Phil Thompson predicts where Chelsea, Man United will finish

Ruben Hill
August 13, 2017

Romelu Lukaku made a good impression on Jose Mourinho on his competitive debut for Manchester United, despite missing an open goal in Tuesday's 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid. Did he want a new challenge at 29? People at the club seemed to mull it over for quite a while and then out of respect for Petr and what he'd done, and the situation with [Thibaut] Courtois, they let him go. "It was certainly a position that Manchester United as a team needed to strengthen, and they've gone and done it with Matic".

Matic's departure will force Conte to accelerate Bakayoko's progress into the starting XI when he returns to fitness.

Speaking to Betfair, Le Saux said: "Antonio Conte's comments about the "crazy transfer market" this summer highlight the lack of depth in the Chelsea squad and I don't see them as obvious champions, particularly with the extra challenge of European football and the fact it's hugely hard to defend a Premier League title".

"There's responsibility on Bakayoko not just to bring the talents that he has - and he has many - but also the discipline to fit into the system".

Chelsea, meanwhile, are aiming to defend their Premier League title after they triumphed in style under Antonio Conte last season. Is Tiemoue Bakayoko, a £35million signing, a similar type of player to Matic?

"Alvaro is a really good player, he's still young despite having a lot of experience", Conte added. It's a very tough league and he'll have to stand up to that.

You've got a £50m budget to pick 11 players, with all the biggest new signings ready and raring to go ahead of a mouthwatering new Premier League campaign.

"As you know, he missed a very good chance but this can happen - it's football".

"I do think he's got the natural talent to come in and score the 20-plus goals that Diego Costa scored previous year".

That's according to new signing Nemanja Matic at the very least, who was ready to defend his former and current teammate Romelu Lukaku, and offer his backing in light of Lukaku's awful miss - and predict he will score many goals for the Red Devils.

Despite picking up three pieces of silverware, the Red Devils could only muster a sixth-place finish in the league and are aware of the need to improve on that front and meet rising expectations. "There is a lot of games, it's a long season but I expect us to do well".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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