Ray Wilkins predicts where Chelsea will finish this season
The former Blues midfielder rules out Chelsea challenging for the Premier League title this season
Chelsea won’t challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title this season, Ray Wilkins has claimed.
The defending champions made a disappointing start to the Premier League campaign following a 3-2 loss to Burnley at Stamford Bridge in their season opener.
The Blues dropped more points in a 1-0 loss to Premier League leaders Manchester City following Kevin De Bruyne’s winner at his former club.
Chelsea lost 2-1 to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park to succumb to back-to-back Premier League defeats.
Antonio Conte’s side won six of their next seven Premier League games to hoist themselves up to third place in the table before a surprise 1-0 loss at West Ham United on Saturday.
Chelsea were 1-0 winners against title rivals against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, while Conte’s side secured a credible 1-1 draw at Liverpool FC.
The west London side started the weekend 11 points behind current Premier League leaders Manchester City ahead of the Manchester derby.
Former Chelsea assistant manager Wilkins ruled out the defending champions in the title race despite 22 games to play in the 2017-18 season.
“It’s always a great result to take points off Liverpool at Anfield,” Wilkins told sportingbet.
“A title challenge is difficult this season because City have beaten Chelsea comfortably already and unless some of the big six start taking points off City, which they haven’t done yet, then I fear the title race could be over by Christmas and they’re romping away with the title.
“The crucial games will be the two United games against City, with Spurs also having two bites at them, and then Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool also pulling points off them with one game remaining. That’s the only way I can see City not winning the title. There is a long way to go though.”
Chelsea have won the Premier League title in two of the past three seasons under Jose Mourinho and then Conte.
The Blues lost 1-0 to bitter rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley back in May.