Chelsea's lack of depth could hinder title challenge, says ex-skipper Paul Elliot
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 19/10/17 11:56pm
Former captain Paul Elliot fears Chelsea lack the depth to retain their Premier League title ahead of Manchester United and Manchester City.
Antonio Conte's side play Watford on Saturday seeking to respond from successive losses to Manchester City and Crystal Palace.
The Blues are nine points behind leaders City after eight games and Elliot believes Pep Guardiola's men, and city rivals United, are well equipped to lift the title this season.
"It is very interesting for Chelsea because they have a brilliant 13 or 14 but it's about the strength in depth," Elliot told Sky Sports at a Black History Month football event in association with the Paul Canoville Foundation.
"You look at Manchester United, you look at Manchester City and what is the common characteristic? They have got the strength in depth. It's the quality of their substitutes that dictates a lot.
"Chelsea are going to be competing, they are going to be taking points off all of the teams around them, but I think ultimately the teams with the deepest squads - Man City and Man Utd will be very close [to winning the Premier League title]."
Eden Hazard thinks Chelsea, back in Europe after a season's absence, are as good as last season when they won the title in Conte's first campaign.
"Last season it was more easy to play every game every week. We were more fresh," he said.
"Now it's different, but we need to adapt to the situation. We will give everything, but I think we're on the same level as last year.
"The difference between this year and last year is Manchester City and United are stronger.
"We are ready, we know the Premier League is long, so we have time to come back."