Next season will be toughest of my career, says Chelsea boss Conte
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is expecting the upcoming Premier League season to be the toughest of his career as his team prepare to defend their title in an extremely competitive environment.
Conte will lead Chelsea as they try to win back-to-back league titles for the first time since 2006 and the Italian is wary of the competition from fellow title contenders Tottenhan Hotspur, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.
"There are many reasons which suggest to me that next season will be very tough, the most difficult of my career, I have this perception," Conte told the club's website. (www.chelseafc.com)
"In England the pressure is high, this is the strongest league in the world because there are six teams ready to fight for the title. Only one team can win it...
"We want to try to fight for the title until the end but it won't be easy. We are working very well to try to do this. The pressure is always the same. I put pressure on myself and it helps me to give my best."
Chelsea's newest recruit Alvaro Morata could feature in the London side's opening domestic fixture against FA Cup winners Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday and Conte believes the Spaniard could become one of the best in the world.
"Morata is a really good player who can compete with every striker," Conte said.
"He's a young player and my task is to help him improve and show his quality. I know he has great quality and he can become one of the best strikers in the world."
Chelsea will begin their title defence by hosting Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Aug. 12.
Middlesbrough lose on return to Championship
Middlesbrough began life back in England's second tier Championship in disappointing fashion as they lost 1-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Leo Bonatini's 33rd-minute goal was enough to earn Wolves the points and ruin Garry Monk's first competitive game in charge of Boro who are one of the promotion favourites having been relegated from the Premier League last season.
Fernando leaves Man City to join Galatasaray
Galatasaray have signed Brazilian midfielder Fernando from Manchester City on a three-year contract for a fee of 5.25 million euros ($6.18 million), both clubs announced on Friday.
Fernando, who joined City from Porto in 2014 and made more than 100 appearances for the Manchester club, heads to Turkey after being used sparingly by manager Pep Guardiola last season.
"The club has looked after me incredibly well throughout my time here and I have enjoyed the challenge of playing for a top team in probably the world's toughest league," the 30-year-old told City's website. (www.mancity.com)
"The League Cup success of 2016 was a highlight for me and something I will never forget."
Burnley friendly against Hannover abandoned after crowd trouble
Premier League Burnley's pre-season friendly match with Bundesliga club Hannover was abandoned at half-time following crowd trouble from the visiting German supporters.
Burnley said in a statement on Twitter that the game had been abandoned "on police advice" and home supporters were asked to leave the stadium.
Media reports said the visiting supporters had thrown seats and surged towards Burnley fans during the first half shortly after Burnley had taken the lead in the 41st minute.
Chief Superintendent Chris Bithell, of Lancashire Police, said in a statement posted on the force's Facebook page that Hannover fans had also tried to attack police and stewards.
"A decision has been taken to abandon the football match between Burnley FC and Hanover 96, following consultation between the police match commander, the referee and Burnley FC’s grounds safety officer.
"This follows violent behaviour by a group of travelling Hanover fans, who attempted to attack fans in the home stands, as well as police officers and stewards," he said.
The incidents took place in the Cricket Field stand which is divided between visiting and home supporters.