Fuelled by the personal intensity that inspired Chelsea's return to the top, Antonio Conte has vowed to stop the champions becoming the latest victims of the Premier League's sophomore slump. "They are a very rounded team and I think they are going to go close".
Chelsea captain Gary Cahill gave an interview on talkSport this morning, where, among other things, he talked a bit about how Chelsea's transfer frustrations have not had a negative effect on the work being done on the training pitch.
"I am very happy because these players are working so hard".
"If I was a Premier League manager and had to choose between Lukaku, Morata and [Alexandre] Lacazette, I would choose Lukaku, always", he said. I don't see a £34 million difference to be perfectly honest. "Sometimes you must accept that this insane transfer market and you must accept different decisions". "I know twice as many people are paying attention to me".
One of those options is Cesc Fabregas, who isn't suited to play as one of the two in a 3-4-2-1 as we saw on Sunday. "I took into account the four who finished in front of us [last season]". "But we will focus first on the Premier League; for us it is the most important". Our performances against the big teams were pretty good past year, barring Chelsea away.
But Lampard believes the 24-year-old's determination to force his way out of a comfortable situation in the Spanish capital is a good sign.
But it remains to be seen if they will accept defeat if a £60m offer comes in and Van Dijk's refuses to stay and play.
"Now we need to improve our squad because we have more games and we need a bigger team to face these competitions", the Chelsea boss pointed out in his Community Shield programme notes.
"A big danger for clubs coming up is that second season syndrome, and you don't want to fall into that category", he said.
"We are going into the Champions League off the back of a great season". Sure, newly-promoted sides have historically struggled to survive in their first season up in the Premier League, but the good news for the aforementioned trio is that Crystal Palace, Swansea City, Burnley and Watford only narrowly beat the drop last season, and they haven't really improved over the summer.
The change of formation began a decisive 13-match winning streak, eventually propelling the Blues to their fifth Premier League title.