Chelsea warned as Slaven Bilic expects fast start by West Ham

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic before the game

Chelsea be warned Slaven Bilic is fully expecting a fast start to the season from his West Ham United side, thanks to the Europa League.

West Ham's Cheikhou Kouyate celebrates scoring their second goalWest Ham's Cheikhou Kouyate celebrates helping see off NK Domzale in the Europa League

The Hammers have already played two competitive matches this summer in the Europa League and beat Slovenian side NK Domzale 4-2 over two legs recently.

Chelsea are under new management in the form of Italian taskmaster Antonio Conte and are being tipped to mount a serious title challenge following last season's spectacular collapse.

The London rivals clash in the opening game of Conte's reign at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

Chelsea's manager Antonio Conte gesturesTaskmaster: Chelsea's new manager Antonio Conte on the sideline

Bilic sends out warning to Conte

And Bilic told West Ham's official website the fact his side have been involved in competitive games already could give them a headstart.

“It’s better for the start of the season because no friendly game can put you in the state when you really need to win," Bilic told

“If you play those qualification games, they help you because you are starting the season having already got more sharpness.

"It helped us last year, too, and I hope we make a good start this season.”

West Ham manager Slaven BilicFocused: West Ham manager Slaven Bilic

Hammers hope for repeat

Bilic is of course talking about the Hammers' brilliant start to the season last time out when they travelled to another London rival expected to challenge for the title in the shape of Arsenal. 

His side dominated the game as West Ham looked fitter and hungrier than their North London hosts and came away with a deserved 2-0 win.

Hammers fans will be hoping for a repeat this season but one thing is for certain Conte will not tolerate a sluggish performance from his new charges.

Italy head coach Antonio ConteConte

Revenge on the menu

When the two sides last met at Stamford Bridge earlier this year the Hammers should have come away winners but for a penalty that never was rescuing the Blues in the 93rd minute of a 2-2 draw.

Revenge is on the menu for the East Londoners as that draw, followed up by another 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace as a result of a refereeing blunder, ended up costing Bilic's side a place in the Champions League.

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