The return of the Premier League is upon us. Chelsea concluded their preseason with a 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad, and will travel on Monday to face Burnley. The match will kick off from Turf Moor at 12 PM PST (3 PM EST).
If there is some good news for Burnley, it’s that they actually boast a winning record all-time against Chelsea, at 36-28-17. The sides haven’t met since the 2009-2010 season, where Chelsea won both encounters in the Premier League. The last Burnley victory came a year earlier, when they defeated the Londoners 5-4 on penalties, after a 1-1 draw in regulation, in the League Cup.
While Chelsea are the clear favorites in this fixture, Mourinho’s side must be wary of their hungry opponents. It may appear to be a routine match for the Premier League favorites, but it is just as important for Burnley to get a result in this early season clash.
Chelsea Team News:
Newly promoted side Burnley will surely wish that they would’ve drawn an easier fixture in their opener, but nonetheless, they will be up for the challenge that Chelsea present. The Blues had a fairly routine preseason, winning 8 out of their 10 fixtures. Manager Jose Mourinho has to be pleased with his side, specifically new signing Diego Costa, who scored four goals in the run up to the Premier League season.
The return of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be a key storyline to watch with this Chelsea team as well. Petr Cech remains with the squad and it might not be long before he ends up with another club, whether this current transfer window or come January. Mourinho hasn’t come out and directly said that Courtois is the starter, but it would be a major shock to not see him out there on Monday.
Burnley Team News:
Burnley are firmly the underdogs, even at home, but the side does have quality in it. Forward Danny Ings tallied 26 goals in all competitions last season, and is quickly becoming one of the brightest young talents in England. Ings won Championship Player of the Year in 2013, which is definitely a noteworthy feat.
In addition to Ings, right back Kieran Trippier is slowly gaining recognition with his up-and-coming squad as well. The 23 year old defender is known for delivering great crosses out on the right flank, recording 14 assists in 2013, along with 2 goals of his own.
GK Courtois, RB Azpilicueta, CB Cahill, CB Terry, LB Luis, CDM Matic, CDM Fabregas, RM Willian, CM Oscar, LM Hazard, ST Costa
GK Heaton, RB Trippier, CB Duff, CB Shackell, LB Mee, RM Arfield, CM Marney, CM Jones, LM Kightly, CAM Ings, ST Jutkiewicz
Burnley vs Chelsea Prediction
Burnley will likely sit back and try to get a point out of their opening Premier League fixture, counterattacking when possible. Unfortunately though, Chelsea are a very talented squad and it will be very difficult to defend for 90 minutes. The Blues still have the core of their team, likely only having four new starters on Monday (Courtois, Filipe Luis, Fabregas, & Costa). Chelsea will use their experience and abundance of skill on Monday to get three points on the road. Mourinho’s men win 3-0 at Burnley.
Burnley vs Chelsea TV Schedule
The match will be televised live on NBC Sports Network and Mun2 at 12 PM PST (3 PM EST).