Chelsea 5-4 for top four after Lampard move

One of the worst-kept secrets of the summer was revealed on Thursday morning as Frank Lampard signed a three-year-contract to seal an emotional return to Chelsea as their new head coach.

The move is likely to be widely welcomed by the club's supporters but market expectations are muted going into the 2019-20 campaign with Chelsea odds-against - a best-priced 5-4 - for a top-four finish and 25-1 to win the Premier League.

Lampard's predecessor, Maurizio Sarri, was often criticised by Blues' supporters but he has set the bar fairly high by winning the Europa League and finishing third in the league.

The Italian leaned heavily on Eden Hazard, who contributed 16 league goals and 15 assists, the highest tally in the division, in his final season at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard must find a way forward without the brilliant Belgian and needs patience from the supporters and owner Roman Abramovich if Chelsea's results begin to slide.

A dip in performances is widely expected.

Betway offer 7-4 about Chelsea accumulating more points than last season and 2-5 that they don't, while bet365 make the Londoners 3-1 to lift a major trophy in Lampard's first year.

During his Chelsea playing days Lampard won the FA Cup four times, the League Cup twice, the Premier League three times and the Champions League and Europa League once.

He may struggle to be anywhere near as successful as their manager.

Coral offer 6-1 that he wins the Premier League as the Blues' boss and 10-1 that he samples Champions League glory.

Lampard's immediate targets are likely to be fairly modest but one of them could be to last longer than Sarri.

The shelf-life of Chelsea managers has been notoriously short with no boss lasting three full seasons since Jose Mourinho's first spell came to an end in September 2007.

Lampard is 1-4 with Coral to be in charge on the last day of the 2019-20 campaign and 8-13 with Betway to be there for the first day of the 2020-21 season (he is 6-5 to have departed).

Lasting beyond a single season could be tough because Chelsea could be a more attractive proposition for elite managers when their transfer embargo has expired.

There is likely to be a honeymoon period for Lampard and Paddy Power have responded to the initial optimism by lengthening the odds of Chelsea failing to win any of their first three league games (away to Manchester United, at home to Leicester and away to Norwich) from 5-1 to 8-1.

However, the firm are also guarding against the possibility of a poor start by making Lampard just 6-1 in their next Premier League manager to go market.

The 41-year-old is the joint-favourite alongside Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer, while Brighton's Graham Potter gets a 7-1 quote.



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