Conte: The pundits are right – Chelsea are not favourites for the title

With Alvaro Morata not quite fit enough to start, let alone play out of position, the third forward next to Willian and Michy Batshuayi will be none other than Jeremie Boga, who replaced Pedro during pre-season in similar situations as well.

Both Conte and skipper Gary Cahill have confessed to being anxious by the dearth of options available from the bench, highlighted in last weekend’s Community Shield defeat to the Gunners at Wembley.

Morata, 24, told Marca: “I admit it’s a very big fee but I have personality to play quietly and go my way”.

The Clarets’ squad remained pretty much the same as past year – they’ve sold just two players, Michael Keane to Everton and Andre Gray to Watford (and earned €50m), while Jack Cork from Swansea and Jonathan Walters from Stoke City signed for Burnley.

They also fell to defeat on penalties against the Gunners in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday. That’s the price you must pay for such a big transfer. And it’s something that motivates me and makes me work harder every day, to spend an hour every day in the Sports City training.

Arsene Wenger has told Antonio Conte to recall loanees if he is anxious about squad depth, as Chelsea have loaned out 20 players.

Alvaro Morata will wear the No. 9 shirt for Chelsea this season.

Conte said recently there is no way back for last season’s top scorer, and that stance has been made even more concrete by the fact the club are now involved in a legal process with the player following public criticism from his lawyer last week, ahead of a near-inevitable move to Atletico Madrid. I hope that is reflected on the pitch. He asks me the opposite of what my previous coaches have asked me.

Burnley have never beaten Chelsea, but the Clarets managed to play two 1-1 draws in the last three outings against the Blues.

“I have to understand Conte well”.

“I like this. To have many teams ready to fight for the title increases the level of this league”.

Chelsea are ready to make a move to sign Djibril Sidibe from Monaco this summer, according to reports in Italy. But I’m not obsessed in that sense as I would change it for any collective title.