Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Taylor, Jutkiewicz, Ings
Burnley start off their Premier League campaign with a visit from Chelsea, who are the bookmaker’s favourites to win the title this season. Therefore manager Sean Dyche will be expected to keep it tight at the back, frustrating Jose Mourinho’s side and possibly breaking on the counter with Lukas Jutkiewicz and Danny Ings. New signings Jutkiewicz is in fine pre-season form, netting six times, and will look to form a strong partnership with Ings this year… who scored 21 goals in the Championship last season.
Chelsea (4-5-1): Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Matic, Salah, Willian, Hazard, Costa
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has tried several different combinations for his defence, but could start with the same back-line as last season and give new signing Filipe Luis time to adapt to his new surroundings. Azpilicueta should therefore retain his role at left-back, with Ivanovic fielded on the right. The biggest Blues debate has however been in goal, but it seems Thibaut Courtois will get the nod over veteran Petr Cech. Other new signing Cesc Fabregas’s role tonight is also uncertain, with the Spaniard either playing in the double pivot with Nemanja Matic or ‘in the hole’ behind £32million striker Diego Costa.
Burnley 1-4 Chelsea my prediction
— charlie desouza (@_charliedesouza) August 18, 2014
Match day!!! Common chelsea our 1st match of the season against burnley …GO GO chelsea pic.twitter.com/UHdM1OVroM
— Abiodun onasanya (@abaynavas1) August 18, 2014
— Sean. (@seann_martinn) August 18, 2014
Burnley managed to shock Chelsea by knocking them out of the League Cup back in 2008. Can they cause another upset tonight?
Burnley vs. Chelsea: An Alternative Preview
Burnley lost their only previous opening weekend fixture in the Barclays Premier League (0-2 to Stoke in Aug 2009).
Jose Mourinho has seen Chelsea win on all five opening weekends that he has been manager.
In fact, the Blues are unbeaten since 1998/99 on the opening day, winning 13 of 15 games (D2).
Burnley lost both games against Chelsea during their only previous Premier League season (2009/10).
Chelsea have won more points than any other team on the opening weekend of Premier League seasons (47).
Cesc Fabregas has scored in each of his two Premier League appearances against Burnley.
Chelsea allowed the joint-fewest shots on target against them in 2013-14 (122; along with Man City).
Burnley allowed fewer shots on target against them than any other team in the Championship last season (159).
Chelsea have conceded just 10 goals in their last 23 Premier League matches.
Only Sunderland's Vito Mannone (77.4%) had a better save percentage than Petr Cech (76.9%) in the 2013-14 Premier League.