Gianfranco Zola expects Chelsea to finish above Arsenal this season but will drop two places in the Premier League table in Frank Lampard’s first season in charge.
The Blues largely impressed last term under former manager Maurizio Sarri and assistant Zola, amassing 72 points to finish third in the Premier League.
Sarri left Stamford Bridge shortly after the 2018-19 campaign ended to join Italian champions Juventus and club legend Lampard was named as his replacement.
Lampard impressed in his first season in management, taking Derby County to the Championship play-off final where the Rams were beaten by Aston Villa.
ICYMI: Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola, who was Maurizio Sarri's assistant manager at Stamford Bridge last season, claims the Blues WON'T make the top 4 this season.#beINPL #CFC pic.twitter.com/ZdLYRZUckh
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) August 10, 2019
The former England manager is working under a transfer ban and will struggle to guide Chelsea to a top-four finish, according to Zola.
‘It will be very close,’ the Italian legend told beIN SPORTS.
‘I think it will be a real fight for the final Champions League spot.’
Chelsea began their 2019-20 campaign on Sunday with a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United, who finished sixth in the Premier League last season.
On Chelsea’s transfer ban and the new season, Lampard said: ‘We have to remain competitive while we are in this position.
‘With the ban it has been easy to write off this squad, and I don’t write off this squad at all.
‘I think that what is important is that you have a target within the group. What matters is how we approach things. We will see how we go.’Loading...