Mark Lawrenson: What’s changed about Chelsea under Antonio Conte this season

The Liverpool legend believes Chelsea are really struggling to find consistency this season

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: The Sport Review

Mark Lawrenson believes Chelsea are really struggling to find consistency under Antonio Conte this season.

The defending Premier League champions lost 3-2 to Sean Dyche’s Burnley side at Stamford Bridge in their season opener.

The Blues suffered a 1-0 defeat by Manchester City in west London after former Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne scored a second-half winner back in September.

Chelsea have also dropped points in a 2-1 loss to the Premier League’s basement club Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The title holders lost 3-0 to Serie A giants AS Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday night to raise concerns about Chelsea’s defending.

Indeed, the Blues have conceded 13 goals in six games in all competitions ahead of the visit of Manchester United.

Former Liverpool defender Lawrenson admits he finds it strange that Chelsea are struggling so badly this season.

“Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat in the Champions League game at Roma was un-Chelsea-like under Antonio Conte,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“Last year we thought they couldn’t keep winning, regardless of how they were playing, but they did.

“This year you’re waiting for them to throw a wobbler every three or four games. After losing in Rome, Conte said his players are lacking hunger which you can’t imagine he would tolerate. It is strange.”

Chelsea will welcome Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge for the third time since his sacking.

The Blues signed six players in the summer transfer window to bolster their squad ahead of a return to the Champions League.

The west London side won the title with two games to spare last term.

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