hampering their hopes of European football.

The Blues are targeting a top-seven finish and can close the gap to just two points with victory over Tottenham on Thursday night.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men provided a glimpse of their potential in last weekend’s credible 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, but have struggled to hit those heights on a regular basis.

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Ahead of a crucial clash at Stamford Bridge, we consider how the West Londoners can find form in the season’s final furlong.

An April of contrasts

Chelsea may only have drawn with Aston Villa on Saturday, but they put in an impressive performance against the upwardly-mobile Midlands side.

Pochettino’s charges edged the xG battle by 1.57 to 1.1 while racking up 21 shots to Villa’s 10 — and could have taken home all three points if Axel Disasi’s stoppage-time winner hadn’t been disallowed after a VAR review.

But that display contrasted sharply with the embarrassing 5-0 defeat at Arsenal in their previous outing, when the team appeared to lack any fight or desire.

However, to add further confusion, it was only just over a fortnight ago that the Blues thumped Everton 6-0, with Cole Palmer netting a sensational four-goal haul.

It is therefore becoming increasingly difficult to understand this ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Chelsea outfit.

Grasping the moment

The average age of Chelsea’s starting XI this season has been 23.7, which is the youngest in the Premier League by some distance.

It is inevitable that youthful players will be inconsistent to a degree, so — with the club unable to recruit experience until the summer — making the most of dominant performances is key.

This is something that the Blues have struggled to do in 2023/24, conceding 59 times from an xGA of 51.38 and scoring just under their 64.57 xG with a tally of 63.

Attacking talents like Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson may not shine week in, week out, but can be explosive on their day.

Chelsea need to cut out errors at the back and convert their opportunities, to claim maximum points from the team’s better displays.

Stars stepping up

Chelsea’s injury issues saw Pochettino name a remarkably youthful substitutes bench against Aston Villa, so the squad’s star men must continue stepping up to the plate.

Conor Gallagher was typically outstanding at Villa Park, chipping in with a goal and helping to retain possession with 94.92% passing accuracy.

He has regained the ball more times in the final third than any other Premier League player (38) and remains the Blues’ driving force in midfield.

Similarly, Palmer will need to continue his potent performances in front of goal, having struck 10 times in his last six league outings.

With a relatively kind fixture list on the horizon, Chelsea’s top performers can help secure the results needed for a European finish.