Football: Many contenders in unpredictable EPL title race, says Chelsea's Alonso

Blues left-back Marcos Alonso on the attack as Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller attempts to block his cross on Tuesday. The Spaniard had six goals and three assists in Chelsea's title-winning Premier League campaign last term.
Blues left-back Marcos Alonso on the attack as Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller attempts to block his cross on Tuesday. The Spaniard had six goals and three assists in Chelsea's title-winning Premier League campaign last term.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Chelsea may be the reigning English Premier League (EPL) champions but they will go into the new season as the bookmakers' third favourites behind Manchester City and Manchester United.

Blues left-back Marcos Alonso acknowledged that it will be a challenge to retain their crown.

"It's hard to say for next season. There are so many teams that can win the league," said the Spaniard yesterday. "The two Manchester teams, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal are all very strong and we will have to work hard to win the title again."

He was speaking at the launch of the team's new Nike kit for the upcoming season at the Goal@313 store at 313@Somerset.

There, he signed merchandise and posed for photos with fans alongside newly-appointed captain Gary Cahill, midfielder Willian and new centre-back Antonio Rudiger.

The Chelsea players also each paired up with a Singapore Under-20 player for a ball-juggling showcase, with the Willian-Naufal Azman pair winning the fans' vote for being the most entertaining.

The Blues are in town for the International Champions Cup, having lost their first game 2-3 to German giants Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

They play Inter Milan tomorrow before jetting off.

Questions to the players at the kit launch were posed through a moderator, with attending media not allowed to ask any.

Asked which part of the team's new kit he liked best, Willian examined the jersey he was wearing for a few seconds in bemusement.

Said the Brazilian with a chuckle: "Yeah, Yokohama (the team's main sponsor)... Everything is nice."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2017, with the headline 'Alonso: Many contenders in unpredictable title race'. Print Edition | Subscribe