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Tomorrow sees the start of the season proper as Chelsea and Didier Drogba return to Stamford Bridge.

Our opponents Leicester who as a newly promoted side are a little bit of an unknown quantity, the expectation will be a stroll to victory with Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas expected to continue their work started at Burnley.

The game at Burnley was perfect except from the early goal and a repeat would be warmly welcomed.

Return Of The Drog!

Another reason to get to your seats early will be the return of Didier Drogba to the Bridge should create an electric atmosphere. His return may have divided opinion but he is rightly revered as a legend.

The Team

The team above would look good, a home debut for Luis would also be a good introduction for him to the side so that he can bed in slowly. Fabregas and Matic bossing the midfield and Costa up front.

The Betting

Costa to score first and Chelsea to win 2-0 returns £130 with Hills. Bet £10 get £20 free! 

Leicester

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Diego Costa Chelsea

First game of the season and could it have gone any better?

MOM performance from one new boy, a goal from another new boy and a dominant goalkeeping display from another. On paper this had banana skin written all over it. Newly promoted side who successfully dispatched a Fergie Utd team defending the premier league crown last time they were in the top flight. Burnley were promising an upset especially after 14 minutes when Burnley scored the opening goal.

A Burnley corner wasn’t properly cleared and when Oscar slipped as the ball was played back out wide Scott Arfield was brilliantly picked out and had the freedom of Turf Moor to take the ball down and strike the ball brilliantly past the debuting Courtois.

Sean Dyche said it brilliantly in his post match interview on sky ‘the goal seemed to anger them’ and that it did. What happened over the next 30 minutes was almost unfair. Fabregas seemed to take it as a personal insult that Burnley were audacious enough to score and went into beast mode. Costa got his first goal for the club after a very good pre season and just smashed the ball into the net after the ball was lucky not to be out in by the Burnley defender for an own goal and had come out off the post.

Then something very special happened………

After a build up of 24 passes and the last of which being the best pass you will see all season from Cesc Fabregas to our World Cup winning Schurrle to slot in brilliantly.

The third goal was from a set piece and was well taken. The sheer size of the Chelsea attack will see this happen more and more as the season goes on. The corner whipped into an area normally referred to as ‘the corridor of uncertainty’ saw Ivanovic nip in front of his marker and slot in from close range.

The second half was played in first gear and we looked very comfortable. The old saying goes ‘it’s a game of two halves’ and this game seemed to epitomise that. The first half was just different level and a great reaction to going a goal down. The second half was efficient, professional and saw the job through.

The return of Drogba was also a plus with the boos from the Burnley fans due to him reacting to have coins hurled at him way back when being drowned out by the awesome Chelsea away following cheering his name. The away fans tonight need special mention tonight as taking 4000 away on a Monday night a far as Burnley is a awesome. A very good show from the so called ‘plastics’.

The perfect start to the season and a game that bought up no negatives what so ever. The only things that came out of this game were positives. Courtois was solid and commanded his box with the confidence of someone above his young years and the partnerships of Matic and Fabregas is enough to excite even the most pessimistic of Chelsea fans.

There will be tougher tests this season and Leicester at home next will be a completely different beast all together but with our very own beast in Costa this season could pan out to something very special.

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Put down your knitting and hold on to your half and half scarves (or burn them) the first game of the season is about to start and we have the teams.

The big news is that Courtois has been picked to start ahead of Cech. However Felipe Luis and Didier Drogba are on the bench!

Chelsea XI To Face Burnley

Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Fabregas, Matic; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa

Bench - Cech, Zouma, Filipe Luis, Mikel, Willian, Torres, Drogba.

Match Betting with William Hill- Chelsea are huge favourites at 2/5 on, however there is some value out there

Burnley v Chelsea

 

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With kick off just a couple of hours away the fate of Petr Cech will become clearer as we discover who will start between the sticks for Chelsea against Burnley.

This is the first time this has even been a remote quandary since Cech usurped Carlo Cudicini in 2004 and could spell the beginning of the end for a Chelsea legend.

So what could the different permutations mean, will omission spell the end of Cech?

Cech Starts As Number One

The best scenario for fans of Petr Cech would be that he has held off the challenge of Thibaut Courtois and has cemented his number one position for another season. This scenario would see Courtois take a cup role, that may even include Champions League games.

Cech or Courtois Starts But Rotation/Battle Is On

In this scenario Jose Mourinho is still on the fence and does not have a clear favourite, the battle would be on and we could have a turbulent time as two heavyweights of the game fight for one spot. Expect Petr Cech to be all class and well, not sure Courtois will be quiet on the matter if he is not number one.

Courtois Is Number One

The most likely scenario, if Courtois starts tonight it could be the end of a decade of Petr Cech. Cech has plenty left and few fans would be angry if he went to look for a new opportunity. Hopefully he would give it until January though to ensure that Courtois adapts to the Premier League ok and that the door is firmly shut.

Overall I am not sure which is the best scenario for the club, seeing Petr Cech on the bench would be a painful waste, but this would be the same if Courtois was to lose out.

As the boss said what a great problem to have.

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Demba Ba may have only just Chelsea but he has been given an instant opportunity to further increase his stature at Chelsea following his heroics at the end of last season.

After depriving Liverpool the title (legend) and scoring a winning goal in a dramatic Champions League tie against Paris St Germain he can now set his sights on helping his new club Besiktas get to the Champions League group stages.

His opponents will be Arsenal who having got their traditional 4th placed trophy will look to continue the stunning Wenger legacy of the last decade.

Although I would rather Arsenal reached the group stages for the ranking coefficient, a Ba winner to deprive them would enhance his legacy to Chelsea fans, who despite his lack of opportunities think of him fondly.

Just in case you were curious here is what a Demba Ba goal against Arsenal looks like (he scored whilst playing for Newcastle)

Champions League play-off round

Maribor (Slovenia) v Celtic (Scotland)

Salzburg (Austria) v Malmo (Sweden)

Aalborg (Denmark) v Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus)

Steaua Bucharest (Romania) v Ludogorets (Bulgaria)

Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia) v BATE Borisov (Belarus)

Besiktas (Turkey) v Arsenal (England)

Standard Liege (Belgium) v Zenit St Petersburg (Russia)

FC Copenhagen (Denmark) v Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)

Lille (France) v Porto (Portugal)

Napoli (Italy) v Athletic Bilbao (Spain)

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