Marcel Desailly is convinced that Chelsea will again enjoy a season of success under manager Antonio Conte.
And the World Cup and European Championship winner dismisses any suggestion his former club will flounder because of the extra workload of playing in the Champions League.
Chelsea missed out on Europe last season and it was said that their Premier League triumph owed much to that absence.
The strength of the squad has been questioned, too, with Nemanja Matic going to Manchester United and Diego Costa on his way out.
But Frenchman Desailly – who won the FA Cup and the European Super Cup in his four years at the Bridge – said: “Conte knows exactly what is needed to cope with the extra games. Chelsea will be in excellent shape. I am sure about that.
“There is one reason why Chelsea won the Premier League last season… they were the best team. It had nothing to do with not playing in Europe.
“They now have a new quality striker in Alvaro Morata and I am certain Conte will bring in more.
“He needs to – and I am sure he will do.”