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Frank Lampard expects Chelsea and Man City to contest the title

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Chelsea's disastrous season last time out has certainly put Antonio Conte under a lot of pressure to restore the Blues back to where Roman Abramovich thinks they belong - at the summit of the Premier League.

A tenth-placed finish under Guus Hiddink represented a frustrating campaign for the 2014/15 champions but with Conte at the helm there is a fresh optimism they can launch a title challenge this term.

With so many expensive signings and new managers, trying to predict who will come out on top of the Premier League looks tougher than ever this season.

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Frank Lampard has had a go, though, and has high hopes for his former side to be fighting for the title.

Never one to try and get on the wrong side of his supporters, the ex-England international has also backed another one of his other old teams to be in contention.

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Manchester City are the majority of the bookies' pick for the title but even they needed a late own goal to get past David Moyes' stubborn Sunderland on the opening day.

Chelsea face West Ham on Monday night and without the burden European football this year, Conte can concentrate all of his efforts on the domestic competitions.

And according to Lampard, it will be a battle of the Blues to determine who will lift the Premier League trophy in May.

When asked which teams he liked the look of this season by BBC's Radio 5 Live, Lampard said: "Being at Chelsea for such a long time I have an allegiance so I would obviously like Chelsea to win the league and I think they'll be back challenging,

Chelsea v Manchester City - Premier League

"I do fancy it being between Chelsea and Manchester City this year."

The New York City midfielder is still an avid follower of the English league and revealed he has already done some background research on Chelsea's new manager.

He added: "I spoke to Pirlo about him (Conte) and he had nothing but great things to say. He works the lads very hard in training with his fitness work and with organisation on the pitch.

"The players will need to buy into that and respect that then you'll see an improvement from last year.

“Seeing him at the Euros I loved his passion, I loved how he was on the line, how he had his team together with a real fighting spirit. That will all help Chelsea and I look forward to that.”

SK Rapid v Chelsea F.C.  - Friendly Match

The Stamford Bridge-based outfit have spent big to bring Michy Batshuayi and N'Golo Kante to the club this summer but they remain very much an unknown quantity in terms of how they have recovered from last season's disappointment.

Conte's impressive record with Italy and Juventus has earned him the tag of being quite the master tactician but as we've seen in the past, the Premier League is a completely different beast to handle.

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Topics:
Chelsea
Football
John Terry
Premier League
Eden Hazard
Manchester City
Frank Lampard

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