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Chelsea legend: Why Arsenal will challenge Chelsea for the title next season


Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola says Arsenal will be title contenders next season.

Impressed by Arsenal's form in the second part of last season, the Italian says improvement in the defensive department could see the Gunners give Premier League champions Chelsea a real run for their money.

They are close to finalising a deal for goalkeeper Petr Cech and are expected to add more quality players during the summer transfer window.

"I know Chelsea are going to be strong – I have no doubt about that," Zola told Sky Sports News HQ.

"I think the question is not what Chelsea can do, it's what can the others do to challenge them?

"Chelsea will be there. It will be very important that teams like City, Arsenal and United improve their performances.

"City will be stronger next season but I'm expecting Arsenal to be more competitive as well. I thought in the second part of the season Arsenal were outstanding.

"They impressed with the way they were defending, something that was not their best point.

"If they manage to keep the standard throughout the season, for a little bit longer than they did last year, they will be very, very competitive.

"Regarding Manchester United, we know the potential of the club. The point is I don't know if they will be able to step up and improve the level of performance.

"They will be a good challenge for Chelsea as well but I think City and Arsenal will be more competitive."

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