Zouma expects Chelsea to reach top four

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma says a top-four finish is a "minimum" requirement for the Premier League champions.

Jose Mourinho's side lost seven of their opening 12 matches in a shambolic start to their title defence that left them languishing near the relegation zone.

A 1-0 win over Norwich City stopped the rot and last weekend's goalless draw at Tottenham followed a comfortable 4-0 triumph at Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League.

Chelsea host AFC Bournemouth on Saturday only five points clear of Eddie Howe's third-bottom side and 12 shy of Arsenal in fourth, but Zouma has no doubts over where their ambitions should lie.

"We want to be in the top four, minimum," he told Sky Sports. "We want to be back in our normal situation.

"We are training hard for that, and if we keep training hard and keep winning we can be back for sure. Things are turning for us."

Zouma added: "These results have given us confidence," he explained. "We were playing well before these three games but we were still losing - for example at Stoke.

"I believe we deserved to win that game. Now, the results are turning for us. It's a big game for us against Bournemouth and we have to win it to confirm we are back."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1