Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Watch Burnley v Chelsea live on Sky Sports 1 at 8pm on Monday
Burnley kick-start their Premier League campaign on Monday evening when welcoming Chelsea to Turf Moor. It’s the Lancastrians’ first match in the top-flight for four years and it promises to be something of a baptism of fire for the newly-promoted side.
Indeed, the Blues are unbeaten first-time-out in the English top-flight since 1998, winning 13 of their 15 opening fixtures of the season during that period (the other two games resulted in draws), and the west Londoners will be looking to fly out of the gates once again.
For the ‘Ginger Mourinho’, Burnley manager Sean Dyche, the objective will simply be survival. The Clarets made their debut in the Premiership during the 2009/10 season but went straight back down, and the general consensus is that it’ll be much of the same this time round.
Conversely, the real Mourinho, Jose, is gunning for the title, for which Chelsea start the season as clear favourites ahead of reigning champions Manchester City. The Portuguese has addressed his side’s lack of a top-class, in-form striker by recruiting Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid, and also bringing club legend Didier Drogba back to Stamford Bridge on a one-year deal.
Also in the summer shopping basket were Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis, while Thibaut Courtois is back at the club to challenge Petr Cech for the No 1 spot between the sticks following a prolonged loan spell at Atletico. The real Mourinho means business and, even though several of his stars will be absent on Monday following their World Cup exploits, he’s still likely to field a starting XI which will have the ‘Ginger Mourinho’ shaking in his boots.
Burnley will give it a good go, of that there’s no doubt. It can be very dangerous to underestimate a side that has nothing to lose. However, Chelsea will be out to make a statement on Monday night. Arsenal and Liverpool were both workmanlike when beating Crystal Palace and Southampton during the weekend, while Manchester United were beaten at home by Swansea.
City won comfortably enough against Newcastle in their opening match on Sunday, but if the Blues can launch their title challenge with an impressive victory at Turf Moor it will give them a strong psychological edge on their rivals: Chelsea can lay their marker as the team to beat in the Premier League this season.
Burnley v Chelsea betting advice
From a betting perspective, the visitors’ odds in the match result market are simply too prohibitive to indulge – they’re generally priced-up at 2/5 – but it’s pleasantly surprising to see that BetVictor go 5/4 about Chelsea to win to nil, an option which is as short as evens in places. To my mind, this represents outstanding value.
Lukas Jutkiewicz, one of Dyche’s five summer signings, will be keen to make his mark against the Blues and, along with Danny Ings, he will ensure that Cahill and Terry are not allowed an easy time of it. But it’s hard to envisage the Clarets being able to provide much service to their front men, given the strength of the west Londoners’ midfield.
Consequently, the aforementioned 5/4 about Chelsea to win to nil should be gobbled up – and to the tune of decent stakes.
Tip: Chelsea to win to nil – 5/4 (BetVictor)