CHELSEA legend Gianfranco Zola has backed Antonio Conte to be a success at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are hoping to bounce back from a disastrous title defence under the Italian this term.
They sunk to 10th in the Premier League last season, missing out on European football in the process.
And Zola reckons a less congested fixture list could give Chelsea the edge over their rivals.
“It’s an advantage that Chelsea are not in the Champions League,” said the 50-year-old, who made over 200 top flight appearances for the Blues between 1996 and 2003.
“I think it can be a good point. It will obviously be about how quick they are going to change into the new system and how the players are going to settle. But I have confidence.
“I know Conte is a hard-working coach. I’m sure they will make the most of it. I’m positive about that.
“I think the team started very well and then they had a little setback. But now it seems to be that they are picking up again.
“It’s normal, it’s a process and I can see the potential to get better and better.”