- If Chelsea win they will become the second team to win 300 Premier League matches on a single weekday, with Manchester United having won 327 Saturday matches.
- Pedro is set to miss the opener after picking up a knock, while Victor Moses is suspended.
- Burnley has never won its opening game of the season in the Premier League.
- Chelsea have won more points in Matchweek 1 than any other Premier League club (54).
Chelsea begins its title defense on Saturday at Stamford Bridge with a new captain but a pretty similar lineup against Burnley (Watch live at 10:00 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
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Antonio Conte reinforced his squad with the signings of Alvaro Morata, Tiémoué Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger, but the Blues lost on penalty kicks in the Community Shield and failed to win on the club’s two-match tour in Singapore this summer.
Burnley meanwhile is coming off a great escape, surviving the drop and remaining in the Premier League for a second-consecutive season. However, the team has lost starters Michael Keane and Andre Gray, with their replacements not necessarily proven at a much better level.
What they’re saying
Antonio Conte on repeating as champions: I don’t know if this season will be more difficult than last season. For sure, we are champions and we have to face every game in the right way. The other teams will try to put 120 per cent in against us so we have to pay great attention in every game, have the right approach and play with the right intensity.
“I think when you start a new season it’s very important to think about ourselves and not others. To assess the other teams is not important for us. We know very well in England there are six top teams ready to fight for the title, that’s normal, and I think this season that will happen.”
Sean Dyche on facing Chelsea in the opener: “We are in the Premier league for the second successive season, which everyone wanted, so you can’t pick and choose. They are a fine side but the bigger picture is it’s about a season’s work, not tomorrow. The first five or six away games are really tough, but we take them on, as we always do.
“But you can’t measure yourself on one, two three or five games. It’s about a whole season’s work, and that’s what we showed last season.”
Despite some hiccups in preseason and Diego Costa‘s fate still unknown, Chelsea are clearly still one of the top teams in the Premier League and will be in the running for the title. As Dyche said above, the focus for Burnley is on winnable games. This one should be relatively easy for the Blues. Chelsea 3-1 Burnley