Chelsea have been helped to take a low fourth place despite a lightning start to the 2021-22 Premier League season.

The Blues got off to an unbeaten start and are at the top of the pile after Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-0 humiliation in north London.

It is the first time since September 2018 that Chelsea have taken the top spot at the end of a game day.

Regardless of this initial success, Thomas Tuchel’s men are expected to suffer a dramatic decline and will only scratch one place in the Champions League at the end of the season.

According to the CIES Football Observatory, Chelsea will be ranked fourth on its forecast table at the end of the season – a model that takes into account player experience, transfer fee investments and the club’s relative performance over the past year.

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While fourth place would of course be a disappointment given the quick start, Chelsea would keep the position they have earned in each of the last two seasons under Frank Lampard and Tuchel.

Meanwhile, the prediction also sees the Blues ahead of London rivals Spurs – who are expected to finish fifth.

While they still miss out on Champions League football in the 2022-23 season, it’s still an improvement on their disappointing seventh place last season which earned them a spot in the Europa Conference League.

Both teams are clearly behind Arsenal in the forecast of CIES, which is secured for ninth place despite considerable transfer expenses in the summer.

After two consecutive places in eighth place, that prediction would be Arsenal’s worst league result since 1995 when they finished 12th.

Apart from cup wins, this would also be the second season in a row without European football, which has taken place for the first time since 1991.