February 22, 2018

Chelsea boss Conte expects six-team title race

12 August 2017, 05:52 | Lena Norman

Crespo tips Man United to win Premier League

Shakespeare hoping Leicester can finally tame Arsenal

Time and again the space behind City's ageing wide defenders was exposed last term, their exhausted legs leaving gaps that were exploited, most notably, by a rampant Leicester City in a 4-2 demolition in December.

It all means Conte will be without four first team squad players for their opener against Burnley so the boss may have to call upon some of his youth players to make up the number on the bench.

Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof are the only signings so far this summer but they won't be the last; moreover, they are players who will steel this side's core and, after a year of working alongside Mourinho, the existing squad now know better what is required of them too.

"It's going to be tough, very tough".

The Belgian completed a £75m move to Old Trafford from Everton last month and claimed pre-season goals against Real Salt Lake, Manchester City and Valerenga. There's a gulf between Albion and City.

"It would be better to lose two or three matches but win three or four more matches, and then we would have six to eight more points".

"We haven't been able to beat them yet but there's always a first time and it would be nice to think it would be Friday night". "I have only played two preseason games, 15 official minutes and a missed penalty". We are strong defensively and I predict 1-1. The players are champing at the bit to get started. Back in 1979, when we made the same step-up, we lost 4-0 at home to Arsenal.

"Of course we tried to buy good defenders to defend the duels, good situations".

"I have to adapt to the team system, which is like an Italian one because of the coach".

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"We are just in a position to do quality work better than in the first". The best managers in the world are in the Premier League now. "That is the top (and only) priority, and the club will do all it can to achieve that".

Their attacking prowess will win them plenty of games, however.

Alvaro Morata is a top player but how long will it take him to settle?

"We did it earlier", Guardiola concluded.

"We don't have full backs to go up and down, up and down", Pep said in April after a goalless draw with rivals Manchester United.

Here he picks his Premier League teams to beat, bolter to watch out for and the clubs set for relegation.

On the left of the attacking trident up front, Marcus Rashford offers blistering pace and fast feet, on the right Henrikh Mkhitaryan with his tidy dribbling and knack for scoring goals, and leading the line, Lukaku, with his huge power, sheer brute strength and goalscoring prowess. Pep Guardiola values attacking full-backs and in, Benjamin Mendy, Danilo and Kyle Walker the Spaniard has gone out and bought three of the best in the world.

"The players want to avoid the bad season they had with Mourinho".

They scored just 26 times at home, lower than the likes of Leicester City, Bournemouth, West Brom and relegated Hull City. I am backing him to deliver this time around, though.

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