Mark Lawrenson makes prediction about Chelsea in the Champions League

Mark Lawrenson is tipping Antonio Conte to bring Champions League success to Chelsea this season

antonio conte
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: The Sport Review

Mark Lawrenson is backing Antonio Conte to make sure that Chelsea are completely ready for battle in the Champions League this season.

The Blues are preparing to make a return to Europe’s elite club competition next week when they host Qarabag at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

The west London side missed out altogether on a place in Europe last season following their disastrous 10th-placed finish in the top flight in 2015-16.

Tuesday’s game will be Conte’s first European match in charge at Stamford Bridge as he bids to help steer the Blues to Champions League glory this season.

And Lawrenson is expecting Chelsea to be well-drilled for their run in Europe this season.

Lawrenson told BBC Sport: “This is the start of a busy period for Chelsea, who start their Champions League campaign at home to Qarabag on Tuesday and play twice a week for the rest of the month, including some big games against Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City.

“It’s the first time they have played in the Champions League under Antonio Conte, but most of their team have played in it lots of times before, and will be used to the schedule.

“Conte already works them hard anyway, and he will definitely be ready.

“I think he is the kind of manager who focuses on getting results and worries about tiredness later, rather than trying to change his team around to keep players fresh, so I don’t see the extra games affecting Chelsea’s form, certainly not at this stage of the season.”

Chelsea are first preparing to take on Leicester City in the Premier League at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues have won two and lost one of their opening three Premier League games so far this season.

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