Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Chelsea v West Ham
Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Chelsea's Premier League opener on Monday night
Mark Lawrenson is tipping Chelsea to kick off their Premier League campaign under new manager Antonio Conte with a 2-0 win over West Ham United.
The Blues are preparing to host the Hammers at Stamford Bridge on Monday night as they gear up for their first season under the Italian coach.
Chelsea are looking to bounce back from their disastrous campaign last term, as they ended up 10th in the Premier League table.
Conte has been tasked with restoring Chelsea to the top of English football after their title defence was left in tatters last season.
The west London side will not have the distraction of European football this season after their lowly finish last term.
And Lawrenson is convinced that Chelsea will get their new season off to a winning start on Monday night.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “I have been impressed by new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte – I think everyone has.
“They do not have European football to worry about which is a big reason I think they will make the top four and push hard for the title.
“Conte has also inherited some excellent players, who just had a poor season last time out.
“Slaven Bilic had an outstanding first year in charge of West Ham but I think it will be more difficult for them this season.
“The Hammers have also got some outstanding players but I think Chelsea will turn them over on Monday night.”
Chelsea won the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho in the 2013-14 season but failed to click into gear for most of the last campaign.