Less than a month ago, Maurizio Sarri was handed over to the Chelsea Football Club after a ridiculous long negotiations with Napoli. Less than a week ago his best players have returned from the World Cup. Less than three days ago he got a new goalkeeper and midfielder. And now it sounds for real.
Ready or not, the Premier League season is upon us, with Sarri and his team having no time to introduce themselves, not to mention learning and applying the new coach system.
"The players right now have to think about what to do too much, and therefore the ball is not moved at the right speed."
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Evening Standard
With the challenge of learning Sarrismo on the fly and difficult results expected in the first weeks of the season – not to mention scoring only three open play goals during the pre-season – getting a result on the opening day would give Sarri the breath he desperately needs.
Date / time: Saturday 11 August 2018, 15:00 BST; 10:00 EDT; 7:30 pm IST
Venue: John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield, England
Referee: Chris Kavanagh – more or less a new Premier League boy, with just sixteen games of the highest level under his belt. He was promoted to the Select Group of Referees in 2017. He has never refereed a Chelsea game, so we have no grudge against him – yet.
Forecast: Partly Cloudy, 20 ° C (68 ° F). 3% chance of rain, light breeze
On TV: none (United Kingdom); NBCSN, NBC Universe (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); somewhere else
Online streaming: NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); talkSport 2 (United Kingdom radio); Chelsea TV (audio commentary only, int & # 39; l)
News from the Huddersfield Town team: Danny Williams and Erik Durm are the only injuries. The big question mark is whether they will make a 3-5-2 formation.
Given the initial battles of Chelsea, perhaps it is fortunate that this first game is "only" in Huddersfield. There are no easy games in the Premier League ™, of course, but last season David Wagner's men took only five points from a possible 36 against the first six. Chelsea won a 3-1 away draw, and drew 1-1 at home (that point secured another season in the Premier League for deliriously happy terriers).
Since then, Huddersfield has spent large (according to their standards) to permanently sign three loane – defenders Terence Kongolo and Florent Hadergjonaj, and goalkeeper Jonas Lossl – and has spent little for Monaco's Adama Diakhaby wing and the wing of the Stoke Ramadan Sobhi. They also took over the BVB Erik Durm full-back and added a striker on the day of expiration (Isaac Mbenza of Montpellier).
Based on their pre-season, Wagner could unveil a 3-5-2.
Chelsea team news: A lot of question marks surround the first starting lineup of Maurizio Sarri in the Premier League thanks to the abbreviated and not ideal preseason. Are Eden Hazard (reported on Monday), Kepa Arrizabalaga (landed in London on Thursday), N & # 39; Golo Kanté (reported on Sunday) and midfielder Mateo Kovačić (Thursday) will be ready to play? Not everyone, says Sarri.
No injury problems are known, even if Cesc Fabregas was on crutches until just before the Community Shield, did not look healthy mid-week against Lyon, and yesterday he posted a disturbing shot on his Instagram that led to some speculations on Twitter that he was recently in the hospital. There were no follow-up reports and Sarri did not say anything about the press conference, so it's probably nothing.
Last time: playing without a recognized striker, Chelsea won all three points of John Smith in December, a 3-1 victory that put us at the level of Manchester United in second place. It was not long after the roof fell in our season, of course. Tiemoué Bakayoko scored his third and final goal of the season, with Willian and Pedro also counting.