Chelsea kick-off the new Premier League season at home to Burnley FC. The champions have to bear with a tough fixture list that sees them face Tottenham Hotspur in the second game week. The Blues have to put last weekend’s disastrous penalty shoot-out behind them as they begin their title defence without some very important players. Diego Costa will not feature in a Chelsea shirt as his search for a new club goes on.
Burnley, on the other hand, have not done great business in the summer. Their squad has lost a leader at the back in Michael Keane to Everton FC.
Injuries and Suspensions
New Signing from Monaco, Tiemoue Bakayoko is not in contention as the Midfielder is nursing a knee injury.
Belgian superstar Eden Hazard is also out because of the ankle injury he sustained during the International Break at the end of last season. He is expected to be back in the first week of September.
Victor Moses cannot take part as he is suspended for the red card received in last season’s FA cup final.
Pedro Rodriguez is also out with an ankle injury.
Chelsea are set to line-up in a 3-4-1-2 formation.
Goalkeeper- Thibaut Courtois
The Chelsea goalkeeper should forget the dreadful penalty miss last Sunday and look to keep out the Burnley attack.
David Luiz and Gary Cahill are expected to line-up with Chelsea new-boy Antonio Rudiger alongside them. The German has looked impressive and won the Confederations Cup with Germany.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcus Alonso will line-up as the wing-backs as Moses is suspended.
Cesc Fabregas is set to start because Bakayoko is not fit. Cesc’s performance will be scrutinised as he is not a traditional box-to-box player and very much prefers to stay forward. N’golo Kante will partner him though, so Fabregas might just have a field day.
Willian is set to start without the injured Eden Hazard. Willian will be out to prove a point as he was kept out by Hazard and Pedro last season. Willian can, of course, be a match winner on his day and Conte will be hoping that Chelsea get-off to a flyer. The Brazilian will be afforded a central attacking berth with the strikers playing off him.
Alvaro Morata was a force when called upon by Zidane last term. He will be expected to get goals for his new team and fast.
Michy Batshuayi will be called upon to fill the vacant forward role because of the absence of Pedro and Hazard. He will have to come back and try to get more touches on the ball with Morata playing on the shoulders of defenders.