Chelsea begin their season with a Monday night game away at Premier League new-boys Burnley. Turf Moor is sure to be buzzing after the Clarets gained promotion to the top-flight by finishing runners-up in the Championship last season. There promises to be a terrific atmosphere and the opening assignment for the Blues will be nowhere near as simple as it appears to be on paper.
In a season full of expectations for Chelsea, Jose Mourinho will know that a good start to the campaign is imperative. He will therefore field a full-strength squad against Sean Dyche’s men. Dyche, nicknamed the ‘Ginger Mourinho’ thanks to his red hair and tactical acumen, has a great chance to live up to his moniker in his first ever game in the Premier League.
Mourinho (the real one) has a fully-fit squad to choose from apart from Didier Drogba, who is a doubt after picking up an ankle injury in pre-season.
The Portuguese has a big decision to make with regards to whether it will be Thibaut Courtois or Petr Cech to start in goal. We expect him to go with Courtois, who has done more than enough in the last three years at Atletico Madrid to break into the first XI at Stamford Bridge. At just 22 years of age, the Belgian also represents the future of the goalkeeping position at Chelsea.
New signings Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa are expected to start. The third big summer- signing Filipe Luis though, may have to be content with a place on the bench as it is highly likely that Mourinho goes with the same back 4 that was so successful last season.
Even though the formation to be deployed by Mourinho still remains a doubt, we expect the Chelsea starting XI to look like this:
Burnley 1-3 Chelsea. The game will by no means be an easy ride for Chelsea. Burnley will provide a stern test and look good to score a goal, but the Blues should have too much firepower for them in the end. Mourinho has won all 5 opening day games he has managed in the Premier League and that run looks set to continue.