CHELSEA v Burnley: Preview

Date: Saturday 12th August, 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

After a ‘summer’ of whinging, today sees the start of a new season – and probably more whinging, as we play host to Burnley.
Last weekend’s Community Shield didn’t go our way in the penalty shoot out and not only did we lose Pedro to an unnecessary red card but we’ve also lost him to an ankle injury, so he’s yet another player out of our ever-decreasing squad. Still, we only need 11 on the pitch, so we should still stretch to that requirement without the need to call in favours from the canteen staff.
Burnley, who won away just once in 21 attempts last season, have also lost some key players over the summer, so they might not be feeling overly optimistic of serving up our first opening-day defeat in 20 seasons. Having said that, stranger things have happened at Stamford Bridge.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says “We have to face every game in the right way. We must have the right approach and intensity, so for this reason, we are working very hard to improve our team. Burnley are a really good team. Last season they had a good season and for sure we have to pay great attention.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche meanwhile, says “It’s a tough start but you have to play everyone at some stage. We are in the Premier league for the second successive season, which everyone wanted, so you can’t pick and choose. They are a fine side but the bigger picture is it’s about a season’s work.
Chelsea have lost a couple through injuries and situations that have changed. They’ve equally brought people in, so how quickly can they mould that team? All I know is they are still a very strong group of players and it will be interesting to see.I think it’s fair to say Chelsea are a powerful team and will probably be right up there again this year. We have a team that is right in any given game, but If you lose a game, ok, then you lose.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, Eden Hazard, Pedro and new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko are all injured and Victor Moses is suspended. New signings Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata could start because we might struggle to field a starting XI otherwise, and Antonio Conte will probably name himself as a sub.
For Burnley, Taylor and Bardsley are unlikely to play although Walters and Cork could start.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible starting line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill, Alonso; Fabregas, Kante; Willian, Morata, Batshuayi
BURNLEY (Possible starting line-up): Heaton; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Arfield, Cork, Hendrick, Brady; Vokes, Walters

LAST SEASON
Chelsea 3-0 Burnley (27th August 2016)

OTHER STUFF
~ Chelsea are unbeaten in the past six meetings with Burnley
~ Burnley have gone eight league matches without an away win in this fixture
~ Chelsea have earned an unrivalled 54 points on the Premier League’s opening season, winning 16 and losing just three of their 25 games.
~ Chelsea have gone 18 matches without defeat on the opening day
~ Chelsea have won 21 of their 23 competitive home matches under Antonio Conte.
~ Burnley have lost all three Premier League opening-day fixtures, scoring just one goal.
~ Burnley won only two of their last 16 league and cup games in 2016-17, losing nine times.

PRE-MATCH COMMENT
TWITTER
@NiceGuyKenny “Old Costa’s a selfish prick ain’t he we could right do with him tomorrow with no players. Or is that kind of talk frowned upon?”
@liam_twomey “Think I might bring a pair of boots to Stamford Bridge tomorrow, just in case there’s a place on the Chelsea bench” #cfc

BACK PAGES
“Chelsea players angry with Antonio Conte and he will leave before Christmas” – Express
“Alvaro Morata speaks out: I’ve played 15 minutes for Chelsea and I’m being killed already” – Star

PUNDITS
“I think they’ve probably got to add to the squad even more and I think that’s what Chelsea fans will be waiting for.” – Frank Lampard on the well worn topic of the Chelsea squad
“I had a close eye on Chelsea in the Community Shield and what’s clear is that they aren’t the same team with Eden Hazard.” – Paul Merson

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