Chelsea begin the 2017/18 Premier League season with a home fixture against Sean Dyche’s Burnley side, aiming to win the title in consecutive seasons.
Last season saw the Blues lift the title in Antonio Conte’s first season at Stamford Bridge. The Italian helped Chelsea win their fifth Premier League title, finishing seven points ahead of closest challengers Tottenham.
Saturday’s visitors finished 16th last season, six points off the drop zone. During the 2016/17 season, Burnley were incredibly strong at home. Ten of the Clarets’ 11 wins in the league last season came at Turf Moor. Their poor away form was the reason why they finished near the bottom.
Last season, Chelsea were 3-0 victors over Burnley at Stamford Bridge. Goals from Eden Hazard, Willian, and Victor Moses helped Chelsea ease past Burnley. However, in the reverse fixture in February saw the sides draw 1-1. A Pedro goal and a brilliant Robbie Brady free-kick kept the sides level.
Ahead of Saturday’s fixture against Burnley, we take a look at four opposition players that could Chelsea trouble.
Welsh striker Sam Vokes is arguably Burnley‘s biggest goal threat and was the club’s top scorer in all competitions last season.
Vokes scored ten Premier League goals for Burnley last season, and added a further two in cup competitions, and will want to improve that tally this year.
Seven of his goals in the league last year were from his right foot, so the Chelsea defence will need to get him onto his weaker left foot in order to stop him finding the back of the net. Vokes is also an aerial threat, standing at six foot two, and scored two goals with his head last year.
Another player that could cause Chelsea problems on Saturday is Robbie Brady.
The Irishman is a dead ball specialist, as Chelsea are fully aware. He scored Burnley‘s equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Turf Moor in February.
After joining the Clarets from Norwich in January, Brady has made 14 league appearances and scored once. His goal against the Blues is his only goal for Burnley, and the only free kick that Thibaut Courtois conceded last season in the Premier League.
Summer signing, and former Blue, Jack Cork is a player that could cause his former side trouble when the two sides meet this weekend.
A battling midfield player, Cork will look to stop Chelsea’s play through the middle. He’s set for an interesting battle with N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas.
At Swansea last season, made 59 tackles in the Premier League, with a 75% success rate. The 28-year-old also made 56 interceptions and won 148 duels. Cork will hope to cause his former side problems.
Chelsea will have to beat the impressive Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal if they want to claim all three points.
The 31-year-old was in impressive form for Burnley last season, and his performances earned him a regular spot in the England set-up, where has since made three appearances for the Three Lions.
Heaton kept ten clean sheets in the Premier League last season, an impressive tally for a team that finished 16th. He made a total of 141 saves in the league, so Chelsea’s attackers will have to be on top form to beat the goalkeeper.