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Chelsea vs Burnley: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction

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Chelsea

Chelsea will kick off their Premier League title defence at home against one of the sides who narrowly survived a relegation battle last season in Burnley. Saturday afternoon will see Sean Dyche’s side travel to an out of sorts Chelsea in order to try to kick off their campaign in style as they look to extend their Premier League stay for another year.

Recent form

Chelsea have had a torrid summer, with only one pre-season win, conflict over transfers and a humiliating Community Shield defeat to Arsenal last weekend. Fitness was the key though, and the Blues will be hoping to bounce back from that penalty shoot-out defeat in style.

Burnley have avoided defeat throughout pre-season, with their recent draw against Spanish side Celta Vigo probably the most impressive of all their results. However, having conceded three goals in two games against Championship opposition in Preston North End and Nottingham Forest, a leaky defence may be a concern.

Likely line-ups

Chelsea will select Cesar Azpilicueta at wing-back, meaning Antonio Rudiger is in line for his first Chelsea start. It may come too soon for Alvaro Morata as the Spaniard rebuilds his fitness though, with Michy Batshuayi’s fine pre-season form likely to have done enough to earn him a start.

Burnley will look to replace Andre Gray with Ashley Barnes, with new signing Jonathan Walters likely to slot in for Johann Gudmundsson due to an injury. Ben Mee and James Tarkowski will be first choice in defence after the departure of Michael Keane.

Team news

Pedro will not be forced to serve a suspension after his red card in the Community Shield, but Victor Moses will miss out for Chelsea having been sent off in the FA Cup final in May. Tiemoue Bakayoko’s debut will be delayed as he recovers from a knee operation, with Eden Hazard also out as he overcomes a broken angle. Alvaro Morata may not be fit to start as he continues to gain fitness.

Dean Marney is a long term knee ligament problem, whilst Johann Gudmundsson is also unlikely to feature as he battles to overcome a knee injury of his own.

Match prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Burnley

Chelsea’s quality really should be enough to see off Burnley, particularly after a summer in which they lost their best defender and star striker. Sean Dyche will be hoping for a draw, but as soon as Chelsea score it could be game over.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

Burnley

Tom Heaton would be the perfect replacement for Joe Hart at West Ham

The 32-year-old is being valued at just £10 million.

Josh Kerr

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Tom Heaton
Photo: Getty Images

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has emerged as a potential replacement for Joe Hart at West Ham, according to reports from The Sun.

The report claims that Hart will not return to West Ham following his loan move from Manchester City. His mixed time at the club hasn’t given Hammers supporters a reason to demand a permanent deal for the England international.

The 31-year-old is unwanted by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, and his poor form in East London has meant few clubs are showing an interest.

Instead, the East London side have turned their attention to Burnley and Tom Heaton as their new number one, with the 32-year-old keeper valued at £10 million.

The Chester born keeper began the season as Sean Dyche’s first choice but lost his place to Nick Pope after he suffered a dislocated shoulder last August.

The outstanding Pope and immediately staked a claim to be England’s number one in the summer World Cup. Due to his displays, he looks to have kept Heaton out of the team for the foreseeable future.

(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Considering Heaton has been an England squad regular in recent years, it is difficult to see him happy to be the number two at Turf Moor and an exit for the former Bristol City keeper could be imminent.

With over 178 appearances in the Premier League, Heaton would be the perfect signing for a goalkeeper position that has caused a lot of headache for fans at the London Stadium.

Both Hart and Adrian have been in and out of the first team and neither has pushed their cause as to why they should be the standout choice for the number one spot.

At Burnley, Heaton’s move to the substitute bench is one of the more unfortunate stories of the season as no-one came close to the 6ft 2 keeper before his injury.

If it wasn’t for Pope having one of the greatest debut seasons of the Premier League era then it would have been a given to see Heaton come back in as number one.

His manager, Sean Dyche, will most likely want to keep him at the club, especially considering the club’s Europa League commitments next season.

