Paul Merson boldly predicts where Chelsea will finish under Antonio Conte

Paul Merson is tipping Chelsea to win the Premier League title in Antonio Conte's first season

Paul Merson believes Chelsea will win the Premier League title in Antonio Conte’s first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

The west London side appointed the former Italian head coach as Guus Hiddink’s permanent successor earlier this year.

I’m going for Chelsea on the strength of the manager and Eden Hazard

Paul Merson

Chelsea finished in a disappointing tenth place last term just 12 months after winning their fourth Premier League crown.

Conte led the Blues to victories over Liverpool and Roma during their pre-season tour of United States as the Italian put his squad through a rigorous pre-season regime.

And former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes Chelsea can win the title thanks to the influence of Conte and Belgian star Eden Hazard.

“I would always rather make a prediction than sit on the fence, but I think this is the hardest season to predict,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“We have all the top managers in the world in the Premier League now, which shows you how good it is.

“I’m going for Chelsea on the strength of the manager and Eden Hazard. He had a terrible season last time around, but could still be the best player in the league.

“If he gets going again they could sneak their way to the top.”

Chelsea have been linked with a host of players in the summer transfer window, although Conte has only completed two signings so far.

The four-time Premier League winners wrapped up a £34m deal for Belgium forward Michy Batshuayi from Marseille at the start of July.

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The west Londoners sealed a £30m transfer for France and Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante as Conte bolstered his midfield options.

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