We’ve got pretty much what we expected from the opening weekend of the Premier League season. Tight games ultimately won by an injection of quality or just sheer force of will, end-to-end matches full of action and late equalisers, and an embarrassing home defeat for Manchester United.
Given that the fledgling campaign is progressing as expected, then, there should be no question about just what will happen at Turf Moor this evening.
Burnley, back in the Premier League for the first time since relegation in 2010, will fulfil all the stereotypes. They’ll be plucky, they’ll be committed and they’ll lose. Bravely though, of course.
The key reason behind this defeat is likely to be Chelsea’s strength at the back, where despite links with Mehdi Benatia this summer they are still going to line up with John Terry and Gary Cahill in the centre of defence, with the only question mark coming over which two of Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta and new signing Felipe Luis will play in the full-back positions.
Ahead of those defenders though, everything pretty much looks after itself.
Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa impressed in pre-season, but Chelsea’s best signing of 2014 might still be the re-purchasing of Nemanja Matic, who’ll sit in front of the defence here and look to control proceedings using brute force.
Such players will emphasise the difference between the Championship and the Premier League for Burnley, who have bought well in the experienced Matt Taylor and Steven Reid, but whose main threats here will come from the lively Danny Ings and raiding full-back Kieran Trippier, who shouldn’t be ruled out for an England call-up this season.
First though, he and his teammates will have to try and find a way past this most solid of Premier League outfits, and they don’t really look like doing that.
Chelsea are 1.77 to keep a clean sheet and, more temptingly, 1.98 to win to nil at Turf Moor.
Whilst they won’t necessarily make a significant addition to your retirement fund, both prices should certainly be snapped up, whilst for the more ambitious the correct score prices will appeal, with 1-0 and 2-0 Chelsea at 6.00 and 3-0 at 8.50.
It was a weekend when the most impressive new signings on display all seemed to be defenders, but that could all change when Diego Costa makes what is surely his first visit to a Lancashire market town.
The £32m forward can make an immediate impact this evening and is a healthy 2.00 to score at any time, whilst Fabregas also tempts at 3.10 to net on his competitive debut.
Sticking with our defenders theme though, Gary Cahill shouldn’t be discounted at 9.00 to score.
Burnley 0 Chelsea 2 at 6.00
Chelsea to win to nil 1.98
Diego Costa to score at any time 2.00
Diego Costa to score first 4.10
READ: Why Iain Macintosh is backing Chelsea to win the Premier League