Ramires: Chelsea can deliver psychological blow to Manchester City in Community Shield

The Brazilian believes the Blues are stronger having made summer signings and is hopeful that his side can mount a Premier League and Champions League challenge this term
Chelsea midfielder Ramires believes his side have closed the gap on Premier League champions Manchester City and is adamant they can deliver a "psychological blow" to their rivals by beating them in the Community Shield on Sunday.

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo has bolstered his squad with the additions of Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar already this summer while his fellow Italian Roberto Mancini has yet to complete any transfers.

Ramires believes Chelsea's acquisitions mean they are now ready to challenge for the Premier League title and defend their Champions League crown this season, but need to begin by scoring first blood in the Community Shield at Villa Park.

He told The Mirror: "It would be huge for morale and that is why the Community Shield is so important for us. We want to win and show that we can go far.

"City are similar to the team they were last year but Chelsea have made signings and reinforcements and it will be a psychological blow if we beat them.

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"Our challenge is to win the Premier League, but we must also balance it with Europe. We are the Champions League holders and we must defend that title for prestige and professionalism."

Ramires predicts the usual contenders will again jostle for the top spots in the table but believes Chelsea will find it difficult to replicate what he considered to be a 'dream' campaign.

He added: "I think it will be a very close season in England. Along with the two Manchester teams, we, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham will be in the race.

"Everyone knows I was supportive of Andre Villas-Boas and I hope he does well at Tottenham - but just not against us.

"But this year it will be harder to win games. Personally, last season was a dream for me. Titles and a goal at the Nou Camp against Barca will always be in my head."