CHELSEA v Hull: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Sunday, 18 August

Kick-off: 16.00

 

Rumour has it we kick off the 2013/14 season against some outfit by the name of Hull City Tigers so we shouldn’t be surprised if they come out of the tunnel in shoulder pads and helmets – and well they might because it’s back! Not only are we welcoming the return of the Premier League season, of course we’re welcoming the return of Jose Mourinho – and from what I saw of our pre-season, we should also see the return of the thing we’ve missed most over the past six years – our fight!

Where last season an unwelcome and unwanted ‘guest’ occupied the dugout, with a barrage of invites to take his leave frequently bestowed on him by anyone who cared to acknowledge his presence, there’ll undoubtedly be a very different feel around Stamford Bridge this season. Today in particular, we can expect the sort of reception Take That might have got if they’d ever played at an all-girls school.  Ok, so I can’t see any die-hards fainting, or worse still wetting themselves, but the decibel level to welcome TSO back home could rival Robbie Williams strutting about in his cod-piece.

Yes, the sight of an animated Jose Mourinho on the touchline, giving his opinion to any official within earshot (and a few non-verbal clues to those who aren’t), will be every bit as satisfying after last season’s doom and gloom as seeing our players lift their heads, square their shoulders and take on the refs as much as the ball again.

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

On his first Premier League game back at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says “Starting the season at home is a great way for our supporters to show the players they are ready to be behind the team all the way, and at the same time it is a great way for the players to show how much they are motivated and committed.  I am so happy to start at the Bridge, but at the same time Hull City is a team who were promoted from the Championship and they will have that spirit, even if now they are in the Premier League.  So it is an emotional but a hard start.”

Last time Steve Bruce was at Stamford Bridge, his Sunderland side beat us 3-0. This time he brings newly promoted Hull and says going into the game “We know what we are up against and we couldn’t have wished for a more difficult game, but that’s why we’re in the Premier League.  It’s for days like this – to play at Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal. It’ll be huge, it’s been sold out for weeks and the return of Jose adds a bit to it.  The important thing is we enjoy the challenge ahead. The one thing we won’t be is petrified of it.  It’s a big occasion and there’s more excitement around the place than trepidation.”

 

TEAM NEWS

For Chelsea, Juan Mata (knee) is unlikely to feature following a knock pre-season, Azpilicueta, Moses and David Luiz all had international trips midweek, so might expect to be rested, although Frank Lampard should be in contention after his run-out for England midweek. New signings Marco van Ginkel and Andre Schurrle might get a look-in at some point as well although Mark Schwarzer should expect a spot on the bench.

For Hull, Stephen Quinn (hamstring) is out but Bruce has no other injuries to worry about. New arrivals Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore go straight into the squad.

 

SQUADS

CHELSEA (from): Cech, Schwarzer, Hilario, Ivanovic, Cole, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Bertrand, Luiz, Mikel, Essien, Oscar, Ramires, Lampard, Van Ginkel, Hazard, Mata, Moses, Schurrle, De Bruyne, Torres, Lukaku, Ba.

HULL (from): McGregor, Harper, Brady, Figueroa, Chester, Davies, McShane, Rosenior, Elmohamady, Bruce, Boyd, Huddlestone, Livermore, Koren, Meyler, Graham, Sagbo, Aluko, Fryatt.

 

LAST SEASON

N/A

 

PREDICTION

Chelsea haven’t lost in their last 14 opening day games (winning 12) and we’ve taken more points from the season opener than any other side in the Premier League (44). Hull haven’t won away on the opening day since 2002. In previous meetings, Hull have failed to beat us at Stamford Bridge in any of our 19 competitive games and haven’t taken anything away from London in their last 5 Premier League trips. All that and they come back into the Premier League to face a buoyed Stamford Bridge with Jose Mourinho strutting his stuff on the catwalk touchline.

So the prediction? A welcome home party, probably.

3 Responses to “CHELSEA v Hull: Preview”

  1. It should be a stroll in the jungle for the rampant Lions.We would love to see the new boys from the blast!

  2. We haven’t won an away opening day game since 2002 at Exeter but we have won on the opening day since. – such as last season and in 2010/11.

  3. Missed ‘away’ out. Cheers