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Chelsea are now nine points behind league leaders Manchester City after the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace and former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder Steve McManaman doesn’t think the Blues have enough quality to mount a challenge over the course of the season.

“I would say it’s over,” McManaman said.

“I didn’t fancy them to win the league anyway come the end of the transfer window so it’s not a surprise to me.

“Before they began the season, certainly at the end of the transfer window, would you have said hand on heart that Chelsea were your favourites to win the title?

“I don’t think so. I don’t think anybody chose them so that’s what we all thought about it.”

McManaman has warned that Chelsea can’t afford to lose any more games this season as the Blues have already lost three games in eight league matches played so far.

He added: “Chelsea can’t lose any more games. I think they lost, what, three games last season in their title victory – they’ve lost three already this year.

“That shows you instantly what they’re fighting against and the fact they’re going to have to travel in the Champions League as well makes it doubly as hard.

“When you’re missing a couple of players… Morata and Kante and that, you would never have thought that Chelsea have left themselves short.

“I’m absolutely amazed that, a couple of injuries in, and they look like a ghost side of what they were last year. They were strong and powerful last season – they’re not now.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.