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4 ways Antonio Conte can make Chelsea competitive next season

4 ways Antonio Conte can make Chelsea competitive next season

It is time for Chelsea to celebrate their title, has come to an end as the Blues focus their attention to next season while preparing for it in pre-season.

The Blues were able to avoid injuries to key players because they were playing fewer matches.

Lack of European adventures and travelling long distances helped, but next season will not be the same.

Antonio Conte has endeared himself to the Chelsea faithfuls and like fans showed Jose Mourinho, they can turn on him when results are failing.

4 ways Antonio Conte can make Chelsea competitive next season

Antonio Conte

Antonio Rudiger has been signed while Willy Caballero joined on a free transfer from Manchester City.

Here are 4 things the coach must do to avoid disappointment next season;

1. Start pre-season early

Chelsea won the title, in the 2014/2015 season but flopped badly last season during their title defense. Why? Because they had a poor pre-season which started very late.

Many players including Eden Hazard and Diego Costa appeared unfit and out of shape. Conte should learn from that experience and start early.

4 ways Antonio Conte can make Chelsea competitive next season

Pre-season training must start early before the start of next season

Under Jose Mourinho, the team played four pre-season games, but this time the players should play as much as eight games with double training sessions.

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2. Sort out the future of Diego Costa and every other player loaned out

Will Diego Costa be at Chelsea next season? Only time will tell. The Spaniard wants a move to China, but feels obligated to serve Antonio Conte. The Italian should sit with his player and decide of his star striker will be sold or retained.

4 ways Antonio Conte can make Chelsea competitive next season

Conte must be sure about Costa's future

Also which players loaned out will be left, which will be sold? Chelsea have over forty players out on loan and with Oscar, Branislav Ivanovic and John Mikel Obi sold in the January transfer window, there are spaces in the team to be filled.

Conte also has to decide which fringe team players will be retained. Ola Aina, Ruben Lotus-Cheek and Asmir begovic need to have their future's decided so as not to create disharmony.

3. Bring back Juan Cuadrado and dump the three man back line

As proven during his time at Juventus, the back three rarely works in the Champions League. Pep Guardiola's Barcelona were the last team to successfully implement that,, but only because they had the best players suitable for the formation.

4 ways Antonio Conte can make Chelsea competitive next season

Cuadrado is on loan at Juventus

Prior to leaving Juve, Conte wanted to change to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Alexis Sanchez and Juan Cuadrado his major targets.

Chelsea have the players to implement a 4-2-3-1 set-up, but Juan Cuadrado can be the key to the right attacking player role. He is doing well at Juventus and has two more years to spend on loan in Italy which makes a move difficult.

Another option is playing a 4-3-2-1 set-up with with Fabregas playing in midfield with Matic and Kante, Hazard and Pedro/Willian assisting anyone chosen as the lone striker.

READ MORE: READ how Chelsea fans immortalized Conte after winning the Premier League title

4. Make the Champions League and Premier League the only priorities

Chelsea are in the finals of the FA Cup this season, but they were able to focus on the tournament because there was no Champions League football.

Continental football returns next season and Conte needs to prioritize that.

Recall how Carlo Ancelotti was sacked in his second season because he failed in Europe despite winning the League and FA Cup double in his first season.

Conte must learn from that and ensure the FA Cup and League Cup are used to play fringe players while his core players are used in the League and Champions League.

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