Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea will hope to get off to the best possible start as they kick off their new campaign against Garry Monk’s Swansea side at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening. Our tipster Lee Calver takes a look at the best bets.
Pre-season has certainly not gone to plan for Jose Mourinho with his Chelsea side failing to win in 90 minutes in each of their five matches. While the friendly defeats will probably not concern the ‘special one’, losing to Arsenal in the Community Shield would’ve hurt everyone involved with Chelsea football club.
A 1-0 defeat to Arsenal was followed up by another 1-0 loss against Fiorentina last night and the lack of goals and more to the point fit, in-form strikers will undoubtedly be giving Jose a few sleepless nights before the big kick-off on Saturday.
With talisman Diego Costa struggling for fitness once again and Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao severely lacking confidence in front of goal, it is hard to see where the goals will come from.
This is where my first tip for the game arrives – time after time last season, Chelsea were over reliant on their star man, Eden Hazard. Fortunately for them, time after time the Belgian magician delivered.
Last season, Hazard was voted Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association and also picked up the Professional Footballers Association’s player of the year award, so there will be a lot of pressure on the Chelsea number 10 to live up to those high standards once again.
I fully expect him to shine again this campaign and can see him getting Chelsea off to the best possible start by bagging the first goal of the game against Swansea at the weekend.
At the start of last season, goals were flying in for Chelsea as they won their first four league fixtures 3-1, 2-0, 6-3 and 4-2. However, after February, five of their victories until the end of the campaign ended in a 1-0 scoreline. Eden Hazard scored the winner on three of those occasions (see tip above!)
Swansea will prove hard to break down and Garry Monk will set his talented Swansea side out to look to frustrate Chelsea early on and hit them on the break.
With the Blues’ strikers either injured or struggling for form, I certainly can’t see this one being a high scoring affair, so am plumping for another 1-0 win for the Champions as my second tip.
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