Five Premier League fixtures that could decide Conte’s first season at Chelsea

Following the worst ever title defence in Premier League history, 2014/15 champions Chelsea will be well and truly out for revenge next season.

Indeed, the Blues’ plummet towards the relegation zone was simply astounding, claiming a managerial casualty in Jose Mourinho, and they’ll be determined to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

The west London club have appointed the Portuguese’s long-term successor in Italy boss Antonio Conte, who will arrive at Stamford Bridge after Euro 2016 with a mountain of cash to spend in the transfer market.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean Chelsea will be at the top of the Premier League’s summit once again next season, considering how unpredictable the division has become.

But the Premier League’s 2016/17 fixture list, which has just been released online, should give us a taste of how Chelsea’s campaign could pan out.

With that in mind, here are FIVE fixtures that could determine Conte’s first season at Stamford Bridge.

CHELSEA VS WEST HAM – August 13th

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Antonio Conte’s first competitive fixture in charge of the Blues will be a feisty London derby against West Ham on the opening day of the season. The Blues will be desperate to get off to a winning start and a convincing victory will boost confidence immeasurably around Stamford Bridge.

ARSENAL VS CHELSEA – September 26th

Arsene Wenger (12)
Chelsea always got the better of Arsenal under Jose Mourinho but it remains to be seen whether Antonio Conte can carry on that tradition. Beating the Gunners at the Emirates will pile huge pressure on Arsene Wenger and propel the Blues towards the Premier League’s summit.

Chelsea vs Manchester United – October 22nd

Chelsea - Jose Mourinho Press Conference
The world can’t wait to see how Jose Mourinho fares against the club he won three Premier League titles with. The Portuguese will be desperate to claim a win against his former employers, but the Blues’ title ambitions demand all three points.

CHELSEA VS SPURS – November 26th

Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League
Chelsea’s record against Spurs is formidable to say the least, including that 2-2 draw at the end of last season which secured Leicester City the title. But that captivating contest has created even more bad blood between the London rivals and with Spurs on the rise, Chelsea need to protect themselves against potential revenge – especially at home.

LIVERPOOL VS CHELSEA – February 1st

Anfield
It’s one of the Premier League’s more peculiar rivalries but rarely fails to deliver. If Chelsea want to be a genuine part of next season’s title race, it seems they’ll need to bag at least a point at Anfield – especially with Liverpool expected to improve under Jurgen Klopp next season.

 


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