Rio Ferdinand backs Chelsea to push Man City for Prem title after Super Cup triumph demonstrates 'winning mentality'

CHELSEA have developed a 'winning mentality' that can push them towards the Premier League title, according to Rio Ferdinand.

Wednesday's Uefa Super Cup victory over Villarreal followed the Blues' Champions League win last season.

After a slow start last time out, few expected the club to win any silverware but Ferdinand believes expectations have changed at Stamford Bridge.

How Chelsea's stars handle the extra pressure could define their season.

Ferdinand told BT Sport: "The big difference for them this season is what's expected of them now.

"There wasn't an expectancy last season, there is now. Because they've got their hands on two trophies – the big one, the Champions League, and now this.

"The winning mentality is in the building, there's a real sense of brotherhood within that squad.

"This team now is expected to compete for the Premier League. [For] all the big trophies, they are going to be expected to be there competing for them at the last stages.

"That's a difference for them, how they deal with that is the big question."

One example of the 'brotherhood' Ferdinand spoke of came when goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was substituted late in extra-time for Kepa Arrizabalaga.

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The replacement made two saves in the 6-5 penalty shootout win after the game ended 1-1.

Both keepers led the celebrations at full-time in Belfast, showing there was no hard feelings over the risky late swap.

There could be more good news for Chelsea on Thursday with Romelu Lukaku expected to rejoin the club for £97.5million.

Ferdinand said of the new signing: "One thing for certain is that he will be the focal point now for this Chelsea attack.

Everybody else will be moved about around Lukaku but he’ll be the person they look to.

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"They have some fantastic talent up there, an array of talent, they have so many weapons now and I think he’ll be the mainstay.

"Everybody else will be moved about around him but he’ll be the person they look to.

"I am really interested to see how [Timo] Werner and [Kai] Havertz feed off him, [Mason] Mount giving him the ball, [Christian] Pulisic and [Hakim] Ziyech. It’s going to be mouthwatering… I’d love to watch training."

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