Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso acknowledged that his side will find it difficult to retain their Champions League crown this season.
The Blues are set to get their European campaign underway against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday evening at Stamford Bridge after sealing a 3-0 league win over Aston Villa at the weekend.
Following their Champions League final win victory against Manchester City in Porto in May, Thomas Tuchel's side will be keen to try and retain their crown, and the recent signings of Romelu Lukaku and Saul Niguez could prove to be crucial in their chances of competing on all fronts this term.
Ahead of his side's group-stage opener against Zenit, Alonso stated that while Chelsea will not have it easy in Europe this time round, they are ready to fight to keep hold of their title.
"It (retaining the Champions League) will be difficult for sure, because everyone will be so motivated to play against the defending champions," said the Spaniard, as quoted by Chelsea's official website.
"But, we know what we are capable of. We need to train hard and show that we are up for the fight to win the Champions League again."
The Blues have made a fast start to the season with three league wins out of four, as they sit joint-top of the Premier League alongside Manchester United and Liverpool.
Chelsea are set to play five times in the space of two weeks before the end of the month, including key clashes against Tottenham, Juventus and Manchester City.
Thomas Tuchel will be looking to shuffle his pack ahead of a jam-packed schedule, with the likes of Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic all likely to get minutes over the next few weeks.
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