Chelsea v Burnley: Chelsea seek to maintain best Premier League opening-day form


Chelsea host Burnley on the opening day of the new Premier League season as they get their title defence underway. It’s been a mixed summer for manager Antonio Conte so far and his Blues will want to recover quickly from their Community Shield loss to Arsenal.

 

Chelsea have won more points on the opening days of the Premier League than any other club (54) 

Chelsea’s record on the opening days of the Premier League is the best in history. Fifty-four points from a possible 75 is impressive. They have not lost on the opening day of a league campaign since 1998 — a 2-1 away loss at Coventry. Since then the Blues’ record has been W15 D3 on the opening day and last season they got off to a strong start by winning their first three league fixtures, which included victory over Burnley.

 

Burnley have won just one of their last 16 Premier League away games in London (W1 D2 L13) 

This is a damning record for Burnley, whose home form is generally well regarded. Last season Burnley finished ninth in the ‘home’ table. They were 19th in the ‘away’ table. The Clarets could certainly be scrapping for a regular top-half finish if their away form improved. One glimmer of hope for Sean Dyche’s men is that they ended a 15-game winless streak in the capital when last down south — a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace in April.

 

Alvaro Morata had the best conversion rate (27.3%) of any striker that scored 10+ goals in La Liga last season 

Chelsea spent £70million on Alvaro Morata this summer, breaking their transfer record previously held by Fernando Torres. The Blues don’t have a great recent record when it comes to big-money forward signings — just think back to Andriy Shevchenko, Adrien Mutu and Mateja Kezman. Antonio Conte will hope Morata follows the Didier Drogba and Diego Costa mould and actually score goals. Morata impressed when allowed off the bench at Real Madrid last season and could get his Premier League account underway on Saturday.


 


 

Jonathan Walters scored just four Premier League goals in his final season at Stoke last term

Burnley may have got one of the steals of the summer in Jonathan Walters. The striker arrived at Turf Moor in a £3m deal after seven seasons at the Potters. But he has never been a prolific Premier League striker. Since joining Stoke in 2010/11, Walters has never scored more than eight goals in a single season. He also became less of an important for Stoke in the last couple of seasons. Having played all 38 games in 2011/12 and 2012/13, Walters saw his starts dwindle to just 23 last term. A move to Burnley is one last career boost for the 33-year-old but he may still be used as a super sub, coming on in search of a winner.

 

Thirty six of Chelsea’s 83 Premier League goals were scored in the first half of games last season 

Chelsea finished as the league’s second-highest scorers last season and would have been top dogs had Tottenham (84 in total) not scored 13 goals in their last two outings of the campaign. Antonio Conte’s men averaged almost a goal in every first half played last term. Chelsea also scored three or more goals in 16 of their 38 league games. This all suggests the Blues have a habit of scoring before the break and then at least adding one more in the second half. They could run away with it against Burnley on Saturday.