Paul Merson predicts where Chelsea will finish this season

Paul Merson is expecting to see Chelsea end up in second place in the Premier League table this season

antonio conte
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: The Sport Review

Paul Merson is expecting to see Chelsea end up in second place in the Premier League table this season.

The Blues are currently gearing up for the defence of their Premier League title after they won the trophy in Antonio Conte’s first campaign in charge last season.

Chelsea started the season in disappointing fashion when they were beaten by Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday afternoon, less than three months after their FA Cup final defeat by the Gunners.

Conte has moved to bolster his squad with the signings of Willy Caballero, Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata this summer.

However, the former Arsenal star and self-confessed Chelsea fan is not expecting to see the Blues be able to defend their title, and is instead tipping them to finish second.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, Merson said: “I am interested to see whether they put all their eggs into the Premier League basket or in the Champions League. They’ve won the title two out of the last three years.

“In the year Antonio Conte left Juventus, the Italian side didn’t get out of the group stages of the Champions League. The year later they got to the final in Berlin, and I wonder if he feels he’s got something to prove there.

“The players will look at it and think they’ve got a chance in the Champions League. I don’t think their squad is big enough to do both, if I’m being honest. They played once a week last year.

“They’ll be good enough in the league, don’t get me wrong, but I think they might focus on Europe.”

Chelsea kick off their Premier League campaign with a home clash against Burnley at Stamford Bridge this weekend as they look to get off to a winning start.

The Blues are also set to make a return to the Champions League next season after missing out on a place in Europe last term.

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