Gary Neville predicts where Chelsea will finish in title race

The Man United legend doesn't believe Chelsea will retain the Premier League title this season

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: The Sport Review

Gary Neville has ruled out Chelsea retaining their Premier League title this season.

The defending champions have made a mixed start to their second season under Italian coach Antonio Conte despite winning the title last term.

The ex-Juventus manager led the Blues to the Premier League title back in May after finishing seven points clear of their closest challengers Tottenham Hotspur.

However, Chelsea have already lost to Burnley and Crystal Palace in surprise defeats in the Premier League in their opening 10 fixtures.

Former Blues midfielder Kevin De Bruyne scored a second-half winner in Manchester City’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last month.

The defending champions are nine points behind current leaders Manchester City after the Citizens won nine of their opening 10 games in the top flight.

Former Manchester United defender Neville suggested that Conte isn’t under too much pressure to retain Chelsea’s Premier League title.

“Chelsea’s second season after winning the league is never quite as good,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“They’re not quite ready. They lost Costa. The Conte up and downs we have. There is less pressure on Conte to win the league this season.”

Chelsea lost 2-1 to London rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley last season before losing to the Gunners on penalties in the Community Shield in August.

The defending champions reached the League Cup quarter-finals thanks to a comfortable win against Everton in the fourth round at Stamford Bridge mid-week.

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