Champions League and Super Cup winners Chelsea will get their Premier League season underway on Saturday with a visit from Crystal Palace.
The Blues ended last season on a high and continued their momentum with the Super Cup win, and there are hopes that Thomas Tuchel will be able to mastermind more silverware now that he will have a full season at the helm.
Their first obstacle will be Patrick Vieira and his new-look Crystal Palace side who are likely to turn to plenty of new signings to kickstart the post-Roy Hodgson era.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
When is kick off? Saturday 14 August, 15:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Stamford Bridge
What TV channel is it on? Peacock/fuboTV (US)
Who’s the referee? Jonathan Moss
Who’s the VAR? Graham Scott
This match will likely come too soon for Romelu Lukaku to make his second debut, while Hakim Ziyech is also sidelined with the shoulder injury he picked up in the Super Cup.
Those are the only enforced absences from the squad, but whether the boss will opt for a full-strength squad is unclear. Mason Mount, Jorginho, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen are all still short of fitness, with some of that group not even featuring in pre-season.
There are a few issues for Vieira to deal with. Ebere Eze remains sidelined and so does new signing Michael Olise, who is unlikely to recover from a back injury in time to feature against his boyhood side.
At the back, Nathan Ferguson remains out with an Achilles injury, but there could be a debut for £18m signing Marc Guehi, who will be keen to make a real impact against his former employers. Midfielder Conor Gallagher is ineligible to face his parent club.
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Havertz.
Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchelll; McArthur, Kouyate, Schlupp; Ayew, Mateta, Zaha.
It’s safe to say that the record books are emphatically in Chelsea‘s favour in this fixture.
Last season, the Blues put four past Palace twice, with both Tuchel and Frank Lampard masterminding the two most-recent wins in a run of seven consecutive victories.
For Palace’s last victory over Chelsea, you have to head back to October 2017, when a strike from Wilfried Zaha and a Cesar Azpilicueta own goal were enough to cancel out a header from the lesser-spotted Tiemoue Bakayoko.
While this Palace side are somewhat of an unknown commodity, they’re still massive underdogs up against the reigning European champions.
Tuchel’s men are still a little rusty from extended holidays, but they’ve still been grinding out results. A Chelsea side at 75% strength managed to lift the Super Cup, and they’ll be feeling even stronger off the back of that result.
Will Palace put up a good fight? Will they reek of team full of so many new pieces? It’s hard to really tell, but either way, expect them to come up short in this one.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace