So here we are, on the eve of the season and managing to start the season in worse shape than we finished the last. We have fewer players. Palpable discord between the manager and the board and two of our players are out injured while four of our starting line up aren’t of the standard required in the positions they’re in.
Courtois, Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill, Azpi, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso, Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro.
We will play our tried and true 3-4-3 and in truth, this should be too much for Burnley. Pedro and Willian should be good enough between them to put enough chances together for Batshuayi to finish off.
Tactical Match Up
I don’t want to encroach too much onto other pieces on the site but I would like to go into a little bit how I think the game will play out. Burnley set up last season in a deep lying 4-4-2 with two hard working wingers and a low block in the midfield. Nothing would suggest that to change this season, with a few personnel changes and slight upgrades to the starting 11.
Our movement in between the lines will be key tomorrow with Fabregas taking up a pivotal role. He will see a lot of the ball no doubt with Burnley operating deep and it will be interesting to see whether Conte goes with Batshuayi or Morata up top. Morata would be the better option for me due to his higher technical ability. This is important in breaking a team like Burnley down. Whipping in balls to Batshuayi will be bread and butter to defend against. A more nuanced approach with Morata, Pedro and Fabregas playing neat triangles on the edge of the box will be key to success for me.
Who Are Burnley?
To me, they should have gone last season. Sean Dyche is a thoroughly unlikable person who has negative currency with Chelsea fans due to his laughable reaction following Ashley Barnes’ attempts to maim Nemanja Matic back in 2015. They are a basic side to play against and as long as the quality is used as it should and we don’t get desperate, they’ll be broken down.
Walters will likely take up a position up top to replace Andre Gray with Jack Cork an upgrade on Joey Barton and Charlie Taylor adding depth to the left-hand side. They have yet to replace Michael Keane which is a worry for Burnley fans. They do have money to spend with them being frugal both last season and this so far in terms of their net spend.
We should have more than enough to dispatch Burnley. They’ve lost two of their best performers from last season and finished last year in free fall. This generally leads to a poor start and we should be taking advantage of this, despite our own issues. Fabregas will be key. Give him time and get Pedro and Willian inside the lines and get Morata/Batshuayi working the channels to create space. Overloading using the wing backs is a last minute option if we are chasing the game.
Prediction – 2-0
Rumour – Danny Drinkwater
Rating – 5
I’ve gone with 5 because it seems like a player we want, yet I can’t for the life of me figure out why. He isn’t an upgrade on any of our starting 3 midfielders and why pay £30m plus for a player when we have three central midfielders in the youth ranks just waiting to step up. Lewis Baker, RLC and Nathaniel Chalobah would all have been capable candidates to step into the first team squad this season yet we seem bound and determined to use the youth team as a chicken farm.
Adding to this, we’ve managed to already piss Leicester off by offering them £15m, despite them clearly stating they want 30m. I hate to finish on a negative but this club drives me nuts sometimes.