Chelsea v Hull City - Match preview and predicted starting eleven.
It's felt like ages since it was confirmed that Jose Mourinho would make his return to Chelse...
It's felt like ages since it was confirmed that Jose Mourinho would make his return to Chelsea. At 4pm this afternoon, he finally makes an emotional return to Stamford Bridge and will take his seat, proudly in the Chelsea dugout. For most of us, it's something we have longed to see for years!
Despite this and the fact that Roman Abramovich celebrates his tenth season as Owner of Chelsea Football Club, there is a game to be played and won and it's important we start well.
Steve Bruce leads his Hull side to Stamford Bridge full of confidence after a successful season last term. He has invested plenty of money into his squad and it will be interesting to see just how well prepared they are today.
Let's be honest here, on paper this is a home banker based on the quality of both squads and when I say that, I mean no disrespect. However, as we have seen time and time again in the Premier League, anyone can beat anyone on their day so it's important Chelsea start well this afternoon.
Expect Hull to be well organised, compact to make life difficult for us with plenty of men behind the ball with a view to hitting us on the counter attack or from a set piece. It's important that we do not allow Tom Huddlestone time and space on the ball to pick his passes.
As for Chelsea, it will be interesting to see who starts in this one. We have heard that David Luiz and Tomas Kalas are out injured. Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta are doubts due to travelling long distances with their countries this week and arriving late back to Cobham on Friday and Juan Mata remains a doubt to start this one due to an injury suffered in pre season.
It's important to remember that we have to face Aston Villa in a couple of days in our re-arranged fixture with the UEFA Super Cup next week. This will play a part in Jose's thinking.
Apart from who starts this one up front, with rumours of a third bid of around £40m for Wayne Rooney on the cards, I see the most interesting selection being made for the holding two midfield positions. It's my opinion that we will see Michael Essien start next to Ramires with Mikel, Lampard and Van Ginkel on the bench.
Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Oscar could all start in behind Romelu Lukaku this afternoon with Oscar playing the number ten role in the absence of Juan Mata.
It's a game we must win. United winning yesterday convincingly at Swansea has already put slight pressure on us to come away with three points at this early stage.
Of course we all want the performance to match the result but it's early stages so I would take the three points now with performances to follow later in the season.
I predict that Chelsea will win this one by two or three goals and my starting eleven is as follows:
Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry(c), Cole, Essien, Ramires, De Bruyne, Oscar, Hazard and Lukaku.
It's going to be a fantastic atmosphere for plenty of reasons this afternoon and to take three points at the start of Jose's homecoming will be the icing on the cake!
Come on Chelsea!
Carefree & KTBFFH!