Paul Merson predicts where Chelsea will end up this season
Paul Merson reckons that Chelsea could end up coming up short in the Premier League this season
Paul Merson believes that Chelsea could end up coming short in the Premier League because of the distraction of Champions League football this season.
The Blues have made something of a stuttering start to the new Premier League campaign, and they currently find themselves in fourth place and six points off top spot.
Chelsea have already lost two of their opening seven games, including their 1-0 loss to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
Antonio Conte’s men earned plenty of praise for their performance when they came from a goal down to beat Atletico Madrid in their most recent Champions League game last month.
The west London side are aiming to return to winning ways when they take on Crystal Palace in the Premier League at Selhurst Park after the international break.
But former Arsenal star Merson reckons that the west London side could end up off the pace in the Premier League as they try and focus on Champions League glory this season.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson said: “When you look at what Manchester City did to them, and the fact they’re already six points behind now, you wonder about Chelsea.
“I don’t think they will put all their eggs in one basket this season and try to win the league. I think they will focus on the Champions League.
“Look what they did to Atletico Madrid. That was the best away performance in Europe by and English team in the Premier League era for me.
“They could not have taken it more seriously. But might it show in the league this season. I don’t think they will take too many risks before a big European game.
“That could affect them – and I wouldn’t be surprised if they just come up short because they want to win the Champions League.”
Chelsea won the Premier League in Conte’s first campaign in charge last season as they lifted the trophy for the second time in three seasons.