Michael Owen has ruled out Chelsea FC finishing in the Premier League’s top four this season.
The Blues are set for a season of tranisition under new manager Maurizio Sarri after the Italian head coach replaced his compatriot Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea FC missed out on a top-four finish last season after Conte led the west London side to fifth spot following a difficult second campaign at Stamford Bridge.
The former Juventus boss ultimately paid the price for failing to guarantee Champions League football despite Conte masterminding their FA Cup success following a 1-0 win over Manchester United at Wembley.
Sarri signed Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa, Napoli midfielder Jorginho, Real Madrid star Mateo Kovavic and veteran England goalkeeper Rob Green in the summer transfer window, while Thibaut Courtois concluded his move to los Blancos.
Former Liverpool FC striker Owen is backing the Blues to finish in fifth spot in successive seasons.
“I don’t see the Blues making a return to the Champions League via the Premier League this season,” Owen told BetVictor.
Chelsea FC made Kepa the most expensive goalkeeper in the world following his £71m move to Stamford Bridge from La Liga side Atheltic Bilbao to replace Courtois.
The Blues managed to keep hold of their key star Eden Hazard for the new Premier League season.