Chris Sutton makes worrying admission about Chelsea in title race

The Chelsea legend believes the defending champions will struggle in the title race when missing key players such as N'Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante Photo: Premier League

Chris Sutton conceded Chelsea looked a “pale imitation” of the side that won the Premier League title in Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Crystal Palace.

The defending Premier League champions slumped to their third Premier League defeat of the season at Selhurst Park to raise serious questions about their title credentials.

The Blues made the short trip across London to Palace looking to return to winning ways following a 1-0 loss to Premier League leaders Manchester City before the international break.

Palace broke the deadlock in the first half thanks to Cesar Azpilicueta’s own goal to give the Premier League’s basement club a morale boost.

Chelsea levelled thanks to Tiemoue Bakayoko’s header before Ivory Coast international Wilfried Zaha scored a 45th-minute winner at Selhurst Park.

The Blues are nine points behind leaders Manchester City after eight games to raise serious questions about their ability to defend their Premier League crown this term.

Former Chelsea striker Sutton believes the Blues will struggle with reigning PFA player of the year N’Golo Kante and summer signing Alvaro Morata are missing from the team.

“Missing Morata and N’Golo Kante at Palace, Chelsea looked a pale imitation of the side who won the title,” Sutton told the Daily Mail.

“With the players available, Conte can’t expect to compete at the highest level. Chelsea have left themselves short.”

Chelsea won the Premier League title in two of the past three seasons under Jose Mourinho and then Antonio Conte.

MORE: Latest Chelsea news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Gossip
Ralf Rangnick
Fabrizio Romano rates Man United's chances of signing FC Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano: Arsenal's hopes of signing Alexander Isak 'complicated'
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano confirms Renato Sanches still on Liverpool FC's wishlist
Gossip
Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool FC make contact with Juventus forward Paulo Dybala - report
Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes sends heartfelt message to Anthony Martial after Man United exit
Gossip
Ralf Rangnick
Fabrizio Romano rates Man United's chances of signing FC Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano: Arsenal's hopes of signing Alexander Isak 'complicated'
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano confirms Renato Sanches still on Liverpool FC's wishlist
Gossip
Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool FC make contact with Juventus forward Paulo Dybala - report
Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes sends heartfelt message to Anthony Martial after Man United exit
Slideshow
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature