Gianfranco Zola makes bold prediction about Chelsea ahead of Leicester clash

The Chelsea legend is backing Antonio Conte's players to secure positive results against Leicester City and Manchester United

Gianfranco Zola has backed Chelsea to lay down a marker in their next two Premier League games against Leicester City and Manchester United.

The west London side will host the reigning Premier League champions in their next top-flight game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon as Antonio Conte’s side look to record back-to-back victories for the first time since August.

Chelsea made an impressive start to life under their new manager after easing to victories over West Ham United, Watford and Burnley before a 2-2 draw at Swansea City at the start of September.

The Blues lost 2-1 to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge before a 3-0 defeat by bitter London rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium to derail their title bid.

However, Conte’s side returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win against Hull City ahead of the international break thanks to goals from Willian and Diego Costa.

And Zola believes Chelsea will silence their critics with strong performances against top-four rivals Leicester and United over the next week or so.

“Conte would prefer it if these two fixtures did not come straight after the international break, when so many of his players were away,” Zola is quoted as say by The Daily Mirror.

“But Chelsea will still be strong. They started the season very well and then had a setback, but they are picking up again. Sometimes, losing can help you improve.

“It will be important for Chelsea how quickly they can adapt to the new system Conte has introduced. I know he is a very hard-working coach, and I am sure they will be doing everything to make this work.

“After losing their two biggest games so far this season, I am sure Chelsea will see this as an opportunity to make a statement in their next two games.”

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