The Premier League is back!
Premier League football is back this weekend as Chelsea take on fellow London team Crystal Palace for MW 1 at Stamford Bridge. Last season fans were only allowed back for the final game of the season and no where near full capacity so it will be great to see Stamford Bridge rocking again at near full capacity. Crystal Palace start the season with a new manager in Patrick Vieira and several new signings as they look to start a new era post Roy Hodgson.
Chelsea come into this game having played a 120 minute Super Cup final that went to penalties but while the game was taxing Chelsea do return to London as the winners and another trophy under the belt. Now though it’s the Premier League and Chelsea will have to show consistency over 38 games to challenge for the title. In his pre-match press conference Tuchel stated that Chelsea are not favourites because there are two teams that finished ahead of them along with Man City. Tuchel emphasised that Chelsea will hunt down the teams above them from day one and then we will take it as it goes. Tuchel stressed that he loves the mentality in the squad at the moment and wants to protect and cultivate that because it is rare.
Chelsea Team Preview
Chelsea go into this game with Ziyech out injured and Romelu Lukaku unavailable as he quarantines. Ziyech should be back in 2 weeks if everything goes as planned while Lukaku will be able to train with the squad from Monday. Everyone else is available but some of them played 120 minutes and Tuchel will have to see who can start the game. Mendy should start in goal with Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger in defence. Either one of Reece James or Azpilicueta could start but I would go with Reece. Chilwell should start on the left with Alonso coming out. There was a slight injury doubt on Kante but if he is fit he should start with Jorginho in midfield. Kovacic should be rested. Mount, Werner and Havertz should start up top. Chalobah played really well against Villarreal but I think he will be rotated for this game while the likes of Pulisic, and Hudson-Odoi could start in place of Werner or Havertz. It’s a strong lineup either way and should be ready to go against Palace.
Crystal Palace Team Preview
I know very little as to how Palace and Vieira will setup and that will be interesting to see on Saturday. New signing Olise is still injured while Milivojevic is also out along with Eze. There are still some big players though with Andersen and Guehi forming a strong centre back partnership albeit a young one. Zaha, and Benteke are experienced players as well with Zaha being the talisman in the team. Gallagher has also come into the squad but he won’t be able to play against Chelsea as they are his parent club. Based on Palace’s last friendly I think Vieira will go with experience with the likes of Schlupp, Kouyate, Ward and Ayew starting but the likes of Guehi and Mateta should also start. It looks like a classic 4-4-2 formation for Vieira.
Starting XI Prediction
So the 21/22 Premier League season is upon us Chelsea fans. Champions League Champions, Super Cup winners and now we head into a new season with Tuchel at helm and exciting squad and a top striker at the helm. It’s the most optimistic I have felt as a Chelsea fan in a while and I am so excited with what this season has to give us. COME ON CHELSEA!!!