Arsene Wenger predicts tougher challenge for Chelsea

Date published: Monday 15th May 2017 9:14

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has stressed it will be a “different story” for Premier League champions Chelsea next season when they have European football added to their schedule.

Antonio Conte’s side secured the title on Friday night with a 1-0 victory at West Brom.

Wenger has congratulated the Blues on their success – while also pointing out it makes it two straight years that the league has been won by a club not playing in Europe that season, Leicester having done so in 2015-16.

The Frenchman, whose side face Chelsea in the FA Cup final later this month, said: “(After) what we have seen this season, I congratulate Chelsea for what they have done, but you see as well, when they play in Europe it will be a different story.

“They’ve done well, congratulations, but in the last two seasons a team that hasn’t played in Europe has won the league.

“It will be a different season because they will have to play Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday (due to Champions League matches).”

Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-0 at home in September and had looked serious title contenders.

But subsequent struggles have left them way off top spot in their current position of fifth towards the end of a campaign that saw them get to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they suffered a 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich.

The English side who made it furthest in the continental competition – the next round – were Leicester, who are 11th.

Bayern have already won the Bundesliga this term, while the two Champions League finalists – Juventus and Real Madrid – are top of Serie A and second in LaLiga respectively.

Asked about foreign clubs’ ability to be strong both in Europe and domestically, Wenger said: “I feel in Spain, Real Madrid can win games by playing some at a lower percentage of the maximum than you can in England. Maybe they are as well better than us.

“Bayern is similar – they dominate the German championship in a very easy way.”

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