Slater: Manchester duo poised to challenge Chelsea for title


Conte has spoken out several times during pre-season about what he perceives to be a lack of depth in his squad at Stamford Bridge.

The Premier League season is back and for me I can't see past Chelsea.

But, despite spending in excess of £130million on fresh talent, his future has reportedly been up in the air as he is unhappy with the number of players at his disposal.

Antonio Valencia should start at right-back with Matteo Darmian moving out to left-back as Luke Shaw continues to work his way back to full fitness.

The Clarets' squad remained pretty much the same as a year ago - they've sold just two players, Michael Keane to Everton and Andre Gray to Watford (and earned €50m), while Jack Cork from Swansea and Jonathan Walters from Stoke City signed for Burnley. I'm not looking for sympathy.

Chelsea were rarely allowed to venture out of their own half, as Arsenal - in particular Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez - tore Conte's men to shreds.

"We got a central midfielder, we got a striker".

They had the fourth worst goalscoring record in the division last season.

He said: "It's simple". In 2014, as in 2004, however, elite foreign acquisitions played a significant role - in this case Costa, Thibaut Courtois and Filipe Luis, three key cogs in an Atletico Madrid team that had performed miracles in La Liga and the Champions League the previous season.

The most expensive of those, Marko Arnautovic, arrives on a five-year contract from Stoke City for 19 million pounds after scoring an underwhelming 22 goals in 125 games.

However, United - who finished sixth in 2016-17 - have the edge over Chelsea courtesy of Mourinho, according to Crespo, who won the Premier League with the Portuguese at Stamford Bridge in 2006.

Expectations were sky-high when Guardiola alighted in Manchester after years of being courted by City, but a title challenge failed to materialise and his side did not make a mark in any of the cup competitions. "But of course at the moment I have now 33 players and it is very hard to manage on a daily basis such a high number".

After their title winning campaign last season, FC's Stewart Robson thinks Chelsea will struggle to perform this season.

One player now highly unlikely to be moving to the Emirates Stadium is Foxes winger Riyad Mahrez - who was heavily linked with Arsenal earlier in the summer. All of a sudden United are in the driving seat ahead of Chelsea to win the Premier League.

But despite the scale of the task facing Conte and his players after a frustrating transfer window, Lampard remains confident they can retain their title. Is Tiemoue Bakayoko a similar type of player to Matic? "Mesut Ozil. we have plenty of the same type of players".