Monday Blues For Burnley
Burnley v Chelsea
Jose Mourinho insists his ‘little horse’ from last season is now big enough to challenge the thoroughbreds, Chelsea travel…
…to promoted Burnley first as his players aim to prove the boss right.
Burnley have had one of the less strenuous pre-season schedules of any Premier League side, not least because they, frankly, don’t have the status of many of the top flight clubs whose marketing demands see them travel across the globe every summer.
Sean Dyche’s charges did, however, earn an 8-0 win on a brief trip to Austria and lost just once since returning to England, to Preston North End, but earned further victories over Accrington, Blackpool and Serie A outfit Hellas Verona while also finishing all square against Celta Vigo.
New signing Lukas Jutkiewicz has scored six times in pre-season since his move from Middlesborough with the Polish striker looking to cement a role in the Clarets lineup.
Mourinho’s men also lost only once over the close season, to Werder Bremen, which were largely played in central Europe but were victorious against Real Sociedad, Ferencvaros, Vitesse Arnheim, Olimpija, Wycombe Wanderers and AFC Wimbledon and drew with Austrian side Wolfsberger.
Diego Costa has already scored four times for the Blues since his arrival from Atletico Madrid…
…as the striker aims to put a dismal World Cup behind him at his new club, including both goals in their 2-0 win over Sociedad in his first outing at Stamford Bridge.
Striker Sam Vokes is Burnley’s only confirmed absentee through injury as the prolific Welshman remains sidelined with a cruciate knee injury. Dyche is expected to keep faith with Jutkiewicz in his absence alongside Danny Ings up front. Steven Reid, Matthew Taylor, Marvin Sordell and Michael Kightly are also in line to make their competitive debuts at Turf Moor.
Ramires is suspended for Chelsea due to a ban which has carried over from the end of last season, but with Mourinho claiming many of his World Cup starlets are likely to be eased back into action, it seems unlikely the Brazilian midfielder would have started.
The same goes for the likes of and that also makes it seem likely that Petr Cech could get the nod in goal ahead of Thibaut Courtois, despite the Belgian’s recall from a loan spell at La Liga winners Atletico Madrid. Another returnee, Dider Drogba, is carrying a knock on his ankle and could miss out but new arrivals Cesc Fabregas, Costa and Felipe Luis should all figure.
Chelsea won both games between the sides when the Clarets were last in the top flight in 2009/2010. John Terry’s goal eight minutes from time at Turf Moor gave the visitors a 2-1 win after Steven Fletcher had equalized Nicolas Anelka’s opener. The former French international also scored the first goal at Stamford Bridge earlier that season with further strikes from Michael Ballack and Ashley Cole easing the home side to a comfortable 3-0 win.
Burnley did earn a memorable win over their illustrious opponents in the 2008 Carling Cup though as Ade Akinbiyi levelled after Drogba had netted for the hosts before the Lancashire side earned a 5-4 win on penalties.
As title favourites against relegation contenders, it’s no surprise to see the Blues as heavy 2/5 favourites but it doesn’t look much value against the side with more home clean sheets than anyone else in the Championship last season.
The Blues should have too much but it could be tighter than many expect so the 10/11 on Under 2.5 goals looks the best of the bets for this one.