Champions Chelsea reduced to nine and beaten 3-2 by Burnley

Antonio Conte lamented his Chelsea side’s lack of discipline as the start of their Premier League title defence ended with only nine players on the pitch as they were surprised 3-2 by Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

To win away on day one is something special given the context of last season.

“In our pre-season, in every pre-season, I played our best formation and I did the same against Burnley“.

Nigeria’s Victor Moses could only watch from the stands as he is on suspension for the Premier League opener. And then I repeat: “the club is trying to do their best on the transfer market”.

Mee believes that Chelsea’s new striker Alvaro Morata, who joined from Spanish champions Real Madrid last month, could pose a threat to Burnley defenders but is confident that team will come up with and stick to a solid game plan.

Chelsea have sold midfielder Nemanja Matic to Manchester United and Diego Costa is also poised to leave.

Champions Chelsea struggled in the Community Shield last weekend as they were beaten on penalties by Arsenal. But if you look at the number of players on loan, they can call a few back’.

Jack Cork is also pencilled in for a debut in midfield but Phil Bardsley is not fully match fit and may be made to wait. Conte can use him in so many different ways, such as by allowing him to drop deep, link up play and hold up the ball to bring others into play.

Unless Antonio Conte can organise his men into an astonishing comeback, they will be only the second defending champions to lose their first game of the following campaign.

“I am not anxious because we have to trust in our work and today there were three injured players, Pedro, Hazard, Bakayoko, one player missed for a ban in Moses”.

The Blues’ quality far surpasses the likes of Dyche’s men, who recently saw striker Andre Gray, seek the slightly greener pastures of Watford.

Chelsea will begin their 2017/18 campaign at home to Burnley on Saturday with just 14 experienced players available. Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady can play on either flank, Walters will challenge Sam Vokes and Ashley Barnes for the lone roll up front. They haven’t lost an opening day fixture since Coventry in 1998, winning 15 games over that span. But the line “no one believed we could win” is just as telling.

If the Spaniard is to start either in place of Batshuyi or even as his strike partner, he could have a huge say on this result.