Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has warned rivals that the Blues have more drive and determination than last season as they need to counter the threat of clubs around them who have strengthened considerably this season.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool have all spent mega bucks this season while Arsenal have added some quality to their squad by signing Petr Cech. The Blues won the title on a canter last season after the other teams in the top-four failed to turn up in the first half of the season.
However, with no World Cup to distract them this time around, Fabregas is sure that they will face a tougher task, but that his side are ready to face any challenge their rivals throw at them.
The 28-year-old will face his former club Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday, where a win will give everyone a major boost for the upcoming campaign. Arsene Wenger has failed to beat Jose Mourinho in 13 attempts thus far, losing seven encounters and will be desperate to put those statistics behind him before the season starts on 8 August.
"We have even more drive and determination than last season. If we want to win we have to be more powerful to achieve things as other teams are progressing," Fabregas said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"But we are confident and the coach believes in the squad. He didn't make many changes so that means he is happy with us and we have to prove him right. We have Radamel Falcao and Asmir Begovic as well as young players like Ryan Bertrand and Victor Moses.
"So we have a good squad, fresh legs. We had a good rest – no Euros, no World Cups, no nothing," he added.
"This season Manchester United have invested very well, there is Arsenal and Manchester City as well. It is very demanding as a league and we have to be up for it.
"We know we have the quality. I can see in people's faces the same ambition and drive as last year. I am not worried about it. I knew if that wasn't the case the manager would change it.
"I just turned 28 which everyone says is the best age for a football player. We'll see if that is true and I can have a good season," the midfielder said.