‘Ouch’: Paul Merson sends warning to Chelsea FC ahead of new season
Paul Merson has some words of warning for Chelsea FC ahead of the start of the new Premier League season
Paul Merson has warned Chelsea FC that their tough start to the new Premier League season could make or break their campaign.
The Blues are currently gearing up for Thomas Tuchel’s first full season in charge at the south west London side after he led them to a fourth-placed finish last term, before guiding them to Champions League glory.
Chelsea FC will kick off their campaign with a home clash against Crystal Palace on 14 August, but they then face a tricky run of fixtures including games against Arsenal, Liverpool FC, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City before the start of October.
The Blues are also likely to be without the likes of Mason Mount and Jorginho for their opening games following their participation at Euro 2020 and subsequent extended summer holidays.
Former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes that Chelsea FC will need to make a positive start to the new campaign with those difficult fixtures or face playing catch-up in the remainder of the season.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson said: “Chelsea are facing a nightmare start to the new season and their first six games are already make or break.
“They have tough fixtures and it’s made even worse because so many of their players won’t be back from the Euros in time to be fully fit to play in them.
“Good luck to any team having to do without key men like Jorginho and Mason Mount for too long.
“Those two went further than most at the Euros as England and Italy both reached the final – and they’re two of Chelsea’s most important players.
“But the club had 16 players who missed the start of pre-season because they were still on holiday after going to the tournament.
“And even though some of them are back now, they won’t all be fit to start the first few games.”
He added: “Chelsea won the Champions League and are fancied to push for the title. But look at Chelsea’s fixtures and you can see what they’re up against it.
“After their opener against Crystal Palace, who will be trying to impress a new manager in Patrick Vieira, it’s brutal.
“They have to play Arsenal and Liverpool before the end of August and then it’s Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City in September. Ouch.
“If they get off to a good start they will be majorly fancied for the title. But they could easily lose a couple of those games.
“And if you find yourself six points off the pace even so early in the season, that can be hard to make up.”
Chelsea FC have not won the Premier League title since their most recent triumph under Antonio Conte back in 2017.