Premier League champions Chelsea will look to get their campaign off to a bright start when they host Burnley on Saturday. The west London giants have struggled to find their feet during pre-season but Antonio Conte will expect a performance from his side, which cruised to the English crown last term.
The Blues have evolved under the 3-4-3 formation over the past year, and Conte will unlikely change things, although there is the urge to shift to his preferred 3-5-2 setup.
Belgian international Thibaut Courtois has been a regular between the sticks when fit, and he will hope to keep a clean-sheet against Burnley, who had an excellent home record last term. Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill have been the regular picks for the back three but the suspension of Victor Moses could Antonio Rudiger in central defence with Cesar Azpilicueta drifting into right wing-back.
Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso had their critics during the past season, but they still managed to provide good performances at right wing-back and left wing-back respectively. While Alonso is expected to start, Moses will play no part as earlier mentioned after he was sent off for two yellow cards in the FA Cup final versus Arsenal.
Similar to the Moses-Alonso situation, Cesc Fabregas and N’Golo Kante are automatic picks in central midfield with summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko out until September with a knee problem. The Blues have sold off the likes of Nemanja Matic, Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Ake this summer, and they are in the desperate hunt for another enforcer.
Alvaro Morata did not do much to impress during the Community Shield game against Arsenal, but he could remain on the bench as he still lacks match fitness. As a result, Michy Batshuayi will certainly take up the striker’s position with Willian and probably Jeremie Boga featured out wide.
Pedro and Willian playing together was a rarity in the Premier League last season, and it is unlikely to happen this weekend after the former sustained an ankle injury prior to his sending off in the Community Shield loss to Arsenal.
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