Chelsea will meet Huddersfield Town in their opening game of the new Premier League season at The John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues will want to get off to a quick start with Maurizio Sarri in charge and will be looking to exert themselves from the beginning.
The Italian has overseen pre-season with the side as he took over from Antonio Conte, however, he watched a lacklustre performance against Manchester City in the Community Shield last weekend.
However, Huddersfield will prove to be a difficult test, as they themselves will want to get off to the best possible start and David Wagner’s side will look to take inspiration from their famous 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last season, which ultimately kept them in the Premier League.
Huddersfield could hand debuts to new signings
The Terriers will be entering just their second season in the top-flight and Wagner will be hoping to build upon a memorable debut campaign.
The Yorkshire outfit have been active in the transfer market and have brought a number of players to the John Smith’s Stadium and will be hopeful of mounting a competitive challenge against Saturday’s opponents.
Debuts could be handed to Ramadan Sobhi and Adama Diakhaby, whilst Erik Drum may have to wait to make his first appearance for the club.
New signing Isaac Mbenza, who completed a loan switch from Montpellier HSC on transfer deadline-day, is unlikely to feature.
The Terriers will have been boosted by the news that Elias Kachunga is available after he overcame an injury, although Danny Williams remains unavailable with an ankle problem.
Predicted starting XI: Lossl; Lowe, Kongolo, Schindler, Zanka, Smith; Diakhaby, Hogg, Mooy; Van La Parra, Mounie.
Sarri may be without key squad members
Sarri will want to get his managerial career at Chelsea off to the best possible start, however, he could be without a number of key players.
Following the recent World Cup tournament, the likes of winners Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante have just returned recently, as have Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi and new signing Mateo Kovacic.
Batshuayi, however, has jetted off to join Valencia on a season-long loan.
It is unlikely that any of them will start the match in Yorkshire, however, Kepa Arrizabalaga is expected to make his debut following his world-record goalkeeper transfer deal from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6million.
Jorginho is expected to make his Premier League debut for the Blues, whilst Callum Hudson-Odoi could also feature.
Alvaro Morata is expected to lead the line and will want to start this season in the same fashion as he did the first.
Predicted starting XI: Kepa; Alonso, Luiz, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Fabregas, Barkley; Pedro, Willian, Morata.