Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Pat Nevin shares his concerns about Chelsea's title defence

Pat Nevin shares his concerns about Chelsea's title defence

Neville was also sceptical about the strength of Chelsea's spine, with Diego Costa agitating for a move away from Stamford Bridge and Tiemoue Bakayoko an unproven force in the Premier League. They didn't look a side that was united and I think they are in for a tough season if new faces aren't brought into the squad. The Italian is concerned at the lack of resources available to him ahead of the new season - an observation which was highlighted during the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal - but those fears could be calmed in the coming weeks.

Tiemoue Bakayoko was probably the only new recruit who was Conte's first choice, as the same can not be said for Alvaro Morata and Antonio Rudiger, who are clearly players with plenty of potential, but will struggle to live up to their hefty price tags.

"I repeat: my only task is to focus on the pitch, what happens on the pitch, during the training session to work with my players".

Despite the defender officially handing in a transfer request on Monday, no club has broken rank with a bid yet.

You've got a £50m budget to pick 11 players, with all the biggest new signings ready and raring to go ahead of a mouthwatering new Premier League campaign. This must be my focus.

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte insisted on Friday he was "not looking for sympathy" over the size of his squad. I think Conte should be anxious and I think he looked anxious yesterday. Otherwise, I fear youngsters will regard Manchester City as another Chelsea, buying a heap of youngsters but never using them in the first team.

'That's vitally important for us and we will have to see how that plays out'.

Nemanja Matic has underlined his desire to help Manchester United win the Premier League title this season following his transfer to Chelsea.

"When you look at Morata's numbers you know the guy can score goals".

Conte then praised the quality of the opposition for their opening fixture. Another good question that can be answered in the match against Brighton is does Aguero play the majority of matches including the matches against the top 6 or does Jesus start up top against the lesser teams and plays with Aguero against the top 6 teams giving Manchester City an added attacking threat.

Midfield: Victor Moses is suspended after being sent off in the FA Cup last season so Cesar Azpilicueta is set to be moved out in to the wing-back position against Burnley.

There is a very good argument that Chelsea are now weaker due to their transfer dealings. A hard call to say who'll come out on top before the transfer window closes but, with rumblings of discontent at Stamford Bridge, I'll go for United, who look a little more solid defensively than their neighbours.

"Morata has improved a lot in the last 10 days".

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