Conte feels heat as Chelsea start title defence

Conte feels heat as Chelsea start title defence

Conte feels heat as Chelsea start title defence

But their defeat contained little in the form of silver linings, especially when it came to their midfield: Sead Kolasinac and Granit Xhaka tramped all over Cesc Fabregas and N'Golo Kante, the pair looking lethargic and lacking direction without the indomitable Matic behind them.

The Fernando Torres comparisons poured in, as well as along with calls to make peace with Diego Costa so Chelsea could have a proven centre-forward.

Surviving that environment is a skill set over and above what the players already need to have.

Some pundits have suggested that Conte's side aren't favourites to retain their title, and as he pointed out the lack of depth in the Blues squad the Italian affirmed that he agrees with their assessment.

Chelsea begin their title defence at home against Burnley on Saturday and Conte expects tougher campaign than the one before. Morata comes in from Real Madrid, who only a year ago bought him back from the Juventus he had joined from Madrid in 2014, thinking Conte would be his manager there; as it happened Conte left Juve suddenly, to take on the job as Italy manager. When you speak about pressure with me and I am used to the pressure.

But Press Association Sport understands a legal process is ongoing and there is no appetite to discuss the striker.

Chelsea are unbeaten in their previous six Premier League meetings with Burnley (W4 D2 L0).

"We are trying to improve".

"There's responsibility on Bakayoko not just to bring the talents that he has - and he has many - but also the discipline to fit into the system".

More news: Arsene Wenger doesn't feel sorry for Chelsea's squad issues

Dyche and Burnley enjoyed a remarkable season last year, standing out for their resilience against the top clubs in particular.

Conte meanwhile reiterated his happiness at the club, when asked about predictions that he would not last the season due to dissatisfaction with transfer business.

Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama features prominently for Tottenham, whilst another player of Kenyan descent, Belgium's Divock Origi is attached to Liverpool. It's important to do our best and that's the most important thing.

One of the reasons for Conte playing down expectations on Chelsea is the size of his squad ahead of a return to the Champions League.

"I must admit, it's a very important amount".

"There can be no excuses now, this is his second season and he has to produce it now".

On his exit from Real Madrid, where he made 26 appearances last season, Morata said the situation had been "difficult".

It was also a luxury more easily given to a manager who had no midweek European assignments on his calendar.

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