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Three ways to back your team: Chelsea

| 31.07.2017

Blues aiming for two-in-a-row

Chelsea were dominant during their title charge last season, but boss Antonio Conte has endured his fair share of problems over the summer, not least the Diego Costa drama.

The striker, who wanted to leave in January, was convinced to stay on and help The Blues win a Premier League gong, but it seems his time at Stamford Bridge is over, with relations between player and manager at an all-time low.

Romelu Lukaku looks set to replace Costa in the Chelsea attack, but the London side have been linked with a host of major European attackers over the summer. Will they match the efforts of last season and win two-in-a-row, or will involvement in the Champions League dent their chances? We look at three ways to back Chelsea this season…..

Premier League tips for matchweek 20

More of the same for Conte

Chelsea claimed English football’s top prize last year with plenty to spare, nearest finishers Spurs coming home seven points behind. 30 wins and three draws from the 38 outings was more than enough to see them over the line, and they came painfully close to doing the double, falling vs Arsenal in the final. That was all achieved without the distraction of Champions League football, but it’s obvious the Stamford Bride lot must swell their squad if they are to fight on all fronts this term. Our traders doubt they have it in them to go again, and fans can get 10/3 on a successful defence. That price has them third favourite behind Man City and Man Utd.

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Blues for a hard eight

Conte and co were hot favourites to do the double last term, picked by just about everyone to better a sorry Arsenal in the final of the FA Cup at Wembley in May. The Gunners were in a whole heap of trouble at the time, with fans calling for the head of Arsene Wenger, but the match didn’t follow the script, Arsenal claiming a dramatic 2-1 win. Sanchez had his side ahead after just four minutes, and it took a 76-minute equaliser from Costa to level up, but not for long. Aaron Ramsey netted what turned out to be the winner moments later, knocking the wind out of the runners up. They have a long season ahead, involved in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup – will they still be standing come May 2018? An eighth FA Cup winners medal is priced at 5/1. Surprisingly, that makes them joint favourite with City.

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The Italian job

Chelsea famously won the Champions League back in 2012, beating Bayern Munich in the final on penalties at the Allianz Arena in Munich. A winning spot-kick from Didier Drogba saw the London side finally get their hands on European football’s main prize. That piece of history was achieved under the guidance of Italian boss Roberto Di Matteo, and his countryman Antonio Conte would love to do the same. If Conte is successful in his summer recruitment drive, and is able to keep the better players in his squad happy, there’s no reason why they won’t go close. The 12/1 offered by Coral on Chelsea going all the way is sure to catch the attention of punters. A historic treble – Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup – is surely for diehard blues only, 150/1 our call.

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Frank Monkhouse