Antonio Conte’s champions were beaten 3-2 by Burnley at Stamford Bridge on the opening day, and had both Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas dismissed.
Chelsea’s critics have argued that they are weaker than they were at the end of last season after John Terry’s departure, Nemanja Matic’s sale to Manchester United and Diego Costa’s impending exit, and Merson says the squad does not have enough depth.
Tottenham v Chelsea
Sky Bet Super Boost Window, View The Latest Boosts Here
Gary Cahill was dismissed in Chelsea’s defeat by Burnley
He said on Soccer Saturday: “You look at Man City’s bench compared to Chelsea’s and it is chalk and cheese. This is not a bad team overnight and next week they go to Spurs at Wembley with no Cahill or Fabregas.
“As a Burnley player, you see their bench before kick-off and there is only Morata on it. The next couple of weeks are massive for Chelsea Football Club.
“With how strong this Premier League is, you cannot afford to drop points at home to Burnley.”
Chelsea, who won the title with a record number of wins last term, are now as long as 13/2 to win the Premier League this season.
Oops! Remember you need to log in using your Sky iD to watch Premier League video
Though Merson believes 13/2 is rather long, the Sky Sports pundit adds that they must go out and buy before August 31.
“You just don’t want to see what happened the year before last at Chelsea, when they just fizzled out and didn’t make a challenge.
“They have to go out and buy. No disrespect to the kids on the bench, but if you want to win the Premier League and have a go in the Champions League, you have to have more.
“It’s probably the kick that they need. I do think 13/2 is a bit harsh for me, they’re getting a bit carried away. Remember they got dismantled by Arsenal last season, 4-0, and then came back to win 11 on the trot. This isn’t a bad team overnight.
“Last season they pretty much played virtually the same team every week, all of a sudden when those players aren’t available, there’s not a lot coming in. It’s the same with Tottenham, if you take out five players they don’t look so strong.”
Tottenham vs Chelsea
August 20, 2017, 3:30pm
If you are using skysports.com you can comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click ‘Report’.