However, the Burnley boss would also understand that a keeper of his quality is too good to be wasting the final years of his career on the sidelines.

If Heaton were to move to the London Stadium then West Ham will have yet another England international in their ranks.

However, this time they would be getting an assured, established Premier League keeper, who has been fundamental in Burnley’s success for many-a-year.

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Bristol City

Joe Bryan would be the perfect signing for Sean Dyche’s Burnley

The 24-year-old has had a fine individual season at Ashton Gate.

Jake Jackman

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Photo: Getty Images

Burnley have been the feel-good story of the Premier League over the last two years, as the club are set to complete a journey from the Championship to the Europa League.

The finances in football mean that it is difficult for a club to progress naturally, but the Clarets have shown that it is still possible and Sean Dyche has been the driving force behind their upwards trajectory.

One major reason for their success has been their recruitment.

The club have not tried to over-spend or sign players based on their reputation.

Their approach allows them to sign players tailored for their needs and it is no surprise that the majority of their signings over the last two years have fitted in seamlessly.

It would be a mistake if they changed their approach this summer, even with the added pressure of the Europa League.

In recent days, they have been linked with one Championship player that seems to be the perfect fit for the squad at Turf Moor.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Telegraph report that Joe Bryan has emerged as a target for the Premier League club.

They go on to state that Dyche is ready to offer £6 million for the Bristol City left-back as he tries to improve both the quality and depth of the squad ahead of next season.

The rumour mill is starting to accelerate and the majority of media stories need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but this does make a lot of sense.

If Burnley continue with the recruitment policy, Bryan would be a great fit for them and immediately improve their starting eleven at left-back.

Bristol City’s season slowed down during the second half of the campaign, but they have impressed those that have watched them regularly and Bryan has been one of their standout performers.

The left-back has contributed four goals and three assists in the league, in addition to two strikes in the League Cup including one against Manchester United.

He would add a much-needed attacking threat from left full-back and that would provide an extra dimension to the Burnley team.

Although his decision making and defensive contribution needs work, he is a very good young full-back with the potential to thrive in the Premier League.

Bryan is an aggressive defender, as shown by his average of three successful tackles and 3.2 clearances per game.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

At times, he can be guilty of committing to too many forward runs, but that is something that could be addressed.

Dyche is very good at coaching a defence and the 24-year-old would benefit from working with the Burnley manager.

Dyche will be the first to admit that it will be difficult to replicate Burnley’s success, especially with the scheduling problems caused by the Europa League.

However, it would be foolish to make any huge changes to how they are currently conducting business.

Joe Bryan may not be an international with lots of experience in Europe, but he would be a great signing for this squad and fit in immediately.

The Clarets should do everything in their power to secure his services.

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Burnley

Rangers signing of Scott Arfield from Burnley could be a major coup

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Photo: Getty Images.

Another Old Firm derby looks likely to provide even more disappointment for Rangers fans, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as reports indicate that the club are close to sealing a deal to sign Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield on a free transfer.

According to Sky Sports, Rangers are closing in on a pre-contract agreement which will see the Canadian international move to Ibrox Stadium on a free transfer in the summer when his existing deal with Burnley expires.

The move will see Arfield return to the SPL, where he previously made his name with Falkirk having come through the ranks at the club, scoring 16 goals in 124 games.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old has become a regular for Sean Dyche in his five seasons at Turf Moor, scoring two goals from 19 Premier League appearances, including 15 starts, before injury to his calf in February put a halt to his season as he remains sidelined.

Given that most of Rangers’ squad who do boast experience in England come from men past their best, as was the case when Joey Barton moved north of the border, and lower league talents, like Josh Windass, mixed with some loanees from Championship clubs, to sign a regular in a team competing for Europe in the Premier League can be considered a coup.

The left midfielder is consistent and looked comfortable in the Premier League, chipping in with some memorable goals in the process, and if he can take such quality to Ibrox it will be a significant statement as the club look to cut the gap behind league leaders and arch rivals Celtic.

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