Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin has predicted the Blues to compete with London rivals Arsenal for fourth place in the Premier League this season.
Chelsea enjoyed a strong opening to the 2018/19 season, winning 3-0 away at Huddersfield in new manager Maurizio Sarri's first league game in charge of the club.
Speaking to Irish radio station Newstalk via the Sport Review, Nevin suggested his former side have what it takes to qualify for the Champions League this season, after finishing fifth last year.
“I think Arsenal and Chelsea will be battling it out for fourth and fifth,” said Nevin.
Chelsea have backed Sarri in the transfer market this summer by spending heavily on the signings of midfielder Jorginho from Napoli and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who became the world's most expensive goalkeeper after joining from Athletic Bilbao.
The club have also brought in midfielder Mateo Kovacic on loan from Real Madrid to help Sarri adapt the squad to his preferred 4-3-3 formation.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have also spent heavily this summer as they look to improve on last season's sixth-place finish and stop the rot that crept into the final years of Arsene Wenger's tenure at the club.
The likes of Lucas Torreira, Sokratis Papastathopoulos were signed in June and July with the intention of adding a strong spine to a side made infamous for its defensive frailties.
With both sides having made radical transformations this summer under new management, Arsenal and Chelsea will both be hoping to regain Champions League status at the end of the season.