Chelsea are heading into the 2017-18 Premier League season as defending champions, but Conte’s side will have to hit the ground running against Burnley after a difficult summer.
Conte has cut a frustrated figure after enduring transfer window setbacks and a number of pre-season defeats, culminating in the Community Shield loss to London rivals Arsenal.
The Italian coach has added Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger, Willy Caballero and Tiemoue Bakayoko to his squad, but also seen a number of promising youngsters leave – as well as losing midfield stalwart Nemanja Matic to Manchester United, and Romelu Lukaku opting for Old Trafford over Stamford Bridge.
While the Blues have been handed a favourable opener to their title defence in Burnley, Sean Dyche’s men are bound to have worked hard this summer to ensure their away form is not as disastrous as last term with one win from 19 on the road.
Conte has a number of injury concerns heading into the new season, with £40million midfield signing Bakayoko still unavailable.
With Victor Moses suspended, Conte may have to alter his usual three-man defence of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta, and place the latter at right wing-back. That would mean starting Rudiger despite the German defender not yet fully match fit.
Chelsea starting XI: Courtois; Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro
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