Joey Barton predicts where Chelsea will finish this season
Chelsea are already out of the Premier League title race, according to Joey Barton
Chelsea are already out of the Premier League title race this season, according to Joey Barton.
The Blues suffered a damaging 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday as they lost their third game of the season to leave them nine points behind leaders Manchester City after eight games of the new campaign.
Antonio Conte had been hoping to guide his Chelsea side to a successful defence of the Premier League title but the Blues will have to significantly step their game up if they are to have any chance of catching the leaders.
Chelsea won the title in style last season in Conte’s first campaign at the club but the Blues did not have the distraction of any European football last term.
And Barton now feels that the Blues are unlikely to be able to defend their Premier League crown following their stuttering start to the new campaign.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Barton said: “If you’re Chelsea, I think the title for them is over.
“I don’t think they’re going to be at that level this season.
“They’ve got to really focus on the Champions League, and making sure they get in the top four.”
Chelsea return to Champions League action on Wednesday night with a home clash against Serie A side Roma at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have won both of their opening two Champions League games so far this season against Qarabag and Atletico Madrid.