MATCH PREVIEW: CHELSEA FC VS HULL CITY AFC
English Premier League is here! Chelsea FC are here! Jose Mourinho certainly is here!
Team Chelsea FC 360 is also here with the preview for one of the most awaited season openers of the last few years.
Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed “Special One”, now re-incarnated as “The Happy One” among scores of Chelsea fans makes his well-publicized & eagerly anticipated return to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have strengthened with a couple of signings & a number of loanees returning to the folds of the first team. Supporters expect a lot from the young but immensely talented squad in the up-coming season.
Chelsea will begin their domestic campaign against the recently promoted Hull City who finished runners-up in 2012/13 Championship.
Let us take a look at all the information you might need before the kick-off.
DATE & TIME: August 18, 2013 at 11:00 am EDT; August 18, 2013 at 03:00 pm GMT; August 18, 2013 at 04:00 pm BST; August 18, 2013 at 04:00 pm WAT; August 18, 2013 at 05:00 pm CAT; August 18, 2013 at 06:00 pm EAT; August 18, 2013 at 8:30 pm IST.
VENUE: Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom.
TV/STREAMING NEWS: Chelsea TV will stream the game live. The match will be telecast live on Fox Sports 1 in Australia, Sky Sport 2 in Germany, Star Sports in India, Canal+ 1 in Spain, Al Jazeera Sport HD1 in UAE, Sky Sports 1/HD & BBC One in UK, NBC Sports Network in USA.
CHELSEA FC SQUAD NEWS: Chelsea have the complete first team squad at their disposal with none of the players suffering from a serious injury. Mourinho is expected not to start some of the players who took part in the international friendlies this Wednesday. Schuerrle has already mentioned he won’t be playing the whole 90 minutes. Frank Lampard who did not get much game time in pre-season might also start on bench.
Predicted Starting XI(4-2-3-1): Cech, Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, Terry(C), Cole, Ramires, Marco van Ginkel, Mata, Hazard, KDB, Lukaku.
HULL CITY AFC SQUAD NEWS: Steve Bruce has brought in a number of players in various positions this summer, in the process of making Hull a competent Premier League squad. Most of the new signings are expected to start. Hull have got some experienced
Premier League campaigners in the likes of Tom Huddlestone(who is joined by former Tottenham team-mate Jake Livermore), Elmohamady, Danny Graham & Figueroa. Steve Quinn is out with hamstring injury. Bruce being a decent manager, Hull City are no pushovers and will look to make an impression when they travel to Stamford Bridge.
Predicted Starting XI(4-3-3): McGregor, Elmohamady, Chester, Davies, Figueroa, Huddlestone, Brady, Koren, Aluko, Sagbo, Graham
REFEREE: Jonathan Moss. [Matches: 23; R: 1; Y: 68]
v The first league visitors to Stamford Bridge, 108 years ago, were Hull City.
v Chelsea have won 44 points on the opening day fixtures in the Premier League era; more than any other side.
v Chelsea won the league the last time they faced Hull in the first match at The Bridge in 2009/10 season.
IN A NUTSHELL: Chelsea, with their huge array of talent on display, are expected to win this. With the prospect of facing Aston Villa & Manchester United in the next week, the Blues must start strong.
Hull will try to contain the Chelsea attack & hit them on counter. The approach Jose Mourinho adopts while selecting his deep midfield will be interesting to watch, as it may hold the signals to future. With the Chelsea manager still hopeful of acquiring Rooney, how the frontline fares will make an intriguing back-drop to the remaining of the transfer season. All said & done, as Mourinho has mentioned time & again during the pre-season that points are all that matters, the time has arrived for Chelsea to acquire three points.
And now the countdown begins.….3….2…1